Tell us a bit about yourself, your family and how you got into cooking. I live out on the Haddo Estate, with my wife and two dogs. I’ve lived up here for five years, previously working at Fusion and the Cock and Bull. After school I went to Glasgow University, but then searching for something practical to do, I got a job in a local restaurant, and was instantly hooked.
How would you describe your food at No.1? My food at No.1 is unpretentious and tasty, cooked and seasoned well. There is something for everyone, from classic bar meals using great
North-east produce, alongside some more adventurous dishes using lesser known ingredients.
How do you spend your time when you’re not in the kitchen? A walk with the dogs in the countryside is always a welcome change. I always try to cook a proper dinner on my day off, as well as a loaf of bread on Sunday. When I get chance I meet up with old friends for a music session.
How do you avoid the temptation to sample your food all the time? I taste everything, to make sure it is good enough, seasoned properly, and that the customer gets the very best. That may mean tasting chocolate mousse, then two minutes later tasting beef jus. That feeling when you taste a new dish and know it’s going to be a winner, is second to none.
Any kitchen disasters from your early career? Every day we made 100 bread rolls, once or twice I forgot the salt and the bread tasted awful. But there was no time to dwell, another 100 rolls to make and no time to do it always made for an interesting day!
What’s your guilty food pleasure? It has to be macaroni cheese and tomato ketchup. However, I have high standards, it has to have glossy bechamel sauce, good cheddar, and Heinz ketchup!
1 vanilla pod
500g plain flour
1 pinch of salt
Juice of 20 passion fruits
Pastry: Cream the butter and sugar and vanilla, add salt, eggs and flour and form into a dough. Rest in fridge for 1 hour, then line the tart case, cover tightly with foil and bake at 170˚C until light golden brown.
Tart Filling: Bring the passion fruit and sugar to boil in one pan. Bring the cream to boil in another pan, and pour both over whisked eggs. Pour into tart case and bake for 20 minutes at 120˚C.