Scotland has the Atlantic on its doorstep, fresh mountain waters, lush rolling hills, fertile soil and varied weather, Scotland’s abundant natural larder is renowned for its unrivalled quality. From Aberdeen Angus beef, Shetland salmon and shellfish to Scottish whisky, ales, shortbread and much more, it’s no wonder the restaurant scene in Edinburgh is thriving.
For over a century, The Balmoral has served as an Edinburgh landmark and offers spectacular views of the city, alongside excellent hospitality and five-star facilities. The Balmoral began life as a grand railway hotel and continues to respect the traditions set by its founders, right down to the kilted doormen.
Chefs Brian Grigor & Jeff Bland spoke to us about their Michelin-starred restaurant, Number One and how it’s managed to be at the forefront of the Scottish foodie scene for over 20 years.
“Our belief in promoting seasonal, local produce and investing in local people has driven the hotel’s offering over the past two decades. By using twists on tradition to celebrate both seasonality and locality, we can safely say that the culinary clichés of old are falling by the wayside. As Scottish produce becomes renowned throughout the world, the subject of Scottish food conjures up images of the freshest scallops, salmon and game just as easily as haggis, neeps and tatties or shortbread.”
“The region’s abundant natural larder means that the freshest, finest produce is available on our doorstep, so food miles are kept to a minimum. As a result, dishes with provenance and a story to tell can now be discovered throughout the capital. At Number One, we rely on suppliers like Keltic Seafare and Bruce Shellfish, who have been working with us since the start, and new producers such as Secret Herb Garden and The Wee Tea Company are proving exciting new additions. Throughout the city, restaurants are championing local produce, using traditional ingredients in unique ways to offer a new take on Scottish fare. With the help of talented local suppliers, we’ve created The Balmoral’s own smoked salmon, a dish we hope represents Scottish food at its best. Every element of the dish is local, from the salmon sourced in the unspoilt waters surrounding the Shetland coast, to the whisky barrel chips used to smoke the salmon.”
“The success of Edinburgh’s burgeoning food and drink scene is not just down to the produce itself or the people who provide it; the passion with which dishes are served is also hugely important. Gary Quinn, restaurant director at Number One, has been with us for 20 years and has created a team of local and international service staff who embrace Scotland and relish the opportunity to speak knowledgeably and passionately about our dishes. The same is true for many establishments around the city, from casual cafés and bars to fine dining establishments. As we look ahead, we’re pleased to say that the Scottish food scene has never been better and we look forward to another flavour-packed year for Edinburgh.”