A local chef who reached the final of MasterChef: The Professionals has opened his first restaurant in Fife.
Dean Banks welcomed his first diners to Haar, located on the main floor of St Andrews’ five star Kinnettles Hotel, on Friday night and aims to champion the very best of local and seasonal produce.
Raised in Arbroath and trained at Rick Stein’s The Seafood Restaurant, Dean has travelled the world, working in and visiting more than 40 countries before earning praise from the MasterChef judges during the 2018 TV series.
Diners at Haar can look forward to food influenced from a variety of sources – not just close to home but also from the Far East, South America and Europe.
“We’re so fortunate to have access to world-class produce here in Fife, and I want to harness the very best of it,” he said.
“From lobsters landed only 11 miles away, to vegetables grown locally, our diners can expect to find them all on the menu.”
Opening night was deemed a huge success overall, despite some disappointment when a table of eight decided not to show up for their booking.
The renovated restaurant now sports a marine-inspired look, with artwork and newly installed Moroccan tiles.
Dean said he was delighted by the transformation.
“It’s always been an ambition of mine to open a restaurant, and I’m thrilled with how my vision has come to life,” he said.
“We want our diners to enjoy a complete sensory experience at Haar, and every element from the food, to the decor to the drinks we serve have all been carefully curated to produce the very best experience possible.”
In addition to serving an ever-changing seasonal menu, he has developed a partnership with the Arbroath-based distiller Arbikie.
He is also hoping to make connections with other suppliers of local produce.
Dean added: “I’m still looking for foragers, for surplus fruits and vegetables grown in St. Andrews gardens, for local farmers – to really serve up the very best of the region.”