Robert Macpherson, head chef at the Isle of Eriska Hotel, on Andy Race Fish Merchants
Andy Race has delivered fish and shellfish to the Isle of Eriska for several decades, establishing himself as a supplier long before I joined the hotel in 1998. I first came across Andy’s company as a trainee chef more than 26 years ago, so I feel that we go back a bit. Over the years, we’ve developed a great working relationship. My secret is to always make time for a chat and not just tick off a list of orders.
Running an established business out of Mallaig, Andy knows all the fishermen and is among the first to have access to their catch. It’s a great advantage for us as it means that he’ll often be able to offer us something a bit special such as wild seabass, red mullet or John Dory.
I’m happy to ask Andy what is available on any particular day and then create a menu accordingly – ensuring our guests taste the freshest fish and seafood the west coast has to offer.
Andy also offers some of the best traditionally smoked salmon you’ll ever taste and he passed on some of his wisdom when he helped us set up our own smoker. He’s just great to work with and I don’t know what we’d do without him.
● Robert Macpherson is the head chef at the Isle of Eriska Hotel, Spa and Island’s Restaurant by Benderloch, near Oban, 01631 720371, www.eriska-hotel.co.uk
● Andy Race Fish Merchants are at the Harbour, Mallaig, 01687 462626, www.andyrace.co.uk