Michael Mathieson – Working as an Executive Chef in a 5-star hotel in Edinburgh
Michael Mathieson prepares some of the best dishes in Scotland. Preparing meals for his brother and his friends let him develop his cooking skills when he was at the age of 14. Today he is a well-experienced Executive Chef and Consultant.
Today you are Executive Chef and Consultant with international and Michelin kitchen experiences. When did all start? What drove you to become a chef?
I’ve always had a love of cooking and I realised it very early. I would cook my big brother and his friends omelettes and “ready steady cook meals” when they came back late after a night out when I was just 14. It became a ritual and more and more friends came. It was a natural progression from there into a kitchen at 15.
Where does your passion for cooking come from?
You have it or you don’t, for me it’s never not been there. From eating in my grandad and grandma’s restaurant to eating potted sheeps Head from my mother. I’ve always loved food of any source!
Which cooking school did you visit?
Le Norte in Paris. I love France and the passion they have.
“We cook for those who come to us and not the
other way round” – Michael Mathieson
As young chef you worked in France at the Michelin 1-star restaurant Chateau du Montreuil and later at the Michelin 3-star restaurant La Cote St Jacques. What was your learning out of this time?
The perfection of cooking and the real love of a Chef, it was tough but it was invaluable to my career and what I aimed to achieve.
From France to Scotland’s 5-star hotel restaurant in Edinburgh, as Executive Chef. Apart from international dishes – which local specialities did you offer here?
Bespoke Michelin food. I would receive likes and dislikes and create dishes to the guests needs. We cook for those who come to us and not the other way round, lots of chefs forget this.
What are the very typical Scottish dishes?
Haggis, lots of potatoes, Neeps and whisky!
Your involvement at the Academy of Culinary Arts – what are you doing there?
I was looking after 7 schools and teaching and informing kids about the industry but most importantly about our local food and his to use it. It was a real joy.
After so many years of different chef experiences – how would you describe your own cooking style line today?
Arty, tasty, accessible.
The great and trendy topic Urban Farming – do you think Urban Farming has as well the potential to supply restaurants in the future?
Why not, who am I to put thus down. If it’s a quality product made with passion and love then it’s a product worth buying.
What is the best about being a chef?
The joy of pleasing people and bringing people together.
If you would open your own small and specialized restaurant, what would you offer?
Extremely tasty food affordable to all.
If you could choose any place in the world you have not been yet, where would you like to work as a chef for some time?
Thank you very much, Michael Mathieson!