Like all the best chefs who have ever run great restaurants in the Scottish Highlands – Gunn Erikson when she ruled the stove at Altnaharrie, Shirley Spear who set Skye alight with her cooking at the Three Chimneys, the brilliant Robert MacPherson at the Isle of Eriska – Jason ‘Bruno’ Birkbeck at the Torridon cares passionately about every ingredient on your plate. This is particularly noticeable in his meat dishes where he often serves his modern Scottish food with a surprise. Witness the perfect miniature shepherd’s pie served with the short loin of lamb or the beef tongue in little croquettes with his sensational braised blade of Highland beef.
Much of this beef, of course, is the Torridon’s own – there is no better way of knowing the provenance of your food than raising it yourself, there is no surer form of traceability.
Venison is also local, often from a nearby resort and Bruno loves to use the whole animal. You might find roast loin on the menu but served with little vension sausages or home cured Highland venison on the canapes or a stunning osso bucco made with venison shin.
Ask him about his style of cooking and he will say Modern British with a French influence but there is also a distinctive twist of Bruno which is all his own.