Deeside chef serves up Chef of the Year award

Award-winning chef Colin Lyall
Award-winning chef Colin Lyall

A Deeside head chef has taken the top accolade in the North East of Scotland Chef and Restaurant of the Year Awards 2019.

Colin Lyall, of Banchory’s Tor Na Coille Hotel, was named chef of the year in the prestigious annual awards.

Colin, who has been with the Tor Na Coille for more than six years, impressed a panel of expert judges with a tempting menu showcasing local produce.

He took home a gold medal, achieving marks of over 90%.

His winning menu featured a starter of seared scallops, charred leek, pig cheek, pickled shallots, onion and sea purslane, while the main was lamb loin, lamb shank croquette, baby gem, goats curd, pancetta, peas and mint jus.

For dessert, he served lemon posset, raspberry coulis, upside-down cake, meringue, raspberry espuma, lemon and balm.

Colin has been second in the chef of the year competition – the largest regional cookery contest in Scotland – for the past two years and was thrilled to build on that success with a gold this time around.

He said: “It’s a real honour to win and to achieve the gold award

“I was really happy with the menu and felt that it was capable of winning. The dessert was already proven as it won dessert of the year in the national finals of ScotHot earlier this year.

“I think the dessert might have been the thing that won it for me, but across the board everything went really well and felt right.

“I also tried to use as much local produce as possible – scallops, lamb, wild garlic and raspberries – because the quality of the seasonal produce at this time of year is outstanding.”

The competition is organised annually by Hospitality Training and is judged by a panel of industry experts.