Why a chef?
Quite simply it’s the best career in the world! There are no restrictions, you get out what you put in! Endless opportunities to travel the world, it’s artistic, challenging and you get to eat as a job!
Who was your mentor?
I’m very lucky to have two. Garry Watson of Gordons Restaurant in Inverkeilor and Paul Whitecross of Trump Aberdeen. They have both been there for me from the start and are still there for any info and guidance, I regard them as very close friends.
My first Commis Chef job was at Circus Wine Bar & Grill in Edinbrugh aged 15.
Then to St. Andrews Seafood Restaurant
Number One at The Balmoral Hotel
Martin Wishart at Cameron House
Angels With Bagpipes in Edinburgh
I opened Castlehill in Dundee where I gained 2 AA Rosettes
Rick Stein I used to watch his TV programs as a young boy before I was a chef. I love his simple approach, he has such love and enthusiasm. He’s also fun to watch!
Really good fish and chips. Lashings of home-made tartar sauce and mushy peas. Definitely my last supper! I’m also a big truffle fan!
Tinned tuna… Yuk!
Hard one, as I eat out frequently! I believe it’s part of the job. So… I’ll give my top three. The Kitchin in Edinburgh, Crab Shack in Glasgow, and Jules Verne in Paris
What’s your style?
I like to keep food natural and simple not really interested in crazy food chemicals and adding powders. For me it all focuses round good quality products served with flare but giving the fullest respect to the produce. And No Waste! I hate seeing great food being tossed out due to chefs being careless and uncreative.
South of France probably Lyon. Although I’d love to go and work in a really good sushi restaurant in Japan.
“I’m fine” – No matter how hard things get, I’m always Mr. Positive. Either that or “Put Some Truffle On It” – Love it! Who doesn’t?The Tayberry Restaurant Website: http://www.tayberryrestaurant.com Crail Food Festival Website: http://www.crailfoodfest.co.uk
“We’ve created a new ice-cream, combining lemon and Mara’s Shony blend, enhancing the taste of the lemon. Being in the food industry, we are passionate about food and where it comes from. When Crail Food Festival approached us with the idea of collaborating with Mara, we thought it was a fantastic idea. It has been a fun challenge to see how we could combine the flavours. It has been great working with Mara and we believe it highlights how local food producers can come together and showcase the very best ofScottish produce, particularly during this landmark year of Food and Drink. If the Shony seaweed ice- cream is a hit during the festival, we may sell it within our St Andrews Gelateria and further afield.”Fiona Houston, CEO and Co-Founder of Mara said,
“Our Shony blend – which has won Gold Taste awards for two years in a row – is an intriguing mix of sweet and salty seaweeds, that can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. We first combined Shony with lemon when Paul Hollywood came to visit us in Crail and we made him a Shony and lemon polenta cake, which he described as “inexplicably delicious” and then went on to feature on his BBC “Pies and Puds” show. It has been great fun working with Jannettas, as I have been a huge fan of their ice-cream ever since my school days.” “We have developed our harvesting base in the East Neuk of Fife since 2011, and the seaweeds in the Shony blend are all sustainably hand-harvested by Mara harvesters under Crown Estate licence in the East Neuk, and slowly dried to retain flavour. Seaweed has been traditionally harvested around the coastline of Scotland for centuries and Mara is reviving what is a valued ancient tradition.”Mara is participating in the Crail Food Festival with Tansy, local “Mara Maid” displaying and selling Mara’s range of seaweed seasonings throughout the weekend. Graham Anderson, Founder of Crail Food Festival added,
“Our festival is five years old this year and what delights me is the enthusiasm and support for our event shown by the food and drink producers within Fife. We have more venues this weekend, new themes and returning favourites such as our cookery theatre and iconic Sunday lunch at the harbour. There are plenty of foodie sessions on both days and it should be relaxed enough, with time to stroll between venues and maybe grab a seaweed cone on the way!”Crail Food Festival is supported by EventScotland, the events team at VisitScotland through the National Programme as part of the Year of Food and Drink. The festival, which is in its fifth year, brings the picturesque Fife coastal village alive with a full weekend of activities designed to showcase the very best in outstanding local produce with over 80 participants taking part. Jannettas Gelateria in St Andrews is open between 9am and 10pm, seven days a week – Jannettas Gelateria. For more information about Mara, visit Mara Seaweed. Images with thanks to Charmaine Duthie