Alan Murchison

Alan Murchison

Alan Murchison

Alan Murchison began working in family-run hotels in Scotland at 14, but it was a stint at Inverlochy Castle in Fort William that gave him his first taste of cooking fine food.

Ultimately, the four years Murchison spent with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons remain the greatest influence on his career as chef and restaurateur.

He took over as executive chef of L'Ortolan, a restaurant in Shinfield near Reading, in 2001. With Alan Murchison at the helm the restaurant received three AA rosettes, 8/10 in the Good Food Guide and a Michelin star in 2003, which it maintained until he moved on in 2014 to pursue other projects.

As managing director of 10 in 8 Fine Dining Group, Murchison set himself a goal to open 10 Michelin-starred restaurants by 2018. With L'Ortolan, Ludlow’s La Bécasse, Bedfordshire’s Paris House and Restaurant Angélique in Devon, Murchison became the only chef in the UK to operate multiple Michelin-starred restaurants outside of London. 'This must be the best food for miles and miles' said The Independent restaurant critic, Caroline Stacey, of L'Ortolan.

There's certainly an artful precision in the preparation and presentation of dishes that sets Murchison's food apart. There’s a riot of carefully balanced textures and flavours going on; complex yet so easy to enjoy. Recipes such as sea trout with ruby chard and clams, or his fantastic lamb rump exemplify these qualities.

Away from the kitchen, Alan Murchison appeared on the 2012 series of Great British Menu, where he wowed judges with a grilled mackerel with beetroot and horseradish dish, as well as duck terrine with pineapple.

Alan now runs a company called Performance Chef, offering bespoke nutrition and food plans for athletes. He is also a committed amateur cyclist and a world duathalon champion.