Chef Stuart Muir is the executive head chef at DINE in Edinburgh. He was born in Stranraer in 1969 and education at Stranraer Academy. His ambition at school: “I always wanted to be a chef. There was nothing else I ever really wanted to do”.
Growing up in is very remote part of Dumfries and Galloway and it’s untouched wilderness, he learned many skills that still serve him well today including how to tie his own Flies for fishing the local rivers for wild trout. His father would also take Stuart shooting for pheasant, duck, geese and pigeon on the nearby moors bring the birds home and hang them up in the families garage. He understood from an early age how to pluck and gut the catch and then alongside his mother in the kitchen the skills of cooking fresh game and fish. This upbringing forged his passion for local, seasonal produce that has been present throughout his career to the opening of his own restaurant, Dine in Edinburgh.
To this day he still holds the accolade of being the youngest Scottish chef to be awarded a coveted Michelin Star.
Chef’s Table wanted to find out a little more about what other influences help space his menus today of classic brasserie style dishes with an emphasis on Scottish seasonality and locally sourced ingredients.
CT: Which Chef/s influenced you in the past? Who continuous to influence you now?
SM: For me, it’s always been Rick Stein for his love of seafood and travelling. His innovative dishes never fail to impress.
CT: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)
SM: Eleven Madison Park in New York. Owned by esteemed chef Daniel Humm, its evolution in food and culinary experience has put it top of my wish list. I’m desperate to try the famed ten-course tasting menu.
Website – https://www.elevenmadisonpark.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ElevenMadisonPark/
CT: If you could change any misconceptions about restaurants/restaurant food, what would they be?
SM: Dining out and experiencing great food made with locally sourced ingredients doesn’t have to be expensive. When we launched Dine back in 2015 we saw this gap in the Edinburgh market so this has become what the restaurant is all about – affordable yet innovative seasonal fayre in relaxed luxury surroundings.
CT: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”
SM: Grilled langoustines with garlic butter and some crusty bread washed down with Charles Heidsieck’s Blanc des Millénaires
CT: What is the one piece of kitchen equipment you could not do without and which would you never use or want to see in your kitchen?
SM: I couldn’t be without my specialist set of knives and there are other’s in the kitchen I wouldn’t use or try.
CT: What is your favourite dish on the current menu that you have created in the past 6 months and why.
SM: I am loving our hand-dived scallop starter dishes which comes in various incarnations. It’s also a customer winner too.
CT: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?
SM: It would have to be legendary French chef and restaurateur Georges Auguste Escoffier. He popularised and updated French cooking and his disciplined methods and techniques made him a modern cooking visionary.
My Favourite Tables– Two restaurants I have visited and why?
- Paul Tamburrini’s eponymous restaurant in Edinburgh is a blend of French cuisine and Scottish ingredients – it’s an exceptional experience for the diner and I love his passion for locally sourced produce, especially game.
Website – www.paultamburrini.co.uk
2) Frog by Scottish chef Adam Handling in Convent Garden is another favourite. His technical skills coupled with inimitable cooking style makes for an outstanding experience.
Website – www.frogbyadamhandling.com
Michelin starred Stuart Muir is executive chef and co-owner of the multi-award winning brasserie, Dine. www.dineedinburgh.co.uk 0131 218 1818
The Favourite Tables Top Ten Restaurants from the last twelve months has been compiled from the number of visits to the restaurant’s page on the Favourite Tables website. This was then weighed against the social marketplace of active “Facebook” likes. More weight was given to restaurants with the most recent new likes on Facebook.
Unlike some other “lists” which are compiled from single “Food Experts” comments or the hit and miss “drive-by” reviews some “Travel” websites favour, the Favourite Tables list has been formed from analysing the locations that were most popular with ordinary people using the website to find great places to eat. With the restaurant’s social media activity across Facebook, where real people “like” a restaurant because they genuinely had a good experience and Twitter for follows and re-tweets were added as a rating.
The cumulative total creates a list of the most popular and best-loved restaurants:
Topping the list is the very popular – Adams Restaurant in Birmingham
Head Chef: Tom Shepherd’s recent Interview with Chef’s Table HERE
The Top Ten UK Places People Have Wanted To Eat At:
Position Last Year – 03
2) Ynyshir – North Wales
(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/ynyshir/) – Head Chef Interview HERE
Position Last Year – Highest New Entry
3) Romulo Cafe – London
(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/romulo-london/) – Head Chef Interview HERE
Position Last Year – New Entry
4) The Dining Room at Chewton Glen – Hampshire
Position Last Year – New Entry
5) 64 Degrees – Brighton
(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/64-degrees/) – Head Chef Interview HERE
Position Last Year – 01
6) Lympstone Manor – Exmouth Devon
(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/lympstone-manor/) – Head Chef Interview HERE
Position Last Year – 04
7) The Old Downton Lodge – Ludlow
(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/old-downton-lodge/) – Head Chef Interview HERE
Position Last Year – New Entry
8) The Coal Shed – London Tower Bridge
Position Last Year – New Entry
9) Pale Hall – North Wales
(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/pale-hall/) – Head Chef Interview HERE
Position Last Year – New Entry
10) Prevost – Peterborough
(http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/prevost) – Head Chef Interview HERE
Position Last Year – 05
A few restaurants have proved very popular recently and are just outside the Top Ten simply because they have only been listed for a short period so when looked at over the past twelve months the count of visits was lower.
Alchemilla – Nottingham (http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/alchemilla/)
The Hand – North Wales (http://www.favouritetables.com/restaurant/the-hand-at-llanarmon/)
Tyddyn Llan our favourite Michelin restaurant
“Tyddyn Llan was our first Michelin star restaurant and we go back at every opportunity. Delicious food, beautiful rooms and FOH, particularly Susan, always most welcoming. Love it!”
James started his culinary career at the age of 12 working on a Saturday morning in an Italian restaurant in Newport, Chez Chiovanni, after leaving school he started his first full time cooking position at the Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel near Usk.
It was from there, at the age of 16, that he decided to move to Scotland and worked at Farleyer House Hotel under the guidance of Head Chef Richard Lyth, it was whilst being taught by Richard that he gained the understanding of seasonality, quality and the essence of flavour. Whilst in Scotland he cooked at the dinner to celebrate the opening of the Scottish Parliament and was also shortlisted as Young Scottish Chef of the Year. after a few years working in Scotland, he met future wife Louise and after marrying and having their first daughter James decided to move his family returning to his home country- Wales.
Back in Wales in August 2000 he started at the Crown at Whitebrook as Sous Chef and became Head Chef in late 2003, four years later obtained his first Michelin Star, an achievement he is rightly hugely proud of. He retained the coveted Michelin star until 2013 when the “Crown” closed its doors. Recently reopened under new ownership as The Whitebrook
2014 saw James and Louise open Restaurant James Sommerin in Penarth. James and wife Louise were determined to make the restaurant with rooms a success and are rightfully very proud of what they and their team have achieved. A Michelin star in 2016, AA Restaurant of the Year – Wales 2016-2017, 4 AA rosettes, Restaurant of the year 2016 for Wales at the Food Awards Wales and Number 34 in the Good Food Guide for 2017, also achieving 5 stars for rooms with the AA and Visit Wales.
” We pride ourselves on being a family run business, with myself heading up the kitchen, Louise front of house and our 3 girls never far away “
Chef’s Table Asked:
Q: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”
A: My late grandmother has always been my inspiration, cooking with her on the weekend gave me my love and passion for cooking and I will always be eternally grateful. So I would have to say my late grans beef brisket, gravy & veg
Q: Have you ever been presented with a dish/ingredient that you just could not eat and where was that?
A: Durian Fruit – tried it in Singapore in 2012. It tasted horrendous, I can’t even put it into words.
Q: If there were a “Fantasy League” of Chefs, who would make up your perfect brigade?
A: Richard Lyth, Michele Roux Snr, Grant Achatz, Alex Stupak, Brett Graham & Eric Frechon
Q: What’re the most overused words on restaurant menus’ today
A: where can I start – Textures of, deconstructed & foraged!
Q: Having worked and trained in Scotland what food preparation or styles of cooking did you learn then that you still utilise today. What was on the menu for the opening of Parliament dinner?
A – oh gosh, butchery.
The menu hmmm, I’m sorry I can’t remember back that far it must be a sign of my age now.
Q: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use ingredients or produce from your most local supplier?
A: Old Cogan Farm Penarth where we get our Welsh Lamb which we serve with Broad Beans and Turnip.
Q: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?
C – That’s a tough one, I couldn’t narrow it down to 1 person.
My Favourite Tables – Two restaurants I have visited and why?
Restaurant 1 – The Greenhouse in Mayfair – fantastic cooking, every time we go (and we’ve been a few) staff are all very friendly.
Restaurant 2 – Geranium in Copenhagen, cooking on another level
Chef Tom Shepherd has a career that includes being Senior Sous Chef in 2 Michelin starred Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park Hotel and Head Development Chef at the eponymously name Restaurant Sat Bains, also a holder of 2 Michelin Stars. Tom has recently joined Adam’s in Birmingham which is owned and run by Adam & Natasha Stokes. Adam’s is a 50 cover restaurant in Birmingham city centre on Waterloo Street. Now it’s permanent location having spent almost 3 years as a ‘pop-up’ style restaurant. The restaurant premises has an impressive bar area, private dining room and a chef’s table that overlooks the kitchen.
Chef Owner Adam Stokes, commented ‘we are really excited Tom is joining the restaurant and looking forward to progressing together, we feel his food ethos and management style will really suit the restaurant’
Tom’s culinary career had more humble beginnings in the Birmingham/Sutton Coldfield area and commented: ‘I am relishing coming to work at Adam’s and alongside Adam and the team to progress to the next level, also that I am returning to my hometown. I feel that I am joining the best restaurant in Birmingham which has the perfect platform to achieve our targets’. Could this suggest a second Star for Adam’s is one of this local lads dream targets?
- How important is it now to be cooking in the town where you grew up?
A. I am delighted to be cooking in my home city, I always knew I would return at some point in my career and for this opportunity it had to be it. I am immensely excited and intrigued to see what the future holds with Adam’s.
- If you could invite any chef past or present to cook alongside you for one night who would that be and why?
A. Very simple, Gordon Ramsey. He genuinely was and still is a huge inspiration to me. For what he has done, continues to do for our industry also his own achievements are there for all to see. A true legend who I would one day love to meet and maybe even cook for!
- If you could change any misconceptions about restaurants what would they be?
A. The main misconception about restaurants and food which I would like to change is that some people feel that Michelin star restaurants are posh and stuffy environments that only serve tiny portions of food and you pay a premium for this. This is so far from the truth and the modern interpretation of a Michelin starred restaurant, in actual fact, it is the polar opposite. Here at Adams and many of the top restaurants in the country, we offer an extremely relaxed and comfortable dining experience, that showcases the team’s ethos and skill set of food. Hopefully giving you a meal that surpasses your expectations.
- If you were not a chef, what could you have been?
A. If I was not a chef I would have been either something to do with sports or racing. I love pretty much all sports from football to fishing and darts to golf. I equally enjoy all types of motor racing, Formula 1, Speedway and Moto GP, so I would definitely be involved in a competitive sport!
- With the increases TV food programmes, is there a greater rivalry amongst chefs?
A. I feel the increase of TV has only strengthened and united the ‘rivalry’ among chefs. It is fantastic that our industry is getting so much coverage and is so popular. There are so many different avenues within this industry and it is great that so many of them are being noticed and prompted. It will only get stronger hopefully with more interest from the new generation of chefs coming through.
- Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you have not had the opportunity to visit yet)
A. I would love to visit Alinea in Chicago, I have always held this restaurant in very high regard and the book was on another level when I bought it. The food seems so interesting and innovative and it is somewhere that visually excites me and therefore constantly on the top of my ’To go’ list.
- What is your favourite dish on the current menu in which you use produce from your most local supplier?
A. One of my favourite dishes on the menu at the moment is a Mushroom dish. We use beautiful Scottish foraged Girolles, make a rich roasted puree from the trimmings and it is finished with black truffle, local organic egg yolk, crispy skin also some homegrown micro tarragon. Delicious
My Favourite Tables – Two restaurants I have visited and why?
- Ynyshir restaurant and rooms – @GarethWard1 – @YnyshirRest
This one is simple, Gareth Ward is cooking the tastiest, flavour driven, locally sourced plates of food in the UK. I love him and Ynyshir. It is the complete package, it is all about flavour and the simplistic yet incredible depth of delivery of every course. I can not recommend it enough!
- Henne Kirkeby Kro @coquus69 @paulfood @hennekro Paul Cunningham at Henne delivered my best dining experience I have ever had, again local and very much flavour driven but using the best ingredients I have ever eaten. I was spoilt rotten and watched them cook it too. It was unorthodox and the most unique team I have ever seen, an institution in how every kitchen can be run. An amazing setting with amazing people serving and producing some absolute knockout food. The best yet.
Gareth Ward is Chef Patron at Ynyshir, a Michelin star, four AA rosette restaurant and rooms which offers dining experiences featuring, in Gareth’s own northern dialect, ‘Alternative British Snap (food)’ packed with flavour. Its location between the Welsh coast and Snowdonia National Park means Gareth can handpick the best ingredients from Wales, and beyond, seeing the whole British Isles as his larder.
Gareth started his cooking career straight out of school aged 16, working in kitchens in the north east before deciding to move to Rutland and take a job at Hambleton Hall. Working in the 1 Michelin star kitchen for five years, he rose from commis chef to junior sous. When he decided to leave Hambleton he moved back north to work at Seaham Hall, which had just gained its star. He stayed here for two years before taking his first Head Chef role at Hart’s Restaurant in Nottingham, a part of the Hambleton family. Whilst here, he was awarded the city’s ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and gained his first 2AA rosettes.
Gareth’s next step was to move to Restaurant Sat Bains, which when he joined had 1 Michelin star. During his time here as Sous Chef, the restaurant gained its coveted second star and came in the San Pellegrino Top 100 Restaurants, whilst being a regular in the top 10 of the Good Food Guide.
In 2013, Gareth was ready to take the reins again himself and arrived at Ynyshir, then named Ynyshir Hall, as their new head chef. In his first full year, he was awarded his first Michelin Star and then gained 4AA Rosettes shortly afterwards, the only place in Wales at the time to hold the accolade, and the first time for Ynyshir. Success continued as Gareth was also noted as the Good Food Guides ‘Chef to Watch’, receiving 7/10 and placing the restaurant in the UK’s Top 50. Ynyshir was in the final two restaurants in the UK in the Cateys ‘Menu Watch’ and included in the Times Top 100 Restaurants, one of only 4 in Wales.
In September 2016, Gareth was made Chef Patron of Ynyshir, at which point he and his partner Amelia Eriksson, General Manager, made the decision to convert from a hotel to a Restaurant with Rooms, renaming the business as just ‘Ynyshir’. Gareth and the team are hugely passionate about using the best ingredients to create dining experiences that surprise guests with flavour on another level.
2017 has seen Gareth and Amelia continue working on the property’s refurbishment, with each stage moving Ynyshir further away from a traditional country house hotel, towards an exceptional destination restaurant with rooms. Favourite tables welcomed Ynyshir to it’s Unique Destinations programme early in 2017 and recently chatted with Gareth and asked the following questions:
What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question” An epic Sunday roast, cooked by me!
Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet) Maaemo in Oslo which was awarded 3 michelin stars in the last guide
How important is a Michelin star? For us and our location, it is very important – there has to be a reason to get people to come out to see us and having a star is the start of putting us on the map. To push forward to progress to 2 stars is our goal so that we could really turn Ynyshir into a destination for food.
What do you think about reviews? They are very important to spread the word and hopefully increase business.
Your Menu says “with a Japanese twist” how is this evident in the food and where did this influence come from. Our menus are very much about being British ingredient led and flavour packed, we just use a few ingredients that are of Japanese origin. These, such as miso, mirin and soy, are used because they allow us to get as much flavour out of the other ingredients, and are so light that you can still eat 20-courses and not be too full.
What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use produce from your most local supplier? Salt Welsh Wagyu Rib with Shiitake
If you could invite any Chef past or present to cook alongside you for one night who would that be and why? Alex Bond (who has just opened his first restaurant in Nottingham called Alchemilla) because he is a complete legend!
Favourite Tables…. Please give us the name of and why you dine there of two restaurants that you have visited a couple of times. If you know twitter, Facebook & web address please include
Alchemilla (www.alchemillarestaurant.uk) because Alex is doing some amazing things with home grown ingredients in a very cool space
Bar Iberico (www.baribericotapas.com) because I love eating small plates of things and the relaxed atmosphere it has.
Chef Patron at Ynyshir Restaurant, Gareth Ward in a one-off event at The Twenty Six
A “one night only” nine-course tasting menu event will take place on 17th September, at The Twenty Six in Tunbridge Wells.
Gareth’s menus at Ynyshir reflect seasonal availability of Welsh and British ingredients from both sea and land, including Dyfi Valley Welsh lamb, wild deer, duck and partridge, foraged sea herbs at Ynyslas beach and wild garlic in the Cumbrian mountains. Ynyshir is a Michelin star, four AA rosette restaurant with rooms, and is number 12 in The Good Food Guide 2018
Cooking at The Twenty Six, Gareth and his team will create a dining experience to showcase Ynyshir, that takes guests on a creative journey through Wales and the British Isles over a nine-course tasting menu
With only 26 places available for this exclusive culinary night, it’s certainly not one to be missed.
When: September 17th, 2017 – guests to arrive at 7.30 for drinks, to be seated for dinner at 8 pm. Served in one sitting for dinner on a long communal table to 26 guests
Tickets: £60 per person. Reservations are open on www.thetwenty-six.co.uk or call The Twenty Six on 01892 544607 to book. A deposit will be taken at the time of booking.
Where: The Twenty Six, 15a Church Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN4 0RX
Well what can I say other than this was a magical evening and emphasised the reason why Midsummer House is my favourite Michelin Star restaurant. Such a fantastic warm and friendly welcome on our arrival that made us feel right at home straight away.
We were first served a lovely homemade Gin & Tonic which was lovely. We decided to have the 8 Course Tasting Menu to which we were asked if we’d like to see the Menu or be surprised we decided to be surprised. So firstly the Amuse Bouches were a delight before moving to the first course a Pumpkin Veloute then Braised Pork Knuckle & Raclette Cheese simply stunning followed by a fantastic Scallop dish
Then came the signature course of Roast Quail with Shallot Purée & Sour Dough simply Devine then came a delightful Monkfish course then I have to say my favourite course which was Venison accompanied by amazing Venison sausage rolls
Before Dessert we chose to have a Cheese course and they had the most wonderful Cheese trolley
Now on to my favourite part of any meal Desserts and both were fantastic firstly the Aerated Pear with Blueberry then the Passion Fruit,Yoghurt Sorbet & Dark chocolate then when you think you can’t eat anymore outcome the treats some amazing Doughnuts and Chocolates.
I would like to thank the Sommelier for a fantastic selection of matching wines that just went perfectly with every course also to every member of staff who’s service was exceptional. I hope that Midsummer House soon gets a third Michelin Star because based on this visit they certainly deserve them.
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- At the Chef’s Table – Jeremy Villanueva, Head Chef, Romulo Café London on
- We Chat to MasterChef Finalist Scott Barnard on
- Chef’s Table visits the Italian Embassy on
- BBC MasterChef Winner Jamie Scott – revisited on
- BBC MasterChef Winner Jamie Scott – revisited on
- #Win Tickets for You and a Friend to cook some great Thai Food on
- War of the Roses, a foodie battle of epic “portions”
- Punjab Curry Supper returns to The Fox at Lyng
- Favourite Tables Top Ten Restaurants
- Forget the Indian Summer, how about Christmas in a Tipi
- Look what we discovered in Soho…..
- Is this the “Perfect” answer to eating out on a Sunday with young children?
- Chef Cyrus Todiwala sits down with Chef’s Table
- Matt Waldron, Head Chef at Park House Cardiff Talks to Chef’s Table
- Chef Stuart Muir of Dine Edinburgh talks to Chef’s Table
- The Five Fields
- We meet with Alex Boyd Executive Head Chef at Caxton Grill for Chef’s Table
- Tyddyn Llan our favourite Michelin restaurant
Find A Cuisine
About Favourite Tables
Our ethos is about places people love – always has been, always will be.
We know that most people choose where to eat based on recommendations from friends and family, a social interaction – a Social Marketplace
Favourite Tables is just that – our recommendations and reviews are from people who love where they go and go back to.
The popularity of each Favourite Tables restaurant is assured on the Social Marketplace and through the restaurant reviews they receive.
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