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Flavour Profile Q&A – Kevin Dalgleish, chef patron of Amuse, Aberdeen

This chef tells about his food loves and hates

Published: September 1, 2022
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What’s your favourite ingredient?

I love brown crab. It’s so sweet and delicate, and I like that you can be creative with flavour pairings. I try to feature it in all my dishes, sometime as part of a butter or just letting it speak for itself in a simple no fuss dish.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

Salted caramel chocolate shards with honeycomb. I can never resist. The saltiness, sweetness and richness of the caramel really makes it irresistible.

Tell us about your first food memory?

We had a blackcurrant bush at the bottom of the garden when I was a child, and my mum made the most incredible jam that I used to eat with everything. I can still smell the sweetness of the blackberries - it takes me right back to my childhood even now and reminds me of fond times together as a family.

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

Ondine in Edinburgh is my go-to for seafood. The restaurant is really special, and I love what head chef and owner, Roy, does in the kitchen – he never disappoints.

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What would be your last supper?

I perfected a crab lasagne dish for the opening of my restaurant. It’s now become the star of the show on my current menu. It’s one of my ultimate comfort food dishes. Either that or I’d go for something really classic like a 300g ribeye steak cooked over coals with fresh greens – simple and delicious.

Starter or pudding?

A starter, without a doubt. I would definitely choose something that features shellfish or a beef tartare.

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Do you have any food hates?

No, not really, though red mullet is something I’m not overly keen on. There’s something about the texture that I can’t get over.

What starters, main, and dessert would be served at your dream dinner?

To start, it would have to be beef tartare using local Aberdeen Angus, followed by a roasted shellfish platter that I can pick at with no rush – there’s nothing worse than being hurried in a restaurant. I’d enjoy that with homemade sourdough and Edinburgh Butter Co. cultured butter and obviously a bit of Tabasco for some heat. Then there would be a cheese trolley with a good Stilton, cheddar and a selection of chutney, jams and some figs, grapes and crackers to snack away at. Then finally, a traditional rice pudding for total comfort and indulgence.

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I’d invite Sir Billy Connolly, Elvis Presley, Sir Alex Ferguson and Lady Gaga. The stories shared around that table would cause a lot of laughs I’m sure.

What's your favourite geographical foodie destination?

Without a doubt, Scotland. The produce we have is the best in the world from land to sea – it’s perfect. Our seafood is the best in the world, our land is primed to grow perfect fruit, vegetables, and herbs and our meat is award-winning. What’s not to love?

Amuse by Kevin Dalgleish, 1 Queen’s Terrace, Aberdeen (01224 611 909, www.amuse-restaurant.com)

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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