Ardanaiseig has a reputation for culinary excellence, thanks to the unique flair of Head Chef Gary Goldie and his use of the very finest locally sourced ingredients. This September, Ardanaiseig will be playing host to mushroom expert, Dick Peebles, for a weekend of foraging, food preparation, gourmet dining and superior hospitality.
Dick has been working with wild and exotic food for more than 20 years. Founder of Caledonian Wildfoods, which won two consecutive “Supplier of the Year” awards, he now works with the gourmet division of Fresh Direct in Oxfordshire. Dick has appeared on two series of Nick Nairn’s “Wild Harvest” and as a wild food specialist on “Reporting Scotland”.
Dick is particularly passionate about wild produce of Scotland and has traded in over 200 species of edible wild fungi from Scottish sites. During the Ardanaiseig mushroom forage, Dick expects to discover famous edible delicacies such as cepes, chanterelles and hedgehog mushrooms, as well as number of lesser known, but no less delicious species.
According to Dick, the Ardanaiseig’s acclaimed Chef de Cuisine and Medaille D’Or winner – Gary Goldie – is one of the un-sung heroes of Scottish cuisine. Guests on the mushroom weekend will delighted by Gary’s culinary creations based on each day’s foraging finds.
FRIDAY 24 Sep
1.00pm Arrive mid-afternoon to Afternoon tea served in the Drawing room
7.00pm Champagne and Canapé reception and an introductory briefing by Dick
7.15pm 5 course Gourmet dinner
SATURDAY 25 Sep
8.00am Full Scottish breakfast served in the restaurant
9.30am Depart Ardanaiseig* to forage for mushrooms at a carefully selected site.
A gourmet packed lunch will be served mid-afternoon.
4.00pm Arrive back at Ardanaiseig
4.30pm Fry-off and Tasting; Gary will cook a selection of the mushrooms to taste
7.00pm 6 course mushroom banquet
SUNDAY 26 Sep
8.00am Full Scottish breakfast served in the restaurant.
11.00am check out time – Dick will be exploring new areas around – All welcome to join
The two night package starts from £360 per person, based on two people sharing.
For further information an and reservations visit www.ardanaiseig.com.
For press information and high resolution photography, or to arrange a press visit or interview, please contact:
34 Marywood Square, Glasgow, G41 2BJ
Notes to Editors
Ardanaiseig is a mysterious, baronial-style, country house hotel that rests at the foot of Ben Cruachan, on the shores of Loch Awe in the Scottish Highlands. The ground, sky and waters around Ardanaiseig offer up an abundance of delightful ingredients. Gary regularly incorporates local produce into his recipes and can often be seen foraging or hunting for ingredients himself. The hotel as a year-round license to shoot roe deer and the Loch offers up a fine assortment of fish. In the grounds, garlic, wild leek, hogweed, purple clover, wood sorrel, meadowsweet, land cress, nettles, elderflower, elder berries, raspberries, blackberries and rowan berries, to name but a few, are in plentiful supply. Guests have particularly enjoyed Gary’s meadowsweet ice-cream, elderflower syrup, berry fools, fruit jelly and nettle soup. Most significant, perhaps, is the wealth of fungi. A variety of local mushrooms are regularly incorporated into a number of dishes including risotto, beef, raviolis, venison, and fish.
As a young boy, Gary spent several summers travelling across France in his father’s HGV. These trips had a huge influence, introducing new tastes, textures and culinary experiences. Gary vividly recalls a particular restaurant in which the guests, waiters and kitchen staff all sat together at a single table, tucking into course after course of fish, meats, potatoes and vegetables, each served on platters for all to share. France continued to have a significant influence on Gary thereafter, drawing him back time and time again for both work and pleasure. Eating in Michelin starred restaurants in Paris, Brittany, Bordeaux, and – most especially – Strasbourg, became a favourite pastime.
At sixteen, Gary had begun his career at the Hospitality Inn with Joe Queen in his home town of Irvine. He had gone on to work under Ralph Porciani at the Craigendarroch in Ballater, followed by Bill Costly at Lochgreen house in Troon, then with Pat McDonald at the Michelin starred Epicurean in Cheltenham. After a stint as Head Chef in Tomintoul, Gary finally came to Ardanaiseig in 1997. Within a year Gary was promoted from Sous-Chef to Head Chef and has never looked back.
During his time at Ardanaiseig, in addition to regular visits to London’s finest restaurants , Gary has accepted ‘Stages’ in a number of very successful London kitchens, including the Square with Phil Howard and The Restaurant with Marco Pierre White. The latter is of particular significance…..
Gary sites his biggest inspiration as Marco Pierre White. “Growing up in the kitchens when I did, he changed everything, including what we wore. Of course, it wasn’t just the butcher’s aprons- Marco was the one who made Michelin stars so important to us all”.
Gary has also been inspired by the likes of Nico, Hilary Brown, Ramsey, Robuchon, Ducasse, Bernard Loiseau and more recently Heston, Jason Atherton of Maze, David Everett and Mattious. “I especially love what Paul Kitching is doing at 21212”.
Today, Gary simply wants to keep producing wonderful food. Every waking minute is spend thinking of new culinary ideas, experimenting with new ingredients, trialling new cooking methods and creating new menus.
Contact: Jill Ferguson