Douneside House is fast developing a reputation as one of the North-east’s best fine dining venues. We put Executive Chef David Butters under the grill…

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‘Growing up, the kitchen was always at the centre of family life. My mother and sister were both great cooks and I was always helping out. I landed a school work placement at Stobo Castle and I joined them full time when I left school. A year later, I moved to Turnberry where the journey really began.

Away from the kitchen, I like to spend time with my partner, our two young boys and the dog. We enjoy hill walking and swimming. I spend at least half an hour in the gym each day as we‘re constantly tasting everything at Douneside!

Most chefs have some guilty food pleasure that would never make it to their menus. At Douneside, we have ‘The Destroyer’ – Toasted foccacia, black pudding, fried duck egg, a homemade potato scone, streaky bacon and HP sauce!

Wark Farm Lamb Shoulder

  • 3 assorted peppers, 1 courgette, 1 aubergine, chopped
  • 250 grams of vine cherry tomatoes
  • 100 g of fresh thyme, 50 g of fresh parsley, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 8 basil leaves chopped/torn
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 carrot, 1 stick celery, 14 banana shallots, chopped
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 100ml sherry vinegar
  • 250 ml white wine vinegar
  • ½ bottle white wine
  • 1 litre veal stock
  • Lamb stock cubes
  • Rack of 6 bone lamb and shoulder


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Season the lamb in a hot pan, then transfer to a casserole dish. Chop the celery, carrot and  shallots and fry till golden in the same pan, with the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary and white peppercorns. Add to the casserole dish, cover with lamb stock and cook at 170oC with a lid/tin foil until tender. Leave until cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bone and shred. Reduce remaining juices to an almost sticky glaze. Add to shredded lamb, adjust seasoning and add freshly chopped parsley, re-heat in a pan and serve.

Rack  | Season with salt and white pepper, sear in a hot pan with vegetable oil, colouring and sealing all sides. Pre-heat oven to 180oC. Cook the lamb around 15 minutes for 6 bone rack depending on size, leave to rest for 10 minutes and carve.

Ratatouille  |  Roast the cherry tomatoes in a pre-heated oven (180oC) for 12 minutes, blend, shallow fry in olive oil one shallot finely diced, one clove of garlic, a small dice of courgette, aubergine and peppers, and a couple of sprigs of thyme, add a pinch of cumin and de-glaze with a splash of sherry vinegar, add to tomato base, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, add finely shredded basil leaves and serve.

Thyme Jus  |  Shallow fry eight sliced shallots until golden, de-glaze with a good splash of sherry vinegar and white wine. Reduce until almost completely evaporated. Add eight sprigs of thyme and one litre of veal stock till you have the consistency of gravy.

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