Food news March 2010: A wee jaunt out of town
With so much going on in the Glasgow and Edinburgh dining scene it’s easy to ignore the rest of Scotland – at least until the ‘summer’ season begins or the snow gates are opened, whichever is the earlier. But there have been some intriguing developments in recent months, not least the Michelin stars awarded to Geoffrey Smeddle (once of Glasgow’s Etain) at the Peat Inn near St Andrews and Kinloch Lodge up in Skye, doing more than the cities to bolster the reputation of fine Scottish dining.
Not far from his own backyard in the Trossachs Nick Nairn has made a return to the restaurant scene with The Kailyard by Nick Nairn at Doubletree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro – a place that has perhaps a little over-sauced the branding. Nairn’s the consultant there, rather than chef, while the man generally considered to be the most influential chef in the UK in the last 30 years, Albert Roux, is the main food consultant to Inverlochy Castle International Management, who are to open two further Chez Roux restaurants this year, one at Inver Lodge Hotel by Lochinver, the other at Greywalls at Gullane in East Lothian. The first Chez Roux in Scotland opened last summer at Rocpool in Inverness. With all these celebrity chefs around, maybe no one will notice Mr Oliver sneaking into George Square in Glasgow in May with his 250-cover Jamie’s Italian.