Meet Andrew Gray, the head chef at 1906, the restaurant at HMT.
‘Like many chefs, I’ve always had a passion for food! Cooking is a family tradition – two of my family were chefs and I remember being sent to work in the kitchen with my Dad for being bad when I was about 13. I didn’t really see it as a punishment and I was hooked on the kitchen environment
from then onwards.
‘Working at 1906 is very different to anywhere I have worked before. It is a short busy service where everyone in the restaurant is going to the theatre. So there’s a bit of pressure to make sure the food and service is delivered at the right time, so people can relax over their meal.
‘At 1906 we try to use as much fresh and seasonal produce as possible on our menus, which change every three months. My inspiration for new dishes comes from all sorts of places – books, other chefs, seasonal produce, or food I’ve enjoyed elsewhere. We also have a popular lunch menu, take corporate bookings with our dedicated suite, do tasting events, afternoon teas; and there is also a café where people can enjoy a coffee and cake, light snacks or lunches, whilst enjoying the fantastic views we have out over Union Terrace Gardens and the Aberdeen skyline.’
And when Andrew’s not in the kitchen? ‘That’s easy. I like to spend my spare time playing golf when I can and relaxing.’
Grilled sea trout fillet, spicy crab & potato cake, in citrus butter sauce
6/7oz sea trout fillet
120g mashed potato
50g white crab meat
1 red chilli finely chopped 1 lemon
1 spring onion finely sliced
1 pinch of chopped chives
1 handful of breadcrumbs
1 handful of plain flour
1 beaten egg
Asparagus Salt and pepper
Oil for frying
200ml double cream
200ml white wine
4/5 knobs unsalted butte
Mix the potato, crab meat, chilli, chives & spring onions together. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime. Shape into a round, coat in plain flour, then the beaten egg and coat in bread crumbs. Shallow or deep fry till crispy and hot in the middle.
Blanche the asparagus and broccoli in salted boiling water for 2 minutes.
Season the fish with salt & pepper and a little oil. Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
For the sauce, finely slice the shallot and add to a saucepan with the white wine. Add the juice of half a lemon and half a lime, reduce by half, add the cream, again reduce by half, remove from heat and whisk in the butter, season to taste & pass through a sieve to remove shallots. Enjoy!