EXCLUSIVE: Under the Grill: Gordon Ramsay

The first Scottish outlet of Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen & Bar opened recently in St Andrew’s Square, Edinburgh. The Scots-born celebrity chef and restaurateur spoke exclusively to Taste Magazine Scotland during time between recording a TV series in Los Angeles …

Why did you choose Edinburgh as your new Scottish venture?

Our first Bread Street Kitchen in Scotland was either going to be in Glasgow or Edinburgh. Edinburgh holds a very special place in my heart: it was where the Queen awarded my OBE back in 2006.

Edinburgh was the perfect choice. There’s something quite energising about it because of the history, the backdrop of the Castle and being surrounded by the most stunning countryside just 20 minutes or so away.

And it’s the produce, whether it’s hand-dived scallops from the West Coast of Scotland or the beef or venison from East Lothian or even the local vegetables.

But it was also the location. It’s in a great situation and has access to a lot of footfall. It’s important to not be too off the beaten track. And then there’s the competition! I love the fact of the successes, from Dishoom to the Ivy next to us at BSK … it says a lot about what Edinburgh is about, and how thriving it is.

Describe the “completely new vibe” that Bread Street Kitchen promises to bring to Edinburgh?

It’s about the quality of breaking bread. The last 18 months has been the toughest in the industry but more importantly the toughest for families. BSK will absolutely allow us to once again to celebrate great food in a great atmosphere.

And it’s all-day dining. We’re getting rid of that pretentious 12-2pm and 7pm-10pm. Customers vote with their feet and if they vote with their feet they should decide when they want to eat. ‘Vote with your feet, decide when you want to eat.’ That’s f***ing great!

Have you noticed changes in the eating-out scene in Scotland?

I’ve noticed so much. First of all that chefs, female and male, are prolific and prominent and it’s not about a divide between England and Scotland. We’re united from seeing these chefs on the Great British Menu and the 50 Best Restaurants and seeing what remote locations are doing to the culinary world. It’s so exciting.

Hence the reason [for coming to Scotland]. It’s my roots. I’m going back home. So this for me is somewhat unique. We’re not desperately striving to be the best, or the best restaurant in Scotland. We want to be part of the best scene in Scotland.

Do you have plans for future Bread Street Kitchen & Bar openings in Scotland?

We do. There’s an ambition to open more. But first I want to focus on getting this one right, from Dan to the team, before announcing anything.

Read part two using the link below.

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