Tell us a bit about your background as a Chef...
My first job was in my local hotel when I was 16 years old, cooking really good gastro pub style food before it was popular. There were only 3 chefs in the kitchen back then, so we really had to be on the ball. On my first day, I had to cut and plate 200 portions of cheese for a Burns supper. It took me nearly 4 hours and I remember thinking to myself that it was the hardest thing I had ever done! It would take me 30 minutes now, but I always remember that day when training my young aspiring chefs!
What are you kitchen essentials?
In terms of ingredients, my kitchen essentials would be butter, cream and salt. Essential equipment would have to be my Thermomix blender; it blends, cooks and weighs (handy in any busy kitchen)! I always have it with me when starting in a new kitchen.
What's your food philosophy?
My style is simplistic, with particular emphasis on the quality of the ingredients - I'm passionate about comfort food and I like to use my fine dining expertise to create a unique casual and family dining experience.
What's your signature dish?
I'm always asked this and even now, after 20 years in the kitchen, I still struggle to choose a favourite! At present, I love cooking our seared Shetland salmon with smoked bacon and herb crushed potatoes - one of the main dishes from our Dining Room Menu.
What's your favourite meal at home?
Smoked salmon from Dunkeld, homemade bread and heaps of butter followed by roast dry-aged beef, duck fat potatoes and 'proper' Yorkshire puddings. To finish, I like to keep it simple with my homemade lemon tart - delicious!
What was your biggest kitchen disaster?
That would have to be the presentation of a haggis for the First Minister of Scotland... The French Head Chef burst the haggis, so I had to walk around the restaurant with a haggis wrapped in cling film, trying to hide it from everyone's view!
Who was your biggest influence?
My biggest influence is Drew Heron, a Scottish chef with meticulous standards and my mentor for 10 years. Drew achieved 3 Rosettes in all of his kitchens. He has since retired from cooking but he still remains my biggest inspiration. My favourite chef is Thomas Keller and his inspiring philosophy on food - "A great meal is not one that just fills you up. A great meal is a journey that returns you to sources of pleasure you may have forgotten and takes you to places you haven't been before."
Discover Graham's passion for food first hand with his new seasonal menus.
DIVINE, DELICIOUS, DELIGHTFUL
Afternoon Tea at The Daffodil means colour, creativity and indulgence as our Pastry Chef Heather presents her latest treat designed to bring the traditional afternoon tea bang up to date…READ MORE
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Al fresco dining has just taken a new twist on The Daffodil’s Lakeside Terrace as we bring you char-grilled BBQ favourites combined with stone-baked pizzas and flatbreads, not to mention a whole host of summer cocktails…READ MORE