Small Talk

Jason Wright on The Fish Eatery, local suppliers and restaurant identity

By Lauren Houghton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Jason Wright, executive chef of Steak and The Fish Eatery
Jason Wright, executive chef of Steak and The Fish Eatery

Related tags: Culinary art, Chef, Seafood

Jason Wright, executive chef of Steak restaurant at Twelve Picardy Place hotel in Edinburgh, has recently opened The Fish Eatery next door and plans to open further restaurants in the next few years.

Can you tell us more about the work that’s gone into opening the new restaurant?

I wanted a new challenge and that was why the idea of The Fish Eatery was born. I knew I wanted to serve the best Scottish seafood from local suppliers at affordable prices. The restaurant has brought me back to my roots.

It was always our plan to branch out, but we had no set direction at first. For me, fish was always a staple food growing up, and I often cooked it too. It seemed a natural progression to go from one restaurant that specialised in one thing and did it well, with Steak, to creating another restaurant that specialised in something else entirely.

At the end of the day, we could have opened another steak restaurant, but we wanted Steak to be a standalone concept and we didn’t want to lose its identity.

Do you have any other plans in the works?

I have always been really ambitious and I have lots of plans for the future. I’m only 28 and so far I’ve opened two restaurants which I am very proud of, but I don’t intend to stop there.

I don’t want to say too much at the moment, but I will say that I have three projects in the pipeline which I am working on. I am currently in talks with our management team and I am really excited about it all so watch this space.

What does your typical day at Twelve Picardy Place involve?

Anything and everything. At the moment the general manager for Twelve Picardy Place has been off on paternity leave, so I have been managing both Steak restaurant and The Fish Eatery as well as our boutique hotel. I have been running both kitchens as well as managing the service in the restaurants and our bar, Beer and Skittles.

How did you become involved in the industry?

When I left school I went to work for my dad who was a sheet metal worker with his own business. I used to travel the world with him designing bespoke kitchens for hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants.

On one of our trips to London I got chatting to an Italian chef and that was it for me, he was my inspiration. I got my first job as a commis chef at The Dakota Eurocentral in Glasgow and I worked my way up from there. I haven’t looked back since.

How did you get to where you are now?

A lot of bloody hard work and crazy hours.  Sometimes I lived on just a few hours’ sleep whenever and wherever I could, just to get to work on time. I was also reading as much as I could about food in any spare time I had, which wasn’t much.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

In five years’ time I will only be 33. I would like to have four different restaurants that all serve something completely different, and still have more projects in the pipeline. I want to continue to build and build because I have so many ideas.

What do you love about working in hospitality?

I love what I do and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Every single day is different and brings a new challenge.

Who in the industry inspires you?

A lot of people inspire me. Barrie Brown, the director of all of the businesses I work for definitely inspires me and he is only 34. All of the young chefs I teach in the kitchen inspire me the most though. They are always learning something new every day and that used to be me.

What advice would you give to those starting out in the industry?

Hard work always pays off in the long run. The harder you work when you are younger the easier it will be when you are older, or so I hope!

Related topics: People, Restaurants, Small Talk

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