"I have always wanted the service to be as memorable as
"From very early on in my career as a chef I harbored a dream,
to one day own my own restaurant. I didn't really know what the
restaurant would look like, what kind of food I would be cooking,
how large or small it would be, but there were two things I was
certain it would be. It would be in Scotland and it would be
At the age of 36 I finally realized my dream. I opened
Restaurant Andrew Fairlie within the iconic Gleneagles Hotel in
heart of beautiful Perthshire, about 10 miles from where I grew up
as a child.
So in May of 2001 I opened a gastronomic restaurant, initially
serving 40 guests. I had a fixed idea on what style of food I
wanted to serve and I knew I wanted the service to be as memorable
as the food. I had a loyal group of brilliant small suppliers in
place, and I wanted to make use of the world-class natural produce
that Scotland exported, but rarely made great use of at home. I was
as sure as I could be that I was ready for the challenge, and in my
head I wanted Michelin recognition.
The one fundamental thing I knew I needed in order for this
business to work and be as successful as I wanted it to be, I
needed like-minded, talented, passionate and dedicated people to
work with me.
From day one I gathered a team of people around me, most of them
my friends, people I had worked with in the past, and we set about
opening a restaurant that we all wanted to be proud of. First and
foremost I wanted a working environment where we all respected each
other, we appreciated each other, we all looked after each other.
We were all working for the same goal, we all wanted to create a
special restaurant. Some of those key people remain with me today,
notably Dale my restaurant manager and Stevie my head chef, both of
whom continue to strive for perfection in their daily working
lives, but more importantly continue to nurture a sense of
belonging, a family atmosphere, an environment where people can
learn, have fun, work hard, make friends and go on and be as
successful as they want to be.
Of that I am most proud."