Head Chef at one of Glasgow's best brunch locations Glaschu, Dion Scott honed his skills in Heston Blumenthal's kitchens and some of London’s most famous restaurants. We sat down with him to talk favourite kitchen gadgets, underrated Scottish produce, the most challenging ingredients, and the inspiration behind his innovative menu at Glaschu.
What is your most memorable meal?
My honeymoon in Italy in 2005, we were in Rome, and it was my wife’s birthday, I arranged for two of our close friends to fly over to surprise her, we went to a tiny little taverna and had the best lardon (cured pork fat thinly sliced) and the perfect pumpkin ravioli, it really was the perfect meal with close friends.
What is your favourite kitchen tool/gadget and why?
Microplane grater, whether it is for zesting citrus fruits, finely grating garlic, finely grating spices or taking the rough edge off of a pastry case, it does its job perfectly.
What ingredient could you not live without and why?
Butter – whether it’s smothering a crusty piece of sourdough, used in an emulsion to finish veg, foaming in a pan to finish a protein, taken to a beurre noisette to produce a nutty flavour, I just couldn’t live without it.
If you could cook a meal for anyone (dead or alive), who would it be and what would you make?
It would have to be for my Mum, to say thanks for always being there. She likes prawns, simply boiled in salt water and chilled served with lemon and Marie Rose sauce. In Australia where I’m from, they do a version called Thousand Island Dressing.
What inspired each of the dishes on your menu for Glaschu?
Seasonality and availability are at the core of what we do and focussing on sourcing the finest possible produce from our Scottish and speciality suppliers. We’ll be changing the menu again in September for autumn and winter.
Do you have a favourite dish from this menu? Which one would you recommend?
The Wellington, the perfect indulgent sharing dish. Plus, it’s like a bit of comfort food with the pastry wrapped around the outside like a pie. Everyone loves a pie.
What is your favourite Scottish produce and why?
Blackthorn Salt from Ayrshire - it’s the best in Scotland. The team there - Gregory, Whirly and Malky have done an amazing thing with their brand. They’ve brought artisan salt making back to the Ayrshire coast with the only salt producing graduation tower not only in the UK but the entire world. The flavour is just unbeatable. They are true artisans.
What Scottish produce is most underrated?
I think it is the Scottish chippy, I lived in London for nearly 15 years and the offer was always “Fish & Chips” maybe a pie and 1/2 chicken if you were lucky. Up here it’s everything, pizza, pasta, haggis, black pudding, white pudding, chicken, pie, sausage, and fish done four or five different ways.
Are there any foods you just don’t like?
No, I would give anything a try at least once, maybe twice. When I was a child I hated liver, when I was a commis chef my head chef cooked me some and I loved it. He explained to me it’s not the ingredient, it’s the way it’s cooked.
What is the most challenging ingredient to work with?
There has been a couple I can recall, de-boning and stuffing pigeon legs, de-boning and stuffing whole quails, so probably fine butchery techniques I feel are the most challenging but having the right tools and making sure they are razor sharp
If you could give one piece of advice to a home chef, what would it be?
Read books and make sure you have all your ingredients and equipment before starting a recipe, things don’t always work out, learn from your mistakes.
What meal would you choose as your last supper?
It would have to be a full Sunday roast with my immediate family (whole chicken, rib of beef, pork belly, pot roast lamb shoulder) with all the trimmings (goose fat roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, cabbage, kale, green beans, yorkies, stuffing, gravy etc. etc.) Simple and then drift off into a food coma on the couch.
Glaschu is a beautifully styled food and drink destination that made its debut last July. Armed with a bold new menu and a renewed passion to become one of Scotland’s most loved restaurants, they re-opened their doors on 17th May. Situated in Glasgow’s Royal Exchange Square, Glaschu offers a taste of fine dining in the heart of the city. The bar and restaurant has already received rave reviews on Trip Advisor and has been recognised with a Traveller’s Choice award, making it a must-visit destination in Scotland. Booking is advised. For more information or to make a reservation please visit: www.glaschurestaurant.co.uk/