Overall ranking: 96 (NEW ENTRY)
Chef ranking: 33 (NEW ENTRY)
Andrew Fairlie – Snapshot
Scotland’s only two-Michelin-starred chef runs the 50-seat Andrew Fairlie at the prestigious luxury hotel Gleneagles, which is set in 850-acres of rolling Perthshire countryside.
Andrew Fairlie – Career guide
Aged twenty, Fairlie won the first Roux Scholarship in 1984, offering him the opportunity to train with legendary chef Michel Guerard at Les Prés d’Eugénie in Gascony, during a period when the UK’s food reputation on the world stage was poor and a foreigner working in a French kitchen almost unheard of.
Since then he has worked in Australia, Kenya, London, Ireland – as senior sous chef at Adare Manor in County Limerick – and France. In 1987 he was chef de cuisine on the Royal Scotsman train, part of Orient-Express, for two seasons.
Just prior to joining One Devonshire Gardens in 1994 he was at Hotel Disneyland, Paris, where he set up the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant before moving to the 360-cover California Grill, something Fairlie has credited for developing his organisational and management skills required to run a top-flight kitchen.
Come 1994 and Fairlie moved to Ken McCulloch’s 27-bedroom townhouse hotel One Devonshire Gardens (now part of Malmaison) in Glasgow to take on his first head chef role. McCulloch’s faith was rewarded with a Michelin star.
In 2001 Fairlie left One Devonshire Gardens – where his star was the city’s only one at the time – to open Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, committing £115,000 of his own money to the venture.
He achieved a Michelin star at Gleneagles in 2002 and also received the Newcomer of the Year Catey, placing his new endeavour on the map.
In 2005 Fairlie was literally placed centre front on the world stage when the G8 meeting of the world’s most powerful leaders was held at the Scottish resort, where he oversaw the menu which generated significant media interest.
Gleneagles received a second Michelin star in 2006, making it one of only eleven (at the time) to hold such an accolade. Fairlie also picked up the prestigious HIT Scotland Industry Award. He was also named Chef’s Chef of the Year at the AA awards.
In 2008 Fairlie was named Scottish Chef of the Year at the inaugural Scottish Restaurant Awards.
Andrew Fairlie – What we think
Winning the inaugural Roux Scholarship presented Fairlie with a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it’s fair to say that, sometimes at great personal cost, (including a failed marriage) he has seized that opportunity and literally put the hours in to rise to the very top of his game, setting an extremely high standard for any up and coming chef in Scotland (and the wider UK) to try and measure up to. Such is the man’s grit that diagnosis in January 2005 of a brain tumour after he sought medical advice having suffered epileptic fits for the first time, resulted in an operation and, just months on, Fairlie’s return to the kitchen, his ability and drive undiminished. A third star at some point? Certainly we wouldn’t put anything as beyond him, but irrespective of any such accolade he will continue to inspire young chefs across the land, not just in Scotland, demonstrating what hard work and natural talent can achieve.