Fairmont St Andrews head chef Allan Lorente answers our Flavour Profile questions

Lorente tells us about his favourite Scottish restaurants and his ultimate guilty pleasure

Published 22nd Nov 2021
Updated 8 th Aug 2023

What’s your favourite ingredient?

This is a very tough question for a chef. However, I think I will have to say fresh basil as it is such a versatile herb. It’s perfect to use as the base of a fresh pesto sauce, in a refreshing basil and lime sorbet or just scattered over a salad or pizza as the finishing touch.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

A salame piccante pizza, made in our own Italian restaurant at Fairmont St Andrews, La Cucina. It’s very simple but the fresh tomato base, creamy and light mozzarella and spicy salami topped with lots of Parmesan is just heaven on a plate for me.

Tell us about your first food memory

I vividly remember picking strawberries in the summertime as a young child with my Grandad at Bentley’s Farm. Of course we’d make sure to take a few extra punnets home so that Nana could make homemade jam. Although neither of my grandparents were professionally trained, they were both exceptional at cooking and could cook or bake almost anything.

What’s your favourite Scottish restaurant, deli or cafe?

We’re very lucky where we live on the east coast as it has an abundance of amazing places to eat and drink. However, I would have to say, The Newport restaurant by MasterChef winner Jamie Scott in Newport-on-Tay or Daisy Tasker in Dundee are both exceptional. My partner Amy and I are always extremely satisfied with the service and the food always exceeds our expectations. I would highly recommend a visit to either of these establishments.

What would be your last supper?

Anything that takes a very long time to eat! In all honesty, I think I would just pick a simple but beautiful steak, which would be served alongside hand cut chips and peppercorn sauce. You can’t go far wrong with that.

Starter or pudding?

I am definitely more of a pudding person. My favourite of all time is a hot chocolate fondant with buttermilk ice-cream.

Do you have any food hates?

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Olives. I always try them from time to time just to see if my palate has changed. It hasn't and I still don’t like them.

What starters, main and dessert would be served at your dream dinner party and who would you invite?

To start, we would have fresh hand-dived Scottish scallops, which would be simply cooked in butter. For the main course, we’d enjoy fillet steaks cooked medium rare and to finish we’d have anything that includes chocolate. As time is so precious, I would invite my family and friends to join me for the meal.

What's your favourite geographical foodie destination?

I’d say the north of Scotland in the summertime for its beautiful scenery and the abundance of natural ingredients that are just on our doorstep.

Fairmont St Andrews includes the Mediterranean restaurant, La Cucina, and the relaxed Kittocks Bar and Den. For more information, see www.fairmont.com/st-andrews-scotland/

The only hotel and pub on idyllic Scottish island that has stunning views and is the 'perfect rural hideaway'

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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