Paul started at The Torridon in February, and has been extremely busy behind the scenes crafting his menu and getting to work with local ingredients. He shares an update below on what he has been working on.
It’s been an unusual start to my time here at the Torridon. I began back in February and within a month we had closed due to Covid-19. For me the year really started in July when we reopened on the 15th to welcome guests. Prior to this we gathered a new kitchen and front of house team, new suppliers were sourced and a rough idea of the direction in which to take the food was developed.
We have world class ingredients produced here in the Scottish Highlands and Islands and our job is to showcase these incredible products in the best possible way. If that means simply seasoning a piece of fish and serving it with a bit of bread and butter then we will. But the fish will be super fresh, caught off the shores of Scotland and delivered that morning. The salt that we season with will be from the Isle of Skye. The butter is from Orkney and the bread, a porridge sourdough from Inverness. A huge part of my job is sourcing high quality ingredients and deciding the best way to present them to our guests.
For me, it’s not about intricate garnishes but showing off the core product. The more simple the better. Flavour first is at the core of all my menus. The presentation will come but it always has to start with flavor. The team is very young and raring to go but we are not in a rush.
This year is about sourcing and developing ideas for next year and when we are not in the kitchen you’ll probably find us out in the garden either turning over soil, sowing or picking fruits and vegetables for that evenings dinner service. The garden will form a massive part of what we do here at The Torridon next year and we are in the process of sitting down and discussing how to best use the growing space. I’ve been able to see what works and what doesn’t in these northern climates and I’m looking forward to spending as much time growing as I do cook.