He returned north of the border after being headhunted to run the kitchen at Glasgow’s Blue Bar and Restaurant before moving on to Arta, where he demonstrated his versatility by serving traditional Spanish cuisine.
In 2004, he was given the opportunity to settle off of the mainland and work at the beautifully located Three Chimneys restaurant on the Isle of Skye. It was a perfect fit for the Inverness-born Smith.
As Head Chef at The Three Chimneys he has a lot more on his plate than cooking: the remoteness of the location means that there are a huge amount of delivery, recruitment and weather issues to contend with, which Smith has proved himself to be an adept at dealing with.
Seasonal cuisine is of central importance to this restaurant and chimes with the changeable Skye landscape. Sometimes craggy and deciduous, at other point’s verdant and bucolic, the Isle’s breath-taking scenery guides the menu choices and authenticates the cuisine.
The old crofters’ cottage was bought and restored by husband and wife team, Shirley and Eddie Spear in 1984 after both had worked and lived in London. The idea was to set up a small bistro which would serve traditional Scottish cuisine in a comforting environment. Shirley, a self-taught cook, fulfilled this brief and much more; winning Scottish Restaurant of the Year in 1990 and being recognised for a ‘Special Award’ by the Scottish Chefs Association in ‘99.
Kitchen duties were entrusted to Smith in 2004, and he has built tremendously on Shirley’s fine work. Glowing reviews from The Telegraph, The Guardian and even the New York Times have aided its reputation as a destination restaurant while Smith’s winning appearance on BBC’s Great British Menu has provided mainland recognition.
As a restaurant with rooms, The Three Chimneys is virtually unmatched. The House-over-By offers six fully equipped suites with timeless sea views and modern luxury, while the restaurant boasts prime, local produce prepared expertly; signature dishes of marmalade pudding and Drambuie custard, and Scottish salmon with asparagus and lemon sauce embody this.
The Good Food Guide observe dishes that contain ‘nods to Scottish tradition in light, modernised guises.’