Food & Drink


Eat out, drink up

Med in Edinburgh

Channings’ chef Richard Glennie brings fresh flavours and bright cuisine to the capital with his new restaurant, Ochre Vita. Words: Barry Shelby

oor Richard Glennie.

Soon the head chef at

Channings Hotel in Edinburgh must step out of the kitchen and go on a research trip. His new restaurant at the South Learmonth Gardens inn Ochre Vita demands an arduous fact-finding mission before he can deVise the spring and summer menus. So. off he goes. the pathetic thing . . . to the

Mediterranean. Oh well. it's a dirty job but someone has to do it.

Since opening this winter. Ochre Vita's inaugural menu has shown Glennie's wish to present a bit of Italy. Greece. France and Spain on a plate. Many hotel chefs take their mandate from above and the corporate/marketing offices. but this restaurant is very much driven by his desires.

Dishes are as diverse as a delicate capaccio of peppered tuna inspired by the original recipe of Harry‘s Bar in Venice or chicken and lemon spaghetti. where a juicy boneless breast is served atop a tart and citrusy mass of pasta (see recipe).

There's a hearty Toulouse sausage cassoulet with tomatoes. beans and braised pork belly to go With those gallic bangers as well as a herb poached halibut flavoured With orange and fennel.

It is certainly a departure from the more traditional Scottish cooking that he has preViously overseen at Channings Restaurant (which, by the way. has not been Supplanted by the new restaurant).

But With 2002 marking his fifth anniversary in the Edwardian townhouse. Glennie wanted to diversify a bit. ‘The emphaSis is on high quality. healthy food.‘ he says. ‘v/ith a Med'terranean heart.‘ (Barry Shelby)

Reci for chicken and lemon

spag etti

This dish pasta tossed in lemon juice. parmesan and fresh herbs topped with a sauteed chicken breast exemplifies the fresh. straight-forward cooking that chef Richard Glennie has brought to Channings Hotel with his new restaurant Ochre Vita.


Four chicken breasts

One packet of good quality spaghetti. cooked and refreshed

(For the marinade)

200 ml of extra virgin olive oil

Two lemons. zested and squeezed

1509 of parmesan cheese

Half pint of fresh basil leaves. chopped

One bunch of rocket leaves. chopped

One clove of garlic

Salt and pepper


1 Pulse the oil. lemon juice and zest with garlic in a food processor. Mix in the chopped leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2 Flatten out the breast between two sheets of cling film and spoon a little of the marinade on top. Leave to infuse for a couple of hours.

3 Fry off the chicken breasts to seal them and then bake in a hot oven until done. 12—1 5 minutes approximately.

4 Reheat pasta in some salted boiling water. drain and mix in the rest of the marinade. Toss gently and throw into four hot bowls. Place one breast of chicken atop each. Serve immediately.

I Ochre Vita, 72— 16 South Learmounth Gardens. Edinburgh. 0737 556 3636.

Side dishes

An extra helping of news . . .

I 5PM.CO.UK, THE web-based booking scheme for early-dining deals which recently teamed with The List and its site, has introduced a few more innovations. It has begun to post menus, note child- friendliness and include maps, as well as starting to offer reservations more than a day in advance. Previously, did only same-day bookings. These new developments have been launched with five Glasgow restaurants: Lux, Stazione, Tempus (at the CCA), La Lanterna and Kama Sutra.

I THE FORMER SlTE OF Maxi‘s Wine Bar (beneath the Pear Tree) on West Nicolson Street is now home to Centraal. a bar and restaurant which serves food from noon till late. The basement space has a lounge with leather sofas near the re- configured bar as well as an atmospheric dining area to the rear. although food and/or drink is served throughout. More on this new venture next issue.

I THE TOPSY-TURVY business of catering continues with Bon Gusto, the slightly more than one-year- old Italian restaurant in Glasgow’s city centre, rather suddenly shutting its doors. Meanwhile, nearby, Leonardo & Company has reopened its Bothwell Street branch after the group went into receivership a few months back.

I NETHERBOW ARTS CENTRE'S cafe’ on the Royal Mile has been re-launched as the Swiss Cottage. Chef and opera singer Eric de Whale (pronounced duval) has some eclectic ideas for the space. where he plans to open a night-time fondue restaurant as well as hosting various performances.

I AT TWO FAT LADIES IN Glasgow’s West End, chef/owner Calum Matheson has sold up and handed over the business to Ryan James, ex of Milngavie’s Gavin’s Mill.


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