Graham then took up a role as executive chef at the Mither Tap Restaurant at Pittodrie House Hotel, where utilising the local bounty he produced beautiful, seasonal plates such as scallops with ceviche, radish and fruit, Wild sea bream with gnocchi, pea, asparagus and saffron and Pan-roasted cod with confit new potatoes, pancetta, samphire and lemon.
In 2015, Graham was offered the head chef position at the award-winning Dundee restaurant, Castlehill. There he has continued his focus on local produce, while incorporating the latest international ingredients into his dishes. Having already achieved two AA rosettes, Graham’s arrival has further boosted Castlehill, with many tipping it to become Dundee’s first Michelin-starred restaurant. Signature dishes include wild halibut with wild leeks, radish, gnocchi and saﬀron and ground elder, mousse, goats curd and almond.
Foraged edibles are now playing a greater part in Graham's menus, inspired by the remarkable variety that can be found in Dundee’s thick woodlands. ‘We use wild garlic, all the sorrels, ground elder, pink purslane and sweet cicely,' he explains 'We go foraging a lot for mushrooms when they are in season. We have plants in the garden – people call them weeds – but I actually put them on the plate because they go with all the flavours I’ve got. I use wild flowers and things like that. Plants that were obviously used back in the day, but have just been forgotten about, gone wild and classed as a weed now.’
Graham's style of cooking is still very much evolving. He says he uses traditional ingredients and flavours as his base, then enhances and contrasts from there, producing innovative and flavoursome combinations. ‘I take traditional ingredients and create the unexpected,' he says. 'I like to keep it a bit unusual, to show people something different.'
Graham believes the west coast of Scotland is the best place in the UK for produce, restaurants and food shops. However, his favourite market is Rungis Market in Paris.
Out of all the ingredients available to British diners, Graham believes rabbit is the most underused.
Graham's final meal would consist of a thirty-five-day-aged ribeye with tobacco, onions, chips and peppercorn sauce.
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