Martin Wishart, an Edinburgh-born chef, has firmly established himself as one of the UK’s most highly respected chefs. Trained under such renowned chefs as Albert Roux, Michel Roux Jr, Marco Pierre White and John Burton-Race, taking a little bit of inspiration from each mentor over the time he worked with them and distilling it to create his own culinary magic. Amongst some of the many attributes they imparted to him over the years of working together, it was the importance of discipline in the kitchen, a passion for food and a deep understanding of classic French cooking techniques that have continued to be the backbone of his style.
Whilst never having planned to become a chef, he started working in kitchens from the age of fifteen, fell in love with the industry and now has more than thirty years’ experience in the business. He is now an established and multi-awarded chef and restaurateur.
With a passion for quality produce, he sources his ingredients as locally as possible and, when necessary, internationally. Being a proud Scot, he likes to use Scottish produce and has built lasting relationships with many of his suppliers. It was the love of his home, Scotland, which brought Martin back to settle here and begin to live his dream of one day owning his own restaurant.
“As a Scotsman, when I worked in London and abroad, I was very proud to see that Scottish shellfish and game were always on the menu. When I opened my restaurant, I realised that I was more fortunate as I was getting the ingredients even fresher and I was able to personally meet the great Scottish producers. The langoustines, scallops, crabs and lobsters always come live into my restaurant. I am very passionate about Scottish produce and use it as much as I can”
As a very creative person, he is always on the look-out for new ingredients; some new ideas and new dishes to prepare for his customers. It is this creativity and inspiration that drives him and has ensured that his business has gone from strength to strength. Ambition has never been lacking; Martin decided at the age of twenty-three that he wanted to start up his own restaurant, but he is not a man to rush into a decision lightly, so the search took him nearly seven years before finding the perfect property to setup his first restaurant in Leith.
Martin has a great entrepreneurial attitude and is always looking for new and exciting opportunities. To date he has three restaurants, one cook school, outside catering opportunities and an unrivalled reputation for consistently delivering a top-quality dining experience.
His efforts have been recognised:
In November 2012, when he was awarded a Degree of Doctor honoris causa by Edinburgh University; the citation highlights Martin’s “contribution to the raising standards of Scottish cuisine, specifically in Edinburgh, to the international regard it currently holds” and that his work has had a “positive impact on tourism to the city and its reputation as a fine food destination”. In addition, he has “created jobs and provided exceptional, international standard training to talented young chefs”.
“In all professions, awards exist to recognise those who have reached the pinnacle of their chosen career. Acclaimed by and voted for by one’s peers, this award is surely the ultimate accolade for any chef”
Chefs’ Chef of the Year Award by the AA in 2011
Scottish Chef of the Year for 2009, 2006 & 2004
Scottish Chef Awards