Please wait, the site is loading...

Food

Burns Night: 5 Scottish chefs you should know about

by Suzy Pope
Burns Night: 5 Scottish chefs you should know about
Happy Burns Night!

The Scottish chefs, cooks and restaurateurs you need to follow this year. 

A rugged land of forest-clad hills, glimmering lochs and miles of coastline has led Scotland to produce some of the finest fresh seafood, game, and fruit and veg in the country. Fine-dining restaurants across Scotland have traditionally been lauded for French-style cooking, but recently we’ve seen the rise of the local. As of 2021, there are 10 Michelin-starred restaurants across Scotland, showing us that chefs up north aren’t resting on their laurels.

Chefs from the lowlands to the highlands are taking the natural bounty of Scotland’s landscape and embracing it in cookbooks, fine-dining menus and hearty pub meals. Here are some of the Scottish chefs championing regional fare.

1. Tom Kitchin

In 2007, Tom Kitchin was the youngest chef in Scotland to hold a Michelin star. Originally from Edinburgh, he’s ventured out across the globe and worked with the likes of Guy Savoy in Paris and Alain Ducasse in Monaco before returning to his homeland to combine Scottish produce with French-style cooking. His flagship restaurant, The Kitchin, in Edinburgh’s Leith neighbourhood has retained its Michelin star since 2007 and has featured on myriad ‘Best Restaurants in the World’ lists and TV shows. Tom’s passion is reviving underrated and under-used cuts of meat. His gastro pub, The Scran and Scallie, in Stockbridge features bone marrow sauces and partridge terrines, and his book, Meat & Game, has recipes for partridge scotch eggs and hare canneloni.

Image: Marc Millar
Image: Marc Millar

Follow Tom

2. Roberta Hall-McCarron

Great British Menu’s Scottish champion of 2020, Roberta Hall-McCarron has been making waves in the Edinburgh dining scene since opening The Little Chartroom in 2018. Before that, she trained under Tom Kitchin at The Kitchin. Her bijou restaurant features a small, scaled menu with a focus on the finest Scottish produce. It was always a challenge bagging a seat at The Little Chartroom, but in 2021 Roberta expanded to larger premises around the corner and her original restaurant has been turned into a casual spot called Eleanore (named after her family’s boat). During lockdown, furloughed staff were given the opportunity to continue working for Roberta as she opened Little Chartroom on the Prom – a pop-up food stall on Portobello promenade serving fresh oysters, fried squid rolls, and cured sea trout tacos.

Image: Amelia Claudia
Image: Amelia Claudia

Follow Roberta's restaurant

3. Dean Banks

In addition to finding a new location for Haar in St Andrews, MasterChef star Dean Banks also made the move to Edinburgh in 2021, giving a new lease of life to the old Pompadour restaurant at the Caledonian Hotel, one of the city’s grandest dining rooms. White tablecloths and formal service has been changed for raw-wood tables and enthusiasm for all things Scottish. Seafood is the focus of Dean’s menu here and the cloud-soft lobster with umami-rich mirin butter steals the show. In St Andrews, Dean would often go out to sea with the local fishermen and watch them catch his fish of the day. Now he is championing mental health in kitchens, introducing a four-day working week for his staff. His Haar at Home initiative during lockdown kept his restaurant and staff afloat and still proves popular to this day, keeping his fine-dining accessible to all, not just those living in the Scottish capital.

Image: Grant Anderson
Image: Grant Anderson

Follow Dean

4. Lorna McNee

Heading up Glasgow’s Cail Bruich, Lorna McNee was Great British Menu’s ‘champion of champions’ in 2019. It’s not surprising, as she was trained by the best in Scotland – two-Michelin-starred chef Andrew Fairlie. After years working in his Gleneagles restaurant, she’s taken the head chef position in Glasgow, showing off her own style in dishes like langoustines in a bisque with the citrus zip of ponzu, and strawberry puddings with fresh basil and lemon verbena. Her innovative menu earned the restaurant Glasgow’s first Michelin star since Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant almost 20 years ago.

Image: Clair Irwin
Image: Clair Irwin

Follow Lorna's restaurant

5. Stuart Ralston

Featured on 2021’s Great British Menu, Stuart Ralston spent many years away from his homeland before returning to Scotland to open Aizle in Edinburgh. He worked at Gordon Ramsay’s New York restaurant before taking up a chef residency at the luxurious Sandy Lane resort in Barbados. As a result, his cooking is a medley of flavours, from Caribbean spice to French finery, combined with foraged and locally sourced Scottish produce. His focus is always ingredients, and at Aizle (relocated to the Kimpton Charlotte Square hotel after lockdown) a chalkboard displayed single ingredients instead of dishes. His second venture, Noto, is a bit more casual but no less refined, bagging a Bib Gourmand in 2021 and serving a fusion of Asian, Scottish and US dining. He too knows the importance of mental health in the kitchen and has introduced a four-day working week for his staff.

Image: Gerardo Jaconelli
Image: Gerardo Jaconelli

Follow Stuart's restaurant

Don`t miss

We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
viewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
gadsTest Until the browsing session ends
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years