Table Talk: Edward Murray on how architects and diners can be friends
Ex-architect Edward Murray talks about how food and architecture go hand in hand
I came to Edinburgh to study architecture and, on graduating, thought that was the career I would follow. Although lucky enough to get a job in a fantastic little office, it became slowly apparent that architecture wasn’t for me – I lacked the patience necessary to work on something that might take years to complete. There’s an enormous crossover between the two subjects. Restaurants are, after all, buildings and the architecture is as important a part of the experience as the food or service.
The nature of the space in which someone dines is intrinsic to their experience of the meal. The Gardener’s Cottage grew out of a belief that dining should be an inclusive, social activity, and should connect diners to one another, to chefs and producers, and to a time and place. One of the things I really enjoy about architecture and food is that, although both are fundamentally necessary things that can be considered from a functional point of view, they are also both deeply complex socially, politically and emotionally. They also relate directly to what it is to be human.
As long as chefs and restaurateurs recognise and respect the importance of architecture and the necessity of provoking and inspiring it, and architects view the production, transformation and consumption of food in the same way, they should get along famously.
Edward Murray, with Dale Mailley, is the co-owner and chef at The Gardener’s Cottage, Edinburgh.