Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Stuart Ralston, Scotland heat

The Staff Canteen

Chef and owner of edinburgh restaurants aizle and noto Stuart Ralston is one of four chefs Competing for Scotland on Great British Menu 2021.

Series 16 of the competition starts on Wednesday 24th March on BBC Two at 8pm. The Scotland heat is airing on Wednesday 31st March, Thursday 1st April and Friday 2nd April.

For the Scotland heat, host Andi Oliver is joined by veteran chef and judge Tom Brown.

It pitted Stuart against chef owner of The Harbour Café and founder of Stocks Events, Amy Elles - who, as per the programme's new format, was eliminated after the fish course; chef owner of Fhior, Scott Smith - who, just a few points behind, didn't make it through to the judge's chamber; and chef and owner of Edinburgh's the Little Chartroom, Roberta Hall-McCarron

Despite his best efforts, Stuart accrued fewer points than his rival Roberta when judges Matthew Fort, Oliver Peyton, Rachel Khoo as well as guest judge and author Caroline Criado-Perez tasted his food, meaning he didn't secure a spot to represent Scotland in the national finals. 

Biography, path to becoming a chef, past places of work

Stuart Ralston has worked in some of the world’s most coveted culinary locations, including New York, where he spent six years and Barbados, where he worked at L’Acajou at Sandy Lane Hotel.

In April 2014, Stuart and his wife Krystal returned to Edinburgh to open Aizle, a Scottish bistro which married Stuart’s international culinary education to Scotland's finest produce.

Salt Baked Celeriac, Burnt Apple, Curds and Buttermilk - Check out the recipe here

In 2019, Stuart opened a second restaurant, a casual take on his highly-acclaimed fine dining restaurant, with an a la carte menu featuring food inspired by the chef's time in New York.

Stuart was among the first wave of chefs to cut down his restaurant's opening days to four days to improve his team's (and his own) work-life balance, a move which has since been adopted by many and which is hoped will inspire more young people to consider a career in hospitality. 



Relationship status/Children

Married with two children, Sonny and Jesse





For his starter, Stuart drew inspiration from the accidental discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming. 

His 'Messy Alexander' dish consisted of matured rump tartare served with horseradish, fennel, Lanark Blue snow, cherry mustard and crispy beef, and earned him a score of 7/10.

Fish course

For his 'Star Chasing' dish, dedicated to Mary Somerville, Scottish polymath and the joint-first woman in history to join the Royal Astronomical Society , Stuart served barbecued lobster tail with fermented tomato dashi, oyster, pickled and puréed kohlrabi with a fermented tomato dashi. Veteran judge Tom Brown was thoroughly impressed and gave it a score of 9/10.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 3rd April 2021

Great British Menu 2021 chefs: Stuart Ralston, Scotland heat