Chefs Ryan Fowler and Kevin Anderson are behind the new dishes and menus at Forfar Golf Club as it prepares to reopen later this month.
A brand new food offering in a completely refurbished clubhouse means there is an exciting future at Forfar Golf Club.
Ryan Fowler, who has been running the food operation at Ballumbie Golf Club alongside his successful bakery venture Just Baked by Ryan Fowler, has now taken the reins of the Forfar club with his business partner Kevin Anderson.
And the duo have put together an exciting range of menus for relaunch on April 26.
Working in the hospitality sector has been tough for everyone in the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and Ryan is no exception so, naturally, he is eagerly anticipating things getting back up and running in around three weeks’ time.
Just Baked has kept Ryan busy, creating baked goods which consistently sell, however, it’s getting back into the kitchen that he is really looking forward to.
He explained: “We took on Ballumbie at the start of November and then we had interest shown from Forfar Golf Club to take on the food there as well.
“They allowed us to do the same as Ballumbie, to come into the kitchens that they have there and do the bakery side with Just Baked so people knew that we were at the golf club and that it was going to be open to the general public.
“We are now beginning to wind that down a little bit and focus more on getting the golf clubs back open and shouting about the fact that they are open and showcasing what we are going to be doing at the restaurants.”
With restrictions continually changing over the last 12 months, Ryan has only really experienced a few weeks of being open at Ballumbie. April 26, when some restrictions on hospitality are eased, is therefore a big day not just for him but the club as a whole.
“We got a small taste for it when we first came into Ballumbie for the first two months, but we haven’t been open at all in Forfar so it’s going to be good to showcase what we can do,” he said.
“Forfar Golf Club is going through a refurbishment of the clubhouse which has been completely redeveloped.
“The restaurant is being totally rebranded as well and that will then become the Sandy Saddler Suite (legendary baker in the town), the restaurant is going to be named after him.
“It has been open to the general public for a little while but they haven’t really pushed it as such. We expect to showcase it as another dining spot in the area, not just another golf club. We want people to come out and enjoy the food as much as they enjoy the golf.”
And what does Ryan, head chef at Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews, have in mind to tempt the tastebuds of diners and golfers alike?
“We looked around the area and there are not too many places doing breakfast before 10 o’clock in the morning so we are going to be introducing breakfast from 8am to 11.30am,” he revealed.
“We will be doing traditional Scottish breakfast, vegetarian breakfast, eggs Benedict, things like that.
“There will be a few quirky items on there too just to keep us a wee bit different and we will also be doing steak and eggs, which we do at Ballumbie, and a breakfast burrito that went down really well at Ballumbie.
“The lunch menu will be your classics – club sandwich, Caesar salad, burgers, fish and chips and a Braid’s bridie which will be our take on a Forfar bridie. We will push that as one of our signature options at lunchtime.”
Moving into the latter part of the day, the focus will change to a more bistro-style, with the opportunity to enjoy private dining.
“In the evenings we are going to have a set price menu that will change weekly with the hope of getting repeat customers, for example, date night on a Wednesday,” added Ryan.
“It might be the same place but it is a different menu every week to keep it interesting. This will be more bistro-style food, things like confit pork belly, braised cabbage, homemade mustard mash, homemade gravy, just really good food but not too far out there – very much classic flavourings put together.
“There will also be a private dining option which has been built in the clubhouse to showcase our higher-end kind food – venison Scotch eggs, fish curries, for instance, just things that are a little bit more upmarket.
“In the group of chefs we have, we have that range to be able to push ourselves. Myself and my business partner, Kevin, who will be running Forfar, are currently building a team.
“We took on some apprentices and we have given some people some opportunities and we know between ourselves that we can push the food a bit further to change people’s perceptions on what kind of food you can get at a golf club.”
There has been a great deal of interest since the roadmap out of lockdown was announced and early indications are that things are going to be busy.
“We are absolutely going to be taking bookings for April 26 at Forfar,” said Ryan. “At Ballumbie we are almost full for the first weekend after restrictions are lifted.
“We are putting in an outside dining area at Forfar. It will be a nice decking area and more open for people being able to sit outside the clubhouse and have lunch, as well as being able to come inside and see the redevelopment of the clubhouse.
“It’s exciting and things are shaping up nicely for the opening days.”