F... & DRINK

In good Nick

NICK NAIRN, sailor, chef, author and TV celeb is opening a new restaurant in Glasgow. How did he switch from seven seas to five spices? Words: Jonathan Trew

At the age of 25, Nrck Narrn had never cooked Couldn't bOIl an egg, W0uldn’t have known a ratatourlle from a rat burger. He had never had to. Wrthrn a week of leavrng school aged seventeen, Narrn had sard cheerro to hrs mother and her krtchen rn the Trossachs, Jomed the Merchant Navy and shouted a brg hello to the ports and restaurants of the four corners of the gastronomrc globe.

University hadn’t really been an option. School had been bad enough. It wasn't that Narrn c0uldn’t do the lessons ~ Just that none of the teachers c0uld explain what practrcal use most of them held. The Merchant Navy, on the other hand, drdn't hold wrth Superflu0us theory and Narrn travelled

was . Le Sept

7 Old F ishmarket Close Edinburgh

Lunch and Dinner Monday to Thursday. Friday, Saturday and Sunday open all day telephone 0131 225 5428

the world untrl the age of 25 when, as he puts rt, he ’had got the madness out of hrs system’.

One thrng the Merchant Navy drdn’t show Narrn was how to cook He taught hrmsell that. In typrcally ebullrent fashron, he prtched up on dry land and went out and bought hrmself a fryrng pan, a wooden spoon and a cookery book. The frrst drsh the buddrng chef ever cooked was a breast of chrcken stuffed wrth a nut mousselrne. Most people would have krcked off Wrth the borled egg but Narrn, berng Narrn, had to go several steps further. From cooking for hrmsell, Narrn raprclly progressed to cooking for hrs friends.

’I suppose rt’s showing off,’ smrles Narrn who has now reached the grand old age of 38 and looks about ten years y0unger ’l’d grve drnner partres where my mates were more interested rn tannrng wrne than eatrng the food I'd made. So, I sard, "Fuck you, I'll open a restaurant.“

The rest rs hrstory. Twelve years after openrng, Narrn’s Mrchelrn-starred Braeval restaurant rn Aberfoyle doesn't have many empty tables. In fact the only trrne rt has any rs when the doors are shut. Braeval rsn’t exclusrve but rt rs very good, and the correspondrng popularrty leads to wartrng lrsts. Whrle t'ne proportron of the populatron who have eaten at Braeval rs trny, the number who have seen erther of hrs two televrsron serres, Wild Harvest and island Harvest, rs huge Narrn intends to make some attempt to reconcrle the

drlference between these two groups when l‘.(.‘ opens lTlS new restaurant, Nairns, on Woodsrde Crescent zn Glasgow.

Narrns rs an amhrtrous progect that encompasses two drnrng floors and a lounge bar, as well as four luxurious

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On top of it all: Nick Nairn (foreground) heads up a team consisting of (back, left to right) head chef Dan Hall from Braeval. Sean Simpson, deputy general manager; Topher, managing director and Jim Kerr, the general manager,

guest rooms. 'Braeval rs trny and very busy,’ says Narrn by way of explarnrng what he hopes to achreve wrth hrs new eponymous restaurant. ’We know that we have to broaden that appeal so we're gorng to cut out anythrnc; overly (omplrcated and wrden our audrence. I want tl‘rs to he the people’s restaurant.’

Narrns has 80 covers, and to be successful he needs to have burns on all of the seats alf o‘ the trrne What rs perhaps su'pr‘rsrr‘t; rs that Narv'n l‘asr"t cashed rn on hrs (.0l0b'rtY status am

who used to be at the Rogano

hrked the prrres rnto the stratosphere A two-course lunch :s {.12 50, three courses are [16 and a three-course drnner :s £20

’lt's not goreg to be fancy ‘ood out It wrll speak for rtself,’ says Narn‘ ‘r'ankly ’lt wrll be a modern, experrn‘ental cursrne that takes on board :r‘f't.e"(es from. Nortl‘ Afrzca, the l\ledrterra"(w‘ ar‘d Asia I‘ the raw produce 's excellent and r)r'epa"e(l ar‘u (()()K(‘(l we tecl‘r‘rcally tl‘e". the food should sun; to you I want neope to say “'-.‘.-'()\‘.’” a ‘ot

Nairns, 13 Woodside Crescent, Glasgow, 0141 353 0707.

Newly openeb for all lovers of line {006

An intimate anb lrienblp owner-chef run restaurant. The bailp changing menu re llects the chef’s passion lor sealeor) hut also inclubes vegetarian ano meat Dishes. The menus offer a nribe range {mm a nasta lunch at £4.90 up to a litre-course gastronomic binner at £13.00

Fingal’s Cave, 24A Stalloro Street, Ebinhurdr Lunch Mon - Sat : 12 - 1.30 Dinner Tues Sat : 6 - It (later at n'eeleenosl

Telephone 0131 22.5 9575