The Menu, The Courier’s Saturday food magazine, has launched its first ever Food & Drinks Awards. A celebration of businesses and individuals in the area who create stunning products, dishes and tipples that are among the best in the industry.
Featuring a five star gala dinner – with a different local chef creating each course – at The Old Course, St Andrews, on Thursday, March 15 2018, the glittering awards ceremony will see the best and brightest in the food and drink and hospitality sectors honoured.
The five chefs come from all over Courier Country. Martin Hollis, executive chef at the Old Course Resort, oversees all of the resort’s restaurants and dining, including the 3 AA Rosette-awarded Road Hole Restaurant, re-launched in 2012 as the Home of Scottish Cuisine.
The first reserve in the 2013 Bocuse D’Or – the Oscars for chefs – Martin has a long and distinguished career that sees him complete the Scottish golf hotel’triumvirate with time at Turnberry, Gleneagles and now The Old Course.
“St Andrews is a very special place,” says Martin. It is unique in its offering and, as the home of golf, attracts a level of interest from across the globe that is the envy of every golfing destination.” He adds: “When you talk of golf, you think of St Andrews – so to be able to work as executive chef within such a hardworking and dedicated team at the Old Course Hotel is a fantastic opportunity.”
A member of the esteemed Academy of Culinary Arts, The Master Chefs of Great Britain, as well as of the Federation of Chefs Scotland, Martin was enticed to The Old Course by the resort’s reputation – at home and abroad – as well as by the “good young team” working in the resort’s kitchens and restaurants.
“The Old Course Hotel can develop raw talent to produce award-winning chefs – and it is my intention to maintain and strengthen our apprenticeship programme to nurture such talent, develop their skillset and ensure the resort is renowned for creating the very best chefs in Scotland.”
Also in Fife, since MasterChef: The Professionals winner Jamie Scott became chef patron of The Newport in the village of Newport-on-Tay, two years ago, the restaurant has become one of the top dining destinations in Courier Country.
Jamie, 30, was born in Kirkliston; his dad, Grant, was in the Black Watch and the family moved around when Jamie was young. He started his career at 14 as the most junior person in the kitchen of his parents’ pub, and eventually worked his way up to running it.
“It was always my intention to open my first restaurant in the Fife and Dundee area,” Jamie says. “This is where I grew up and drew all my inspiration from. The Newport gives me everything I wanted in my first venture. Newport-on-Tay is a beautiful coastal village with the most incredible views across the river and my food reflects the natural surroundings.”
Meanwhile, over in Perth, Praveen Kumar takes inspiration from his heritage in his Indian restaurant Tabla. Born and raised in southern India, Praveen studied hotel and catering management, before training and working as an Indian chef and manager for 15 years at the best five star hotels in India and resort in Jamaica, before coming to Scotland and taking up a position at Turnberry resort and Gleneagles.
“I started Tabla in 2009 as a fine dine Indian restaurant, and we were awarded a one star AA rosette the following year, which I’m proud to say we have retained – the only Indian restaurant to do so in the north of Scotland.”
Angus chef Eden Sinclair has enjoyed a 20 year career which has seen him chef in some of the capital’s top eateries and as far afield as Melbourne Australia.
In his first head chef role, Edinburgh-born Eden successfully established the new Glasshouse at Eskmills restaurant, winning the Remy Martin Restaurant Award for Restaurant of the Year 2008. He then went on to become executive chef of the Olive Branch group of restaurants, his efforts resulting in a nomination for New Restaurant Chef of the Year 2009.
Eden moved his family to Angus in 2011 and took over management of the Drovers Inn in Memus and over the next four years built a well established reputation, earning and maintaining the Drovers’ AA rosette since 2012.
In tandem with his successful restaurant accomplishments, Eden has been in increasing demand as a private chef and event caterer, and, together with partner Lucy and brother Jordan, launched the family business, Sinclair’s Catering Ltd in 2015.
“We also opened own own bistro, Sinclair’s Larder in Edzell in June that same year and most recently opened our new restaurant, Sinclair’s Kitchen, just outside Forfar,” smiles Eden. “It’s the perfect platform to continue the company’s ethos of using fresh, seasonal produce from Scotland’s natural larder, which is at the heart of everything we do.”
For Graham Paulley, who leads the team at Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa’s Metro Brasserie, career highlights include cooking for the Ryder Cup team in 2014 and catering for large-scale events such as The Courier Business Awards.
Graham has been working in the hospitality industry for more than 15 years. Starting his career in a country house hotel at the age of 16, Graham forged an impressive path for himself, including roles at the Old Course Resort in St Andrews and at Gleneagles.
Having taken inspiration from a number of great chefs, including the late Alan Gibb at Gleneagles, he is keen to pass his skill and wisdom on to the next generation of Scottish chefs while continuing to raise the bar when it comes to dining at Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa.
Tickets for The Menu Food & Drinks Awards on March 15 2018 at the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa cost £995 for a table of 10, £1175 for 12 and £100 per individual ticket. Tickets can be purchased at www.themenufoodanddrinkawards.co.uk or contact Kim Dickson at Kdickson@dctmedia.co.uk.