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Less than a year after opening his first restaurant, Castle Terrace, the 2011 Michelin Guide had signalled chef Dominic Jack as a rising star - and he is widely tipped to earn his first Michelin star in 2012.
Edinburgh-born Jack trained at Telford college, but he honed his budding talent at Gleneagles hotel at the age of 17. It was here that he met fellow chef Tom Kitchin, sparking a friendship that was to benefit them both. Jack went on to work at the Michelin-starred Fleur de Sel in Haslemere and then L'Arpege in Paris. He followed the Michelin-star trail for several years at restaurants such as the three-star Taillevent in Paris, before reuniting with Kitchin in 2008, by then chef-proprietor of the Kitchin in Leith.
The two became business partners and Castle Terrace launched in July 2010. While no doubt benefiting from the expertise of the team at its sister restaurant, 35-year-old Jack undoubtedly brought a great deal of talent to his enterprise, right through from service to food. Few would dispute that he's set a new Edinburgh standard in cooking and service and has nurtured a loyal kitchen and front-of-house staff.
Living and breathing the restaurant's "nature to plate" philosophy, Jack is a passionate ambassador of Scottish food and drink and is committed to using the local, seasonal ingredients. With mouthwatering menu options, such as Tiptoe Farm tatties, Newhaven lobster and Dornoch lamb, it's no wonder the 50-seat restaurant attracts an average spend of £45 per head.
As judge Robert Cook, chief executive of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, pointed out, "Castle Terrace is rising to the top of the Edinburgh eating-out scene, which is arguably the most competitive outside London."
Danny Pecorelli, managing director at Exclusive Hotels, agreed: "To differentiate yourself and stand out in a city with one of Britain's best restaurant scenes says it all."
ShortlistedBocca di Lupo, London
â- Castle Terrace, Edinburgh
â- Terroirs, London
The JudgesRobert Cook, chief executive, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin
Michael North, chef-proprietor, the Nut Tree Inn
Danny Pecorelli, managing director, Exclusive Hotels
David Pitchford, chef-patron, Read's Restaurant
Jennifer Sharp, journalist, Black Card Magazine
Paul Singer, managing director, London Fine Dining Group
Alastair Storey, chairman and chief executive, WSH