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In a Nutshell, Chef Kevin Dalgleish: ‘There’s something so rewarding about making people happy through food’ 

Kevin Dalgleish, chef-patron Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish, on the most he’s paid for a meal, meeting Alain Ducasse, and listening to 90s music in the kitchen. 


What’s the closest thing you have to a signature dish:
My duck and venison tartare with truffle and pickled vegetables. It flies off the menu whenever we have it on.

Describe your style of cuisine in ten words:
Modern Scottish cooking with a touch of French soul.

Best and/or most memorable meal you’ve ever eaten:
When I worked at the Dorchester, Alain Ducasse was invited to eat in the kitchen while the chefs were working – it was truly a surreal moment.

Worst/weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten:
I’m genuinely open to trying anything. Although I really hate red mullet – the flavour is far too strong for me!

Worst thing you’ve ever cooked:
I’ve pulled together some pretty wacky staff meals over the years.

What’s the dish that you’re most proud of having cooked:
I’m so proud of the dish I created for this year’s Great British Menu – “God bless our soles”. I put so much thought and creativity into this dish, which was inspired by Scottish sprinter, Eric Lidell, on the 100th anniversary of his Olympic Gold Medal win. I was over the moon when it was scored 9/10 by acclaimed chef Angela Hartnett.

Favourite ingredient:
A really good, homemade stock makes all the difference when adding flavour to dishes.

Your go-to recipe book:
The Square by Philliip Howard. 

What other country’s cuisine really excites and intrigues you?
I’ve always loved French cuisine, and it inspires most of the cooking I do at the restaurant today. 

Most you’ve ever paid for a meal:
£700. Don’t even ask.

Your favourite Scottish chef:
Martin Wishart. I think he’s absolutely amazing at what he does and he’s held his Michelin star since 2001. He’s a good friend, and I make sure to visit every time I’m in the capital.

Favourite chef outside Scotland:
Phil Howard.

Who taught you to cook or ignited your passion for food as a youngster:
Ian Cunningham. He offered me my first kitchen job in my hometown of Hawick when I was just a teenager, and encouraged me to make the move to London to pursue my career.

Most important lesson a young chef can learn:
Taste everything you can.

Culinary mentor – the most important person in your development as a professional chef:
Anton Edelmann. 

Best thing about the industry:
There’s something so rewarding about making people happy through food. 

Worst thing about the industry:
The hours can be pretty long and intense.

What’s the biggest sin a chef can commit:
Taking shortcuts. It never pays off!

What do you eat when you’re at home:
I love a good home-cooked roast chicken, but it needs to be done right with a fresh, homemade gravy.

Celebrity guest or your perfect dinner party – who would you most like to cook for:
It would have to be Billy Connolly. I’d love to hear all his stories, and he’d provide great entertainment!

Your spirit of choice?
I’ve always been a rum guy, but recently I’ve really got into whisky. Anything aged in sherry casks I’m a big fan of. 

Do you play music in the kitchen and, if so, what’s your go-to track or artist:
90s music, always!

If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?:


Kevin Dalgleish will be heating up the Kitchen Theatre at this year’s Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Scottish Game Fair event, which takes place from 5 – 7 July at Perthshire’s Scone Palace.


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