Man Behind the Chef: Stuart Ralston

The Staff Canteen

In association with


In the build up to The Staff Canteen Live 2017 - supported by Westlands, at ScotHot 2017, we are taking a closer look at the chefs who will be joining us on stage. 

We dig a little deeper to find out what they are hiding under those chef whites – next up is Stuart Ralston, chef owner of Aizle in Edinburgh.

Stuart Ralston has worked in some of the world’s top culinary locations. He spent six years working in New York before working as head chef of L’Acajou at the highly luxurious Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados, which boasts the much-coveted AAA 5 Diamond Award.

Whilst on his culinary ventures, Stuart blogged of his experiences as a chef abroad for The Staff Canteen. Yet, Stuart always aspired to return to his Scottish roots.

In April 2014, Stuart and his wife Krystal returned to Edinburgh to open Aizle, a Scottish neo-bistro inspired by kitchens around the world and bringing Stuart’s international culinary education to Edinburgh via London, New York and Barbados. 

Stuart Ralston
Stuart Ralston

What item of food do you hate cooking?

I hate cooking turnips. It’s a childhood hatred.

What food, if any, are you allergic to?

I am allergic to crab, it’s not something I avoid though as I love it so it’s kind of a risk/reward.

What’s your favourite ingredient to work with?

Celeriac, it’s a regular feature at Aizle, the dish has evolved over the last 2 ½ years but features twice a year.

>>> Read more in The Behind The Chef series here


What’s your guilty pleasure food?

Five guy’s burger, only because there’s no Shake shack in Edinburgh!

What three ingredients would you take with you to a desert island and why?

Lemons, soy sauce and gin, as they all go with the abundance of seafood I would have around my desert island.

If you weren’t a chef what would you be?

I would have got into some sort of art, design or drawing world. I still might!

What radio station do you listen to in the kitchen?

Pushon FM

What other kitchen would you most like to work in?

Harvey’s with MPW

Traditional cooking methods or modern techniques?

Loaded question, if it was one or the other, traditional, it all stems from tradition.

Why did you choose to get involved with TSC Live?

Because Mark Morris gave me a cup...finally!

>>> ScotHot takes place on March 15-16, 2017 and you can register now here 

>>> Read more about The Staff Canteen Live here

>>> Read more from The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at ScotHot here

In these challenging times…

The Staff Canteen team are taking a different approach to keeping our website independent and delivering content free from commercial influence. Our Editorial team have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience in a balanced way. We would never put up a paywall and restrict access – The Staff Canteen is open to all and we want to keep bringing you the content you want; more from younger chefs, more on mental health, more tips and industry knowledge, more recipes and more videos. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector - we want to do more for you.

A single coffee is more than £2, a beer is £4.50 and a large glass of wine can be £6 or more.

Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you.

The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 1st February 2017

Man Behind the Chef: Stuart Ralston