Edinburgh has become an established landmark on the UK food scene, and its international influence is growing fast. The city has a vast variety of dining experiences on offer for you to enjoy from fine-dining establishments to casual cafés, bars and street-food restaurants. Scotland’s capital is home to four Michelin-starred restaurants, including Number One at The Balmoral which retained its star in 2016 for the 14th consecutive year. Executive chef at The Balmoral, Jeff Bland and Number One’s head chef Brian Grigor found time in their busy schedules to discuss Edinburgh’s infamous dining scene with us.
Jeff and Brian have found that independent restaurateurs are receiving excellent support by locals, who have seen an abundance of new openings over the past year. Pop-up experiences also continue to prove popular with events such as the full-moon dinners at the Secret Herb Garden, street food at The Pitt and many supper clubs popping up from Stockbridge to the New Town. Farmers Markets, from Castle Terrace to Leith, are helping to bring local producers together while encouraging foodies to explore more of the region’s fresh seasonal produce.
Scottish produce is renowned throughout the world, and over the past decade Edinburgh’s culinary growth has proven to locals and visitors alike that there’s more on offer than haggis, neeps and tatties. In fact, the region lends itself perfectly to the production of some truly outstanding ingredients as Jeff and Brian proudly explained:
‘At The Balmoral we’ve worked with home-grown suppliers to create our own Balmoral smoked salmon, introduced a bee hive to our roof top to make our own honey, and produced our own single-malt whisky to serve in our whisky bar, Scotch. The region’s abundant natural larder means that the freshest, finest produce is available on our doorstep. Every year we look forward to the Glorious 12th, the official beginning of the grouse season. This year we’ve been working with Lammermuirs Moorland Group to promote the positive aspects of the grouse industry in Scotland. There’s a special heritage to this very traditional time of year and we are always proud to be one of the first restaurants in the city to serve grouse at the beginning of the season.’
Jeff and Brian also extended a special mention to the Borders region which has produced and supplied Number One with outstanding produce throughout the year. From salted butter from Stichill to game from Johnny Rutherford at Burnside Farm Foods near Kelso and free-range chicken from Linda Dick near Peebles, they have seen a significant increase in the quality of local produce arriving in the kitchen.
Service remains an integral part of the dining experience in Edinburgh. With this in mind Gary Quinn, restaurant director at Number One, has placed an emphasis on training and development in order to ensure that the experience is continuously aligned with the best restaurants in the world while offering that uniquely warm Scottish welcome to guests.
‘Over the next year we look forward to training the next generation of chefs coming into the industry.’
Scottish food has never been better and you can bet that we have another fruitful year to look forward to in Edinburgh. Check out the Edinburgh Food and Drink Guide 2016, where you can view our review of Number One alongside other recommendations for the best places to eat out in this beautiful Scottish city.
You can request a free copy of our Edinburgh Food & Drink Guide here, or view online below: