Tell us a bit about how you got into food?
I come from a family of excellent cooks so food was of interest to me from a very young age. When my neighbour noticed a position advertised in The Scotsman for an apprentice chef, I jumped at it.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
My late father was a man of great work ethic, principles and morals. I guess my journey was to make him proud and take my grounding from him.
Why is Scottish produce so important to you?
After 30 years working as a chef, I never tire of promoting Scotland and its fantastic array of produce. We have a responsibility in hospitality to look after this special commodity and encourage more countries to experience the best produce in the world… Scottish produce.
Have you discovered any interesting and innovative products lately?
I’m a big fan of Hoods Honey. Stuart Hood or Hoody, as he is affectionately known, is a great friend of mine and since his retirement from the police he has looked after and nurtured his late fathers love for bee keeping and growing his wonderful honey production.
If you were abandoned on a desert island and could only take one Scottish product, what would it be and why?
Simple- an endless supply of Gary Welch’s Smoked Haddock, angel filleted and naturally smoked.
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Steamed Devilled Black Bream Pak Choi with Lime and Chilli Salad
4 fresh black bream (any pin bones should be removed)*
1 tbsp. Goan Masala Paste
2 heads of pak choi, washed and pared
50g spring onion, thinly sliced
80g fresh chillies, sliced
1 lime, cut into 4 lime wedges
Seasoning to taste
Serve with steamed white rice or wholegrain rice
1. Fry the chillies and shallots at 120°C in coconut oil for several minutes until crispy then set aside on kitchen roll.
2. Spread the Goan Masala Paste equally in each cavity of the fish. Season well then place in the steamer for 7-8 minutes at a high heat until the fish is cooked through.
3. Season the pak choi leaves to your taste and arrange on the plate with the lime wedges, sliced spring onion, crispy shallots and chilli then place the fresh black bream beside the salad to serve. Steamed rice is a great accompaniment to all the dishes. We serve it with white rice but wholegrain is perfect too.
*Ask your fishmonger to take out the middle bone if not, simply get two fillets instead.