Geoffrey Smeddle is chef-proprietor of the Peat Inn in Fife, and food columnist for the Sunday Herald. Smeddle bought the well-regarded restaurant with rooms from David Wilson in 2006. Under Smeddle's ownership it has won a Michelin star.
Geoffrey Smeddle - Career guide
A history degree from Southampton University may have given Geoffrey Smeddle an unconventional start to his hospitality career, but he soon gathered momentum by working with some of the leading names of the past two decades.
He moved on from history to combine studies at Westminster University with work at the Oriel brasserie, Sloane Square ,before joining Herbert Berger (whom he names as a major inspiration) at the Grill Room, Café Royal (1995-1997). These roles were followed by positions at Restaurant Alain Ducasse, Paris, Orrery, and the Four Seasons in Chicago.
Smeddle left Chicago for Glasgow in 2003 to work at Conran's newly opened, Etain. In 2006 he took the reins of the Peat Inn.
The Peat Inn has continued a steady ascent, winning among other accolades, a Michelin star and two Scottish Restaurant Awards for Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year in 2010. It holds three rosettes in the AA Restaurant Guide and is an AA 5 red star inspector's choice restaurant with rooms.
Speaking to Caterer, he says that the Peat Inn, which he runs with his wife Katherine, aims to offer "elegance but in a charming rural setting", an ambition which critics agree has been achieved - one commenting that it has "flair without fuss".
Geoffrey Smeddle - What we think
Smeddle is a big thinker with an eye for detail - something he admits is important in the current climate.
"In today's economic environment, when bookings come in later and the pattern of business is not predictable, it is important to focus on what you do, and do it well. We tell all our staff this," he told Caterer.
Smeddle is not afraid to introduce new elements into the Peat Inn's offering, such as a £45 five-course chef's menu which is available alongside the set menu and a la carte lunches. Such broad thinking combined with the burgeoning Scottish food scene and his celebrated use of local produce should continue to ensure his place in the firmament.