Remembering Andrew Fairlie; a real sustainable food hero

It was with great sadness that we heard the news of Andrew Fairlie’s death this week. His tremendous reputation as one of Scotland’s finest ever chefs was built on a passion for provenance and doing things the right way. That’s a great legacy to leave
We spoke to Andrew back in October 2012 at one of the very highest points for the restaurant and wanted to re-share his thoughts on how to run a restaurant and the responsibility he felt chefs have to do more than simply feed their customers…

This post was originally published 26 October 2012 


Three Star SRA Rated Restaurant Andrew Fairlie has been named number one in The Sunday Times/Harden’s Top 100 Restaurants list. Chef Andrew Fairlie attributes his success to operating sustainably.

The Two Michelin Star chef at the Gleneagles Hotel said operating unsustainably was now unacceptable and predicted that a restaurant’s sustainability would very soon be as important as its food and service.

‘Running the restaurant sustainably just comes naturally’, said Andrew Fairlie, ‘I can’t imagine it any other way. It’s what we have always done, it has developed organically and we are better for running it that way.

‘Working in an unsustainable way just isn’t acceptable any more. Chefs who aren’t doing it have to take a long look at themselves. Apart from anything else people question us about it all the time and very soon they will be demanding it from all restaurants.

‘Those in the Top 100 who aren’t members will start to take notice as chefs are competitive. When critics like Giles Coren in The Times take sustainability into consideration then chefs should realise it is important. Soon it will be as important as the food and service.’

Mark Linehan, managing director of the SRA, said: ‘That Andrew Fairlie attributes his success to the responsible way he runs his restaurant should speak volumes to chefs and restaurateurs across the country. Running a restaurant sustainably isn’t an option any more, it’s the only option.’

In its rating of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie the SRA found excellent practices in all areas of the business, picking out its sourcing of local produce, use of produce from its own kitchen garden and its use of rare breed poultry and pork as particularly praiseworthy. The SRA was also impressed by the site’s biomass boiler used to provide its hot water.

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