1 Michelin Star Chefs: Lorna McNee, head chef, Cail Bruich

The  Staff Canteen

Lorna McNee is the head chef of Cail Bruich in Glasgow, Scotland.

The young prodigy climbed the ranks at Gleneagles alongside legendary chef Andrew Fairlie and helped retain the restaurant's two Michelin stars as Stevie McLaughlin's sous-chef.

Becoming the first chef to earn a star for Glasgow in 16 years, the chef's career reflects that of her mentor, Andrew Fairlie, the first chef to earn a Michelin star for Scotland.

Lorna McNee rose to acclaim as Andrew Fairlie's protégé at Gleneagles, and has earned her stripes several times over in the competitive world of cooking: in 2016, she won Game Chef of the year; in 2017, she took the title of Scottish Chef of the Year; in 2019, she became the Champion of Champions on Great British Menu; and despite a tumultuous year involving very little time in the kitchen, in 2021, she earned a much-coveted Michelin star for the city of Glasgow as head chef at Cail Bruich.

Cail Bruich 

 

725 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 8QX

Opening hours:

Monday    Closed
Tuesday    Closed
Wednesday    6:30pm–12am
Thursday    12–4:30pm, 6:30pm–12am
Friday    12–4:30pm, 6:30pm–12am
Saturday    12–4:30pm, 6:30pm–12am
Sunday    Closed

Website: https://www.cailbruich.co.uk/

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 0141 334 6265

Twitter: @CailBruich

Instagram: @cailbruich

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cailbruich

biography

Lorna McNee was born in 1987 and raised in Forres, Scotland.

She didn't always want to be a chef, but when her hopes of getting into photography school were cut short she decided to enroll on a cooking course studied at Moray College in Elgin.

During her time there, she did a two-week stage at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, but wasn't sold on living in London.

One day, she dined with her lecturer at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles Hotel, as he had always encouraged her to work in Michelin-starred kitchens and wanted to show her what the dining experience in such places was like.

Instantly smitten, she approached Andrew Fairlie and asked for a job.

Slightly taken aback, he gave her words of caution, told her that it would be a very difficult undertaking and that she should think about it and return if she decided that was what she wanted to do.  

Undeterred, she returned a week later and joined the team. 

Over the course of twelve years, she worked her way through every station and rose to the rank of sous-chef.

The chef had always spoken about opening her own restaurant or taking on a head chef position elsewhere, and in July 2020, she took over the reigns at award-winning Glasgow restaurant, co-owned by brothers Chris and Paul Charalambous, Cail Bruich.

 

What the guides say...

Michelin

 

AA Restaurant Guide

Good Food Guide

Ranked 43rd best restaurant in the country in the 2020 guide with a 7/10 score, meaning "High level of ambition. Attention to the smallest detail. Accurate and vibrant dishes."

Harden's

Lorna's Food Style

When asked how she would define her food style, Lorna said: "I'm not gastronomically trained, I just like really well-cooked food.

So if you have three simple ingredients, put that on a plate and make it taste amazing. That is the kind of stuff I like - just really well-cooked food."

Upon taking on her position at Cail Bruich, she reiterated her love for Scottish produce cooked to perfection.

"A lot of it is always going to represent what I've always done, what I've taken from Andrew Fairlie - simple food done well, good ingredients, don't do too much to it," she said. 

"That'll always be where I stand with food, that's what I want to eat and that's what I want to cook." 

Cail Bruich

Located beside the historical Scottish city's Botanical Gardens, Cail Bruich is a longstanding family-run business specialising in traditional Scottish dishes using contemporary techniques.

Meaning ‘to eat well’ in Gaelic, the restaurant also has three AA Rosettes and figures in the Good Food Guide's Top 50 Restaurants in the UK.

On the drinks menu, expect European wines, cocktails, and a selection of beers from nearby Drygate Brewery.

In line with co-owner and ex-head chef Chris' approach to cookery, Lorna's inaugural menu when the restaurant relaunched in the summer of 2020 included raw Orkney scallops served with West coast crab and citrus; hand-rolled pasta with broad beans, girolles and truffles; and scrabster turbot with kohlrabi and pork sauce.

Awards and accolades

Lorna won Game Chef of the year in 2016, Scottish Chef of the Year in 2017, appeared on Great British Menu in 2018 and 2019, and, in the latter year, was crowned Champion of Champions. She helped retain Restaurant Andrew Fairlie's two stars at Gleneagles Hotel, and led the team at Cail Bruich when it was awarded a Michelin star in the 2021 guide.

It was the first star for Glasgow since Gordon Ramsay's Amaryllis closed in 2004.

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 8th February 2021

1 Michelin Star Chefs: Lorna McNee, head chef, Cail Bruich