Chef Derek Johnstone to open three new dining concepts within Rusacks St Andrews

The new restaurants will open this summer.

Published 24th May 2021
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

The former head chef at Borthwick Castle has moved on - taking over three new restaurants in the popular Rusacks Hotel in St Andrews.

Set to open in July, the three new dining concepts are: 18, The Bridge and One Under Bar, and will be located in a new extension within the hotel.

Derek will lead the kitchens as executive head chef where he will, once again, champion local Scottish produce throughout the menus.

The 120-room hotel, which overlooks the 18th green at the iconic Old Course, is undergoing a major renovation of its accommodations including a new addition to the property and a transformation of its food and beverage offerings.

Billed as a destination rooftop restaurant, 18 will specialise in the very best seasonal local produce.

Using the restaurant’s state-of-the-art Robata grill, Derek’s menu will focus on open flame cooked dishes and contemporary and innovative game and seafood dishes.

18 sits on the fourth floor of the new extension and its full glass wall offers a panoramic view across the Old Course, West Sands and the North Sea.  

The ground floor will house The Bridge, a casual all-day dining option which continues the theme of championing Scottish produce, a key pillar of Johnstone’s food and drink ethos.  

Completing the new offering is the One Under Bar, an intimate, underground bar serving beers, whiskies and cocktails.

Derek joins Rusacks St Andrews from Borthwick Castle, where he was twice runner up in National Chef of the Year and has been shortlisted for Scottish Chef of the Year at the 2021 CIS Excellence Awards.

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He also won the inaugural BBC Masterchef: The Professionals in 2008, aged 24.

Throughout his career, Derek has worked with some of the world’s most renowned chefs including Michel Roux Jr. and Albert Roux, and in Michelin-starred kitchens around Europe including Le Gavroche in London, De Karmeliet in Belgium, and DO near Milan. 

Speaking of his new role, Derek said: “My philosophy of cooking beautiful Scottish produce -showing it the respect it deserves and letting the food do the talking - will run through the menus at 18, The Bridge and One Under Bar. 

"I’m delighted to join the team at Rusacks St Andrews and look forward making it one of the best hotels in the country to eat and drink at.”  

Formerly owned by Scottish hotels group Macdonald Hotels, the Rusacks Hotel was sold in 2019 to American firm AJ Capital.

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Part of the Marine & Lawn collection, which is owned by Adventurous Journeys (AJ) Capital Partners, Rusacks St Andrews will be joined by two additional Scottish golf properties: Marine North Berwick in July 2021 and Marine Troon when it relaunches and joins the collection in spring 2022.

To find out more about the new food and drink offering at Rusacks, visit their website.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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