The Glasgow hotel, which is situated in the heart of the city’s West End, is renowned for its luxury reputation, having hosted many famous guests over the years.
It’s personal service is carried through to the kitchen, which has a strong ethos for creating a true taste of Scotland using fresh, seasonal, locally sourced and where possible organic produce, something which Gary knows a thing or two about.
The ambitious classical chef (who hopes to be awarded that elusive Michelin star - a first for Glasgow) brings with him over 16 years of experience which he has honed in some of the country’s most renowned kitchens including Tom Kitchin’s, The Kitchin and Martin Wishart, where he worked as a sous chef during the time the restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star back in 2011.
Gary, who in his former role was head chef of Cameron House, has experience in a number of Michelin kitchens having also worked for L’Enclume, Restaurant Sat Bains, Hibiscus and Midsummer House Rosettes.
Commenting, Gary Townsend, said: “One Devonshire Gardens has an incredible reputation and it is a real honour to take on the role as head chef and join a fantastic team in the kitchen.
"It is a pleasure to work somewhere that shares my passion for good quality, seasonal produce and celebrating Scotland’s fantastic larder.
“It’s been a busy few weeks already with lots of developing and planning, something that I am incredibly passionate about.
"Learning and development is a key role of being a chef, ensuring that everything that goes out is the best it can be for both the customer and the team in the kitchen.”
Gary heads up a team of 11 in the kitchen, including a number of chefs he has worked with previously at Cameron House.
Guests and visitors to the restaurant will have the chance to sample Gary’s cooking style, which he describes as ‘classical French but with a modern twist’, with a range of new menus including a la carte, seven course tasting and a new menu for the hotel’s popular Sunday lunch.
Gary has also worked closely with One Devonshire Garden’s in-house sommelier, Alan Brady on the new menus to ensure that the dining experience perfectly complements the hotel’s extensive wine collection, which includes over 340 wines housed within the hotel’s private cellar.
So what can guests expect from the pièce de résistance, the tasting menu?
We started with canapes and a crisp English sparkling wine - Coates & Seeley ‘Reserve’ Brut from Hampshire.
The amuse bouche of smoked potato mousse, wild leeks and caviar lead the way for a light start of salted Scottish salmon served with cucumber, avocado and a squid ink cracker, which was paired with a refreshing Australian Riesling.
This was followed by a favourite dish of ours, the Loch Fyne scallop, served with salt baked celeriac, apple, hazelnuts and black truffle, and paired with a ziny 2016 Roero Arneis ‘Serra Lupini’ from Piemonte, Italy.
Carnivores need not worry as the next dish, Goosnargh duck and leg pastilla, served with red cabbage, beetroots and orange sauce, was an indulgent but not too heavy meat dish paired with a fruity and delicious Spanish Souson, from Bodegas Aialia, Ribiero.
Dessert was a light but decadent Valrhona chocolate creameaux complemented with passion fruit, mango, honeycomb and milk sorbet and washed down with a Gewürztraminer ‘SGN’ from Bodegas Luigi Bosca, Mendoza, Argentina.
If you've any room left, tea or coffee and homemade petit fours are available.
Commenting on the new menus, Gary said: “It’s been an incredibly busy but very fun start, reviewing the menus.
"We have a fantastic larder here in Scotland and you’ll find this in each of the new menus, whether that’s the tasting menu right down to the vegetarian a la carte which features various types of beetroot and wild mushrooms which are both delicious right now.
"We are extremely fortunate to have, in my opinion, the best seafood on the planet and this is showcased through the menus with dishes including salmon, scallops and lemon sole.”
Marianne Clavé, general manager at One Devonshire Gardens, added: “Gary is an outstanding chef and we are thrilled to have him join our team. He’s already created a number of incredible dishes and we are excited for our regular guests and new customers to experience his new menus.”