After twenty years in some of Edinburgh’s most prestigious restaurants and hotels, Stuart Galloway has been lured back to his home city, as Head Chef at the newly refurbished Howies Restaurant…

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‘I never set out to be a chef, I was studying graphic design at college and was working shifts as a kitchen porter to help fund my way. One Saturday night, a couple of chefs just walked out. Faced with a very busy restaurant and no kitchen team, I was asked to step in and help out. I was utterly hooked. I guess you could say I didn’t choose the chef life, it chose me.

‘I’ve been cooking for about 15 years now, and I’ve learned a lot from working with many chefs of different cultural and culinary backgrounds, particularly at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh.  When it comes to new dishes and ideas, I love Twitter and Instagram – both are both fantastic tools for seeing what is happening in kitchens around the globe. You’re able to see images taken by chefs and diners. I keep up to speed with food trends but, to me, the most important thing is forming your own identity as a restaurant or chef.

‘At Howies, we use seasonal Scottish produce from local suppliers. We know where everything comes from, whether it’s meat from our estate or cheeses from Devenick Dairy – it’s a real field-to-fork approach. Our menus have everyone in mind, it’s a place where you can bring your granny, your auntie, mum and dad, the kids too and everyone will enjoy the food and have a brilliant time! At the moment we’re doing a lot of work on our events so I’m enjoying developing new menus for all manner of occasions.

‘When I’m not in the kitchen I relax by working out at the gym or spending time with Jill, my girlfriend. A lot of chefs either snack while they work or eat late, but because I work out a lot, my fitness instructor has developed a nutritional plan for me. At work I’ll have full fat yoghurt and berries at around 10:30am, and a chicken salad before heading to the gym on my split shift.

I do most of the cooking at home as Jill’s busy setting up her own business at the moment. That said, she does make me
a killer mac ‘n’ cheese every now and then!


Stuart’s Smoked Salmon Mousse

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Ingredients
> 175G Smoked Salmon
> 15G Olive Oil
> 5G Cracked Black Pepper
> 1 Lemon (Juice Only)
> 250G Double Cream

Garnish
> 1 Plum Tomato
> 20G Mini Capers
> 20G Black Olives
> Fresh Herbs

To Serve
> Crème Fraiche
> Horseradish
> Warm Crusty Bread/Oatcakes

Method

1 |  Place the smoked salmon and oil in a blender and mix until smooth. Lightly whip the cream until it barely holds a peak. Add the lemon juice and pepper to the salmon with one scoop of cream and beat in to loosen up the salmon mix. Now carefully fold in the remainder of the cream and keep the mix in a suitable container.

2 |  Torch the skin of the tomato to loosen the skin, quarter the tomato and cut out the seeds and discard. Finely dice the flesh and mix with the capers and finely diced olives. Finish with some fresh herbs such as dill or chives.

3 |  Spread some horseradish crème fraiche on the plate with
a pastry brush then using a large dessert spoon, dip it in to very hot water and use it to scoop some of the salmon mousse on to the plate. Carefully arrange the salad garnish around the side and serve with oatcakes or fresh crusty bread.

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