A chat with Ross Stovold, head chef

The Torridon


Brief background about The Torridon and your role

A foodie destination like no other, The Torridon extends Scottish hospitality in abundance. Located at the edge of Loch Torridon, our luxury five-star hotel offers a sumptuous stay amongst breath-taking surroundings, in addition to the three AA Rosette restaurant, 1887; the relaxed Torridon Inn; the Whisky & Gin Bar with 365 malts and over 130 gins; the Torridon Farm, a tranquil self-catered Boat House and the two-acre Kitchen Garden and Gin Garden.

Alongside delivering a natural dining experience led by the seasons and local produce, my role as head chef at The Torridon involves developing new dishes, planning what we grow in the Kitchen Garden, training the team and inspiring them to come up with their own ideas too. It is so important to develop the team’s creative instinct to try out new ideas. You never know unless you try!


The hotel’s renowned for its exceptional local food and drink sourcing – can you tell us more about this and why it’s so important to the business?

Scottish produce is used all over the world, especially the seafood, so when we have access to these amazing products its key to know where they come from and what makes them so special that restaurants across the world want to use them. We make sure to not take it for granted, but rather treasure it, and remember that we can get the fish hours after its landed, rather than the days it takes to get to California or Hong Kong. We respect the produce and let the flavours speak for themselves.


We love to hear stories of food and drink producers – could you share some of yours with us?

In the remote areas of the Highlands, the local producers must support each other in order to get their produce to my back door. If a small artisan producer needs to use another’s transport to deliver to me, then that’s a wonderful thing to see!


With the launch of the national action plan last year, Scotland is on a mission to become a global food tourism destination. What do you think about this and what role do you believe you have to play in its success?

Every hotel and restaurant has a role to play to shout from the rooftops about how great the produce is and the suppliers behind it, as well to encourage people to experience it in its local and understand the stories behind the produce. If we don’t persist as an industry, then the export trade will dwarf tourism. So much of our food and drink leaves the country, which of course is extremely important to the economy too, but we are in danger of being priced out of the market because we can’t match the prices overseas buyers are willing to pay.


If you had to choose one Scottish dish on the menu what would it be and why?

My favourite Scottish dish is Partan Bree, which is basically a crab soup. We do a refined version at The Torridon, but not forgetting the most important thing, the flavour of the crab.


How will you be celebrating Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight?

Honestly I feel like we celebrate Scottish food and drink every day; we have our own farm with Highland cows and Tamworth pigs; we produce our own award-winning gin, Arcturus; we have the two-acre Kitchen Garden that dictates our menu development, alongside our newly-developed Gin Garden; we are surrounded by wild foods in the hills and forests; seafood comes from Loch Torridon and we have our own supply of spring water from the neighbouring Munros which we cook with and serve to the customers. If that’s not a celebration of Scotland, then I don’t know what is!

For the next two weeks, we’ll be promoting two of our cocktails that use locally-sourced and homegrown ingredients, in addition to speaking with some of our suppliers and team members to find out more about their love for Scottish produce. Everything will be shared across our social media channels including Kitchen Garden tours, supplier Q&A’s, and some tips from me on the art of curing.



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