Flash-grilled: Mark Donald

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Image: Marc Millar
Image: Marc Millar

Related tags: Mark Donald, The Glenturret Lalique, Scotland, Fine dining, Michelin, Chef

The executive chef at The Glenturret Lalique restaurant in Crieff on his respect for Albert Adrià, the culinary status of sea urchins, and his mum's lasagne.

What was your first industry job?
Dish washer at the local pub just outside Glasgow. I was 16, and it was for booze money!

If you weren’t in kitchens, what would you do?
I liked drama at school and wanted to go into acting.

What industry figure do you most admire, and why?
Albert Adrià. He’s a culinary visionary and has kept evolving his vision.

What's your pet hate in the kitchen?
There are a few… but especially spoons in back pockets, and seasoning with wet fingers.

What’s the oddest thing a customer has said to you?
Asking for a dairy-free menu due to an allergy, then having ice cream for dessert. Or telling us they’re coeliac, but eating bread.

Sum up your cooking style in a single sentence…
Flavour-driven, modern, doesn’t take itself too seriously. Ingredients chosen for quality above provenance.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the industry?
Keep your head down, and always keep your notebooks.

Which single item of kitchen equipment could you not live without?
My Vitamix.

What would you choose to eat for your last meal?
My mum’s lasagne. In fact anything made by my mum.

À la carte or tasting menu?
Tasting.

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had in a restaurant?
Noma, 2010. I’d just finished a four-month stage there and it was the first time I’d sat down to eat the food.

What's your favourite fast food joint?
MEATLiquor was fantastic the last time I went.

What’s the dish you wish you’d thought of?
Claude Bosi’s Pork pie sauce.

MasterChef or Great British Menu?
MasterChef.

What's the most overrated food?
Sea urchin.

You're restaurant dictator for a day – what would you ban?
Rude customers.

Who would your dream dinner party guests be?
All the people I’ve cooked with along the years, but never shared a meal with.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Eating Zoom ice lollies with my grandfather, aged three, on Helensburgh beach.

Twitter or Instagram?
Instagram.

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to death?
Haha – working at Hibiscus!!

Where do you go when you want to let your hair down?
Soho.

What's your tipple of choice?
A Negroni, or champagne.

What's your ​favourite food and drink pairing?
Our Langoustine and buttermilk dish paired with sake.

What do you consider your signature dish?
Tattie Scone, or Foievioli.

Related topics: People, Profiles, Chef

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