5 minutes with… chef Stuart Muir

Photo Credit: Susie Lowe Photography

At DINE in Edinburgh, chef Stuart Muir is the man behind the stoves, responsible for conceptualising and executing dishes for the busy restaurant. Muir is the executive chef and is also the youngest chef to earn a Michelin star in Scotland. His menu is a mix of brasserie classics and dishes that blend Scottish ingredients with worldly influences. Dishes like sweet and sour glazed corn fed chicken with spiced red cabbage, fondant potatoes and plum chutney highlight chef Muir’s commitment to local produce and his appreciation of complementing flavours.

Photo Credit: Susie Lowe Photography

DINE is located above the Traverse Theatre in the city’s cultural centre and is the first restaurant in the city to feature a 30-seat champagne bar and lounge. For Muir, DINE is the culmination of his work in kitchens in Europe and his upbringing in Scotland’s countryside. We caught up with the busy chef to learn more about his inspiration for cooking and his advice for younger chefs.

What inspired you to start cooking?

My love for food and cooking was born of a childhood spent fishing and shooting with my dad on Scotland’s rivers, lochs and moors and cooking this fresh, sourced produce with my mum. I’ve been cooking ever since.

What is your signature dish or dish you love cooking?

I don’t have a signature dish as I love cooking what’s in season and local produce. However, I do love cooking seafood and scallops are my favourite shellfish to work with. I’ll always use hand-dived scallops from the West Coast of Scotland and use them in a variety of ways, from taking centre stage in starters to garnishes of main courses.

What tips do you have for aspiring chefs?

I think it’s so important to build your curiosity of ingredients and produce from early on. Go and eat out in restaurants and find what type of cooking you love. Visit the farmers markets, try the produce and get to know suppliers. This will inspire and help you to create. It’s also important when looking for work experience or employment to choose an establishment that has pride in its ingredients. If there’s provenance behind it, the head chef cares and you will be well trained. Choose well – choose the right path early on.

When you’re not in the kitchen, where do you like to eat?

I don’t have too much time to eat out at the moment unfortunately but if I did have time then I would like to return to The Honours or try new eatery Forage & Chatter. I do love a Sunday brunch with the family at King’s Wark.

And when you have time to travel, where is your ultimate foodie destination?

For me it has to be Barcelona. I love their relaxed approach to dining and the type of food they offer. Everything from the charcuterie to the seafood is right up my culinary street.

If you’re local or visiting Edinburgh this year, be sure to book a table at DINE.

This is a guest post from Korsha Wilson, a food writer and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.