Media Release: Gary Goldie named Scotland’s Chef of the Year


GARY Goldie, Chef de Cuisine at Ardanaiseig Hotel, has been named Scotland’s Chef of the Year at this week’s Scottish Hotel Awards.

Gary Goldie has spent the last 13 years at Ardanaiseig honing his skills to become a world-class chef with an international reputation for excellence.

A former Medaille D’Or winner, and recent recipient of a 3rd AA rosette, Gary’s latest accolade is testament to his boundless talent and hard-earned popularity with customers and industry peers.

In response to the award, Gary Goldie commented: “I am delighted to have received this award and would like to thank everybody in the kitchen at Ardanaiseig, particularly my Sous Chef Cornel Uys and Pastry Chef Kenny Whittle.

“Cooking is my passion. I think about ingredients and menus almost every minute of the day. When I am not in the kitchen, I am foraging for fresh ingredients or travelling to some of the best restaurants in the world.

“Although I often use international techniques in my cooking, I believe strongly in using fresh local ingredients wherever possible. Scotland’s countryside has so much great food to offer and I never tire of what’s out there and experimenting with how it can be prepared.”

According to hotel manager, Peter Webster: “We are extremely proud of Gary and have long believed that he is deserving of this accolade. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gary for his unrelenting dedication and passion– and our wonderful customers and industry colleagues for their votes and support.”

A seven-course taster menu at Ardanaiseig costs £50 per person. An overnight dinner, bed and breakfast stay at Ardanaiseig costs from £119. An one-on-one ‘Eat in Season’ cookery class with Gary costs from £85.

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Ardanaiseig is a mysterious, baronial-style, four-star country house hotel that rests at the foot of Ben Cruachan, on the shores of Loch Awe in the Scottish Highlands. Its tranquil setting makes for an ideal romantic escape or relaxing retreat. The consistently high level of service under award-winning manager, Peter Webster, draws people back to the hotel time and time again.

As well as being a delight to behold, Ardanaiseig is firmly established as a food-lovers hotel.  The five-course gourmet meals never fail to impress, thanks to the unique culinary flair of head chef and Medaille d’Or winner, Gary Goldie, and his use of the very finest local and international ingredients.

During the course of 12 years at Ardanaiseig, Gary’s reputation has gone from strength to strength as he continues to draw upon new inspirations and an endless resource of passion and creativity.

The ground, sky and waters around Ardanaiseig offer up an abundance of delightful ingredients. Gary regularly incorporates local produce into his recipes and can often be seen foraging or hunting for ingredients himself. The hotel as a year-round license to shoot roe deer and the Loch offers up a fine assortment of fish.  In the grounds, garlic, wild leek, hogweed, purple clover, wood sorrel, meadowsweet, land cress, nettles, elderflower, elder berries, raspberries, blackberries and rowan berries, to name but a few, are in plentiful supply.

Whilst for some, Ardanaiseig is the perfect place to unwind or find creative inspiration, for others it is the resting place after a day of outdoor adventure. A number of activities can be arranged as part of a stay at Ardanaiseig – from horse riding, flying, sailing and climbing, to deer stalking, fishing, clay pigeon shooting and foraging.

Ardanaiseig can be hired for exclusive use and is particularly popular for weddings and celebrations.

Ardanaiseig also offers gift vouchers for a number of special events an packages  at the hotel, from murder mystery weekends and pamper packages to  mushroom forages and wildlife photography breaks.

Ardanaiseig’s recent awards include Chef of the Year, AA 3 rosettes, AA 3 red stars, Intimate Wedding Venue of the Year, Gold Medal for Management Excellence, Gold Medal for Housekeeping and Romantic Hotel Restaurant of the Year.

About Gary

As a young boy, Gary spent several summers travelling across France in his father’s HGV.  These trips had a huge influence, introducing new tastes, textures and culinary experiences.

Gary vividly recalls a particular restaurant in which the guests, waiters and kitchen staff all sat together at a single table, tucking into course after course of fish, meats, potatoes and vegetables, each served on platters for all to share.

France continued to have a significant influence on Gary thereafter, drawing him back time and time again for both work and pleasure.

Eating in Michelin starred restaurants in Paris, Brittany, Bordeaux, and – most especially – Strasbourg, became a favourite pastime. 

At 16, Gary began his career at the Hospitality Inn with Joe Queen in his home town of Irvine. He had went on to work under Ralph Porciani at the Craigendarroch in Ballater, followed by Bill Costly at Lochgreen house in Troon, then with Pat McDonald at the Michelin starred Epicurean in Cheltenham.

After a stint as head chef in Tomintoul, Gary finally came to Ardanaiseig in 1997. Within a year Gary was promoted from sous-chef to head chef and has never looked back.

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Contact: Jill Ferguson
Phone: 07792345965