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Flavour Profile Q&A: Jonathan Ferguson, Roux Scholar 2022 and junior sous chef at The Glenturret Lalique

This chef won the coveted Roux Scholarship

Published: March 30, 2022

What’s your favourite ingredient?

Vinegar –  malt, sherry, red wine, balsamic. Acidity is so important, it really will make your home cooking taste better. Try a few splashes of nice vinegar in a casserole or pasta sauce and see how big a difference it makes.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

I don’t feel remotely guilty, but I love a good takeaway. People ask me all the time if I ‘eat food like that’ and of course I do. I’m particularly fond of Indian food.

Tell us about your first food memory?

Sitting in my Nanny and Granda’s living room picking the walnut off a Walnut Whip and watching his horrified face. I can still hear him kicking off saying ‘It’s the best bit?!’.

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

The Cellar in Anstruther. I’ve been for dinner a few times and I think given the standard of cooking it is pound for pound one of the best value restaurants in Scotland.

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Just along the road you have The Anstruther Fish bar too. I brought a few friends up from England and hyped the place up for weeks while they told me to calm down. They all ate their battered lemon sole (and words) in a total food trance. 

What would be your last supper?

The entire menu from Barrio Comida (a Mexican restaurant in Durham). Sorry to mention somewhere outside of Scotland but I’m genuinely contemplating a trip down to eat there again. I’d eat my body weight in proper guacamole and chicharron.

Starter or pudding?

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Both, and I think the cuisine of food I’m eating dictates which one I’d choose. However, I’ve been known to sit and eat a dessert, while other people eat a cheeseboard, and then follow that up with another dessert.

Do you have any food hates?

This will sound ludicrous for a chef to say, but I’m not a massive cheese fan, especially soft or blue cheeses. Ketchup and mayonnaise make me queasy too. I love prawns, but prawn cocktail is probably my idea of food hell.

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

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The starter would be the smoked lobster from Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, as that dish will always be special to me, and I wish I’d kept track of how many I prepared while working there. The main course would be a whole suckling pig to share, as I adore good salty crackling dipped in apple sauce. Dessert would be simple, with a self service soft serve ice cream bar. It would have to include espresso coffee too. I love an affogato. Entertainment and general mayhem would be provided by Mötley Crüe.
I’d invite my family and people I’ve worked with over the years, since my best meals and experiences have been with like-minded colleagues.

What's your favourite geographical foodie destination?

One of my best mates, Gordon, and his family moved to North Carolina years ago and I love visiting when I can. I always get excited for that Southern States style of cooking. It’s hugely family orientated and generous, and most importantly delicious.

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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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