Chef-patron, Norn, Edinburgh
Nominated by Jessica Sneddon, PR manager, Charlotte & Joseph PR and Marketing
Proudest moment “Being able to serve a meal to my family in my own restaurant for the first time. It felt amazing and surreal that all I had talked of doing since I started my career was now a reality, and for them to see what I had worked for.”
Greatest inspiration “Working for Geoffrey Smeddle at the Peat Inn in Fife has had a huge influence on me. But I would say my wife, Laura, has been my biggest inspiration in helping us achieve what we have at the restaurant. She gave up so much for me to chase this dream and that wouldn’t have been possible without her.”
Ambition “I aim to focus on continually improving and evolving the restaurant. I would also like to get more involved in the environmental aspects of our industry and be a part of making that better. Also, I have my eyes set on a few new projects over the next year to help expand the business into new avenues.”
Scott Smith started his career 13 years ago as a potwasher in a bistro in Aberdeen. His first chef role was at Casa Salvatore in Aberdeenshire, where he started as a commis and worked his way to the top over two years.
Following a variety of roles in a range of restaurants, including the Michelin-starred Peat Inn under Geoffrey Smeddle, Smith felt inspired to open his own restaurant, Norn, in Edinburgh, in May 2016. Norn has since achieved and surpassed its business plan, turning over £400,000 in the first year.
One of the most important things Smith has learned is how beneficial it is to look after staff and so, at the start of 2017, he decided to close the restaurant for lunch to ensure better working conditions for his 12 employees.
Norn has been praised by critics, including the late AA Gill, who said the restaurant had “a lot to be proud of”. It has also featured in The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Restaurants in the UK. Smith has his eyes set on a few projects over the next year to expand the business – it seems his entrepreneurial journey has just begun.