How does it feel to be the winner of the Scottish Thistle Awards Best Restaurant Experience and what does the award mean to you?
Over the years we’ve won a lot of prestigious awards at Gamba but I was particularly proud of this one as it was a nod to the whole team. We don’t simply want customers to have a great meal at Gamba, we work hard to ensure their whole experience is memorable and this award is an acknowledgement that we’re doing just that.
You have been in business for almost 30 years, which is hugely impressive. What’s the secret of your success?
There’s no real secret, but I’d say unless you have a real passion for cooking then 30 years in the business won’t come easy. You have to be willing to adapt and learn throughout your career. If you love what you do and surround yourself with great people, then success will follow.
Gamba is renowned for its impeccable sourcing – can you tell us more about this and why it’s so important for the business?
We currently hold the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s top rating of three stars, which is something we work very hard to maintain. Sustainability of our fishing stocks is so important and we have a duty as a seafood restaurant and experts in our field to do our bit. Whether that’s sourcing less popular fish that are in plentiful supply, working with sustainable farms, or helping to educate our customers – it’s all part of the process. It’s not easy to keep abreast of global fishing stocks but having that knowledge is a vital part of our ethos and process in creating new dishes.
I think in time sustainability ratings will become a big factor in where people choose to dine. If a single species becomes endanger or extinct it can have a huge domino effect which is difficult to stop – so prevention is the key. Supporting sustainable restaurants is an important factor in this process as it reduces the demand for endangered species.
What would you say to any business aspiring to similar success and longevity?
Find your place in the industry and aim to become the best in that area. Be willing to adapt but don’t get caught up trying to please everyone. Whatever you do, you must be genuine and stick to the standards and values that you set yourself.
You recently launched the beautiful ‘Gamba – A Seafood Cookbook’, which we featured here on the blog last year. Would you like to share a favourite recipe from the book for readers?
With the weather picking up a favourite of mine is the Scottish crab and langoustine linguini with chilli, coriander and lime. It’s simple, it’s quick and stress free if you’re having friends round for lunch – best enjoyed on a sunny afternoon in the garden with a chilled glass of wine.
Scottish Crab & Langoustine Linguini
- Serves: 6
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- 800g of fresh linguini
- 24 raw Scottish langoustines, peeled, de-veined and sliced lengthways
- 250g of fresh, Scottish white crab meat
- Bunch of coriander, picked or chopped
- 1 red and 1 green chilli, finely sliced
- 3 limes, juiced
- 8 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- Scottish sea salt
- Ground white pepper
- Slowly heat the olive oil in a flat based pan. Add the langoustines and stir continuously until they change colour.
- Place the pre-cooked pasta in the pan, add chillies, mixing well with the langoustines. Slowly heating to release the flavours. Season with salt and pepper mixing together.
- Squeeze the lime into the linguine, add the crab meat and gently fold into the mix.
- Sprinkle in the coriander and gently fold into the mix.
- With a set of tongs, divide the linguini between six bowls making sure that the langoustines are split evenly between each bowl.
- Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
Find out more on www.gamba.co.uk and follow on twitter @Gamba_Glasgow