Andrew Fairlie: Scotland’s finest masterchef

Andrew Fairlie: Scotland’s finest masterchef

by Great British Chefs 22 January 2019

As the news breaks of Michelin-starred chef Andrew Fairlie’s passing, we take a look at his illustrious career and how he will leave a lasting mark on Scotland’s food scene forever.

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Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews as well as access to some of Britain’s greatest chefs. Our posts cover everything we are excited about from the latest openings and hottest food trends to brilliant new producers and exclusive chef interviews.

After battling a brain tumour for the past fourteen years, the sad news that Andrew Fairlie has passed away was announced by his father Jim earlier this morning. He said:

'It is with enormous sadness and grief that Kay and I announce the death of our beloved son Andrew. His wife Kate and his family have kept vigil with him for some weeks. He slipped away quietly this morning but his many achievements & memory will live on.'

Scotland’s greatest chef worked in the kitchen of his two-Michelin-starred restaurant at Gleneagles until just a few months ago, when he announced he was stepping down after revealing he had a terminal brain tumour. His head chef Stevie McLaughlin continued running the restaurant to the same high standards Andrew maintained since it opened in 2001.

Born in Perth, Andrew first came to prominence after winning the Roux Scholarship in 1984 aged just twenty. This led to a number of stages and jobs at some of the finest French restaurants, working with the likes of Michel Guerard. On his return to the UK, he joined One Devonshire Gardens as head chef in 1994 and soon after won a Michelin star.

So sad to hear of the passing of Andrew Fairlie. Andrew was one of the UK’s finest chefs and a fantastic ambassador for Scotland. His influence and achievements will always be remembered and his legacy will inspire the next generation of world-class chefs. It was a privilege to have known him. My thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.

Martin Wishart

Andrew’s next step was to open Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in 2001, where he won another Michelin star in a year. His second star came in 2006, cementing his reputation as a world-class chef and putting him at the helm of Scotland’s only two-starred restaurant; an accolade Gleneagles still holds to this day.

As well as opening and running one of the best restaurants in the UK, Andrew became known as a champion for Scottish produce – particularly seafood – and established a kitchen garden on the grounds to ensure access to the very best ingredients. He’s cooked for forty-four world leaders at the G8 Summit in 2005, was awarded AA Chef’s Chef of the Year in 2006 and topped the Sunday Times’ top 100 UK restaurants in 2012. Andrew has also always been incredibly passionate about training younger generations of chefs, and the kitchen at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie has produced countless talented chefs that have gone on to do their own incredible things.

Andrew was only fifty-five when he passed away, and he had so much more to give to the world of gastronomy. An incredibly passionate chef, he was a true champion of Scotland and one of the most talented chefs the UK has ever seen. He will be truly missed.