Great British Menu 2023: Scotland preview

by Great British Chefs24 February 2023

It's time to find out more about the four chefs competing for Scotland in the fifth week of Great British Menu 2023 heats.

Great British Chefs is a team of passionate food lovers dedicated to bringing you the latest food stories, news and reviews.

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.

Adam Handling

Adam Handling
Adam Handling

Returning chef Adam hopes third time's the charm, as he finds himself back in the GBM kitchen. This time he’s determined to get to the banquet, and is hoping his unique cooking style will get him there.

Across all of his restaurants and bars - including Frog by Adam Handling, and Eve Bar in Covent Garden - sustainable British luxury is the ethos to Adam's approach to food. He even cooked for the G7 Summit leaders when they were at the Carbis Bay Resort in Cornwall in 2021.

Adam started at The Gleneagles Hotel at the age of 16, and during his early career he won several major awards including Scottish Chef of the Year, and the British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year. In 2016, The Adam Handling Restaurant Group was born and Adam went on to open The Loch & The Tyne in the countryside of Old Windsor - which was included in the Estrella Damm Top 50 Gastropub Awards 2022 - then Ugly Butterfly on the beautiful Cornish coast at Carbis Bay. Adam was named Restaurateur of the Year in British GQ Food and Drink awards in 2020, and Frog by Adam Handling, his flagship restaurant, was awarded a Michelin star in 2022. Now he’s hoping to add a victory at GBM to the list.

This year Adam looks to ‘Wind in the Willows’, written by Edinburgh-born Kenneth Grahame, for his menu inspiration.

Mark McCabe

Scottish-born newcomer Mark, is excited to be entering the GBM kitchen, and hopes to impress with his super tasty food.

Hailing from a small village called Tannadice, about twenty miles north of Dundee, Mark was first inspired to get into cooking by his mum, who had previously owned a restaurant. Throughout his childhood she was always cooking or foraging for ingredients.

Mark worked at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage, before becoming Head Chef and co-owner of his own restaurant, The Ethicurean in Somerset. Local produce and sustainability is at the forefront of Mark’s food, having garnered a green Michelin star whilst leading the kitchen. Mark’s cooking style is incredibly creative, seeing food as a completely immersive experience - from garden to plate.

Mark went to school in Kirriemuir, where J. M. Barrie was born. For his menu, he takes inspiration from the illustrated works of Peter Pan to celebrate the author who holds a special place in his heart.

Kevin Dalgliesh

Newcomer Kevin has never been so ready to cook in the GBM kitchen. He began life as a chef in his hometown of Hawick, before continuing his career as an apprentice at The Savoy Hotel, London, under Chef Anton Edelmann for six years. After his time in London, Kevin moved back to Scotland and worked in some of Scotland’s top Hotels and restaurants, including ten years at the exclusive Ackergill Tower.

In 2012, he moved to Aberdeen to open up The Chester Hotel (2AA), placing it firmly on Scotland’s fine dining scene, as well as winning him Head Chef of the Year 2015. During his time at The Chester, he helped create The Signature Event and hosted the likes of Phil Howard, Daniel Clifford, Roy Bret, Glynn Purnell and Richard Corrigan. At the start of 2022, Kevin took over Amuse Restaurant, where he wanted to create a relaxed, friendly environment using local, seasonal ingredients with French soul!

His first venture into the GBM kitchen sees him cooking dishes based on Scottish comic strip Oor Wullie.

Tunde 'Abi' Abifarin

Nigerian born Abi has been living in the UK for the last 20 years. He is grateful for all that Britain, and more specifically Edinburgh, has taught him, and would love to celebrate and represent Scotland at the Banquet.

Abi has been cooking since college, developing his craft at some of the best restaurants in Edinburgh, including The Pompadour, Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurant, and 5-star hotels - Balmoral & Waldorf Astoria. Whilst working in these kitchens, he advocated for the propagation of African cuisine by adding African ingredients to many of his menus.

There is a strong influence from Nigeria and other African countries in Abi’s cooking, as he likes to stay true to his roots. He describes his food as rustic and fun, and doesn’t like to fall into the bias of symmetry or making things look perfectly sculpted. Above all else, taste is what elevates his dishes.

Abi is prepared to bring something new and different to the Great British Menu kitchen with his African influence and big personality. His menu takes inspiration from Scottish cartoon Meeow!

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