We had a lovely chat with our head chef the other day to find out a few exciting facts about his job at Aldourie Castle. Richard has cooked and served food at the fairytale castle for four years and chefs daily for events and parties of guests who have taken over the Castle as their own home for a few days, a week or sometimes a month…
When did you know you wanted to be a chef?
My Grandfather had a small farm and butchers shop and I used work there at weekends when I was at school. I would go with my dad to deliver to local hotels and was interested in what I saw, so thought that was for me.
Where did you study?
I trained on the job by working in hotels and restaurants in Scotland and England
Describe the most challenging dinner you’ve had to cater for at Aldourie
Cooking a three course dinner by candlelight on the shore of Loch Ness was quite a challenge.
Which is your favourite room in the Castle?
I suppose I should say the kitchen…but it would be Lady Cameron bedroom for the great view down the loch, peace and quiet.
Do you prefer summertime or wintertime on the Aldourie Estate?
Definitely summertime, it’s light for 20 hours each day.
Do you prefer cooking for summer or winter events at Aldourie?
Again, summertime produce is much more plentiful and getting to cook outside is a bonus.
Where do guests usually have lunch in the sunny weather?
On the terrace looking down to Loch Ness.
What is your favourite Scottish dinner to serve?
I like to showcase Scottish produce so would usually start with a taste of haggis followed by hand dived scallops then maybe venison or beef, cranachan for dessert and some local cheeses to finish.
What is your favourite Scottish dish to eat?
Anything with shellfish
If you had to cook a delicious Jamie Oliver style 30 minute meal, what would you cook?
At this time of year Scottish salmon, asparagus & Jersey Royals, washed down with something from the Aldourie cellar.
The cellar at Aldourie is full of wines from all over the world – do you know how many wines you stock at any one time?
We stock about 80 different wines at present.
Some would say the Castle is haunted. Have you ever had a ghostly experience at Aldourie – if so will you tell?
No, I won’t believe in ghosts unless I was to see one.
What do you love most about your job?
Being able to cook the best of Scottish produce and working in a great environment.
What’s your favourite past time when you’re not cooking at the castle?
Going for a big walk with Loch Ness Lizzie!