Amy - Chef de Partie
What is your role here at The Torridon?
My name’s Amy, I’m a chef at the Torridon hotel and I’ve been working here since February.
What originally brought you to work at The Torridon?
I moved to Torridon because my partner was here. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have come here otherwise as I’ve not lived anywhere so remote before but I’m glad I did – I can’t put into words how it feels to wake up and walk to work with all the mountains around you. There is an amazing team here and it’s nice to be part of that community.
What does your job entail on a day to day basis?
Day to day I do all the normal things you do in a kitchen – prep up for service, general kitchen jobs and then the nightly service. However, it’s a bit different here because we make everything ourselves and also try to use a lot of produce from the surrounding areas and kitchen garden. I’m on pastry at the minute so I’m involved with the afternoon teas, as well as desserts of course as well as snacks before the meal and petit fours after. I don’t think there’s many places in Britain that make their own puff pastry, and even less that make a fruit jelly with blackcurrants less than a five minute walk from the kitchen.
Tell us your favourite thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is being able to work with fantastic produce. It’s not just spending afternoons collecting fruits and vegetables in the garden, it’s also the fish and meats coming from all over the highlands that are truly the best quality in the world.
Also, having a lot of produce come from the Torridon farm itself is an experience I’ve not had before. Seeing the cows graze in the field everyday, and feeding the pigs every day during lockdown – these things make you have a lot more respect for the produce when it arrives on your work bench. It’s not just a leg of ham or sirloin steak anymore, it was a living animal and it deserves the best treatment we can give it.
What is your favourite thing about the area?
It’s difficult to say my favourite thing about the area because there’s so much to pick from! Beinn damh which is right behind the hotel is a fantastic walk, and doesn’t take too long. There’s also a great little river out towards Kinlochewe which is hidden from the road, it’s a lovely place for a swim and a picnic. Shieldaig has a great pub which serves local seafood – it’s a good place to unwind on your days off.
Are there any ‘must sees’ for visitors to the area?
When you’re driving back to the hotel there’s a little turn off just before you get to the valley. It’s the viewpoint from Kinlochewe, and at dusk it’s the most fantastic view I’ve ever seen. You can see all the way across the loch, and all the hills coming up around it, every time I drive on that road it takes my breath away and I would say anyone coming here has to see that view.
Is there any advice you would give to someone applying to join the Torridon team?
For anyone coming to work at the Torridon I would say you need to be comfortable in your own company, because it isn’t like living in a city and there aren’t always people around. At the same time you need to be a team player and able to have a chat with anyone, because there’s very much a team spirit here and you want to be able to make the most of that.