An extraordinary individual

On Tuesday 22nd January 2019, Chef Andrew Fairlie passed away after a long battle with cancer. Throughout his life and career, Andrew led the way for outstanding cuisine, service and culture and did so with great judgement, humility, humour and inspiration.

A Tribute to Andrew


Following a classical apprenticeship and the formative years of his chef training under Keith Podmore, Andrew quickly came to understand the importance not only of craftsmanship but of mentorship throughout his career. Having benefited from Keith's tutelage, Andrew went on to win The Roux Scholarship in its inaugural year and from there on, Andrew enjoyed a lifelong relationship with both Albert and Michel Roux. Andrew became a judge and Head of Scholars in his later career and this was a particular source of pleasure and professional satisfaction to him.



Through winning the Roux Scholarship, Andrew then had the life changing experience of working with Michel Guerard at the legendary Les Pres d'Eugenie. This would inspire Andrew throughout his career and be the benchmark to be measured against when launching his own restaurant. Guerard's ethos of 'simple food brilliantly done' is one that still inspires our current kitchen brigade. Having learnt from the very best in the industry, Andrew proved he was a great student and was always grateful for what his mentors had instilled in him. Returning to the Roux Scholarship as a judge, Andrew took pride in giving back, both through the scholarship and in his own kitchen.



Many of us at the restaurant have felt firsthand the qualities Andrew displayed as a mentor. None more so than our Head Chef Stephen McLaughlin, who joined Andrew's brigade at the age of 17 and spent 26 years at his side. This life and career shaping experience has made Stephen the perfect person to carry Andrew's ethos on food into the next generation of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie. It's hard to imagine Scotland's (and wider afield) current culinary landscape without Andrew's input. The alumni of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie are now leading 2 star kitchens as far flung as Cambridgeshire and California and 1 star kitchens throughout Scotland.



It wasn't only as a Chef Mentor that Andrew's influence was felt. His understanding of the importance of service to a great meal experience meant he built and developed great people in front of house. Dale enjoyed 19 years as Andrew's Manager, and there's a staggering 40+ years of service under Andrew in the front of house team alone.

Andrew's overarching ability was to be more than just a chef, a restaurateur, a judge or a mentor. I think we would all feel the arm of friendship that came along with any interaction that we shared with him. That friendship motivates and inspires us to take Restaurant Andrew Fairlie into the future