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Former Balmoral Hotel chef Mark Donald to head up Lalique fine dining at the Glenturret Distillery

The Lalique Group  purchased a 50 per cent stake in the Glenturret distillery in 2019 and now the French brand, best known for its luxury crystal creations, is set to open a fine dining restaurant in the distillery.

Published: April 9, 2021
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The Glenturret Lalique restaurant is billed as the first distillery fine dining establishment, and is being fronted by former Number One at the Balmoral head chef Mark Donald.

Mark took up the post at the Balmoral Hotel's Michelin Starred restaurant in 2018 after a 13-year stint abroad.

Before the move back to Scotland, Mark had been in  Sydney where he was head chef at Bentley Restaurant and Bar.

Prior to this he worked at a number of internationally renowned two Michelin star establishments including senior roles at Claude Bosi’s flagship Hibiscus restaurant in London and at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Perthshire.

Mark also spent a significant stage at Noma in Copenhagen – the San Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant at that time, and left the Barmoral earlier this year.

Currently Mark has been nominated as part of this year's Best Chef Awards, with the entry describing his high flying career so far: "Mark began cooking in his hometown of Glasgow where he spent time in the kitchen of Stravaigin, then one of the city's most popular restaurants, renowned for their unique approach to global cuisine.

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"Since then, he has gone on to build impeccable culinary credentials that include Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, Hibiscus in Mayfair, Bentley Restaurant in Sydney and a formative season at Noma in Copenhagen.

"2018 saw his homecoming to Scotland where he took over the kitchen at Number One at The Balmoral where he retained their Michelin Star until he departed in 2021.

"Mark now takes on the role of Executive Head Chef at the Glenturret Lalique Restaurant, located in the heart of Scotland's Oldest Working Distillery in Perthshire.

"He is renowned for his creative and warm Scottish hospitality and making people laugh."

lalique mark donald

Tattie Scone. Oscietra. Bittercress flowers. Picture: Marc Millar

The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant, located in the heart of what's thought to be one of Scotland’s oldest working distilleries, will be the first of its kind, as no other whisky brands are currently home to a restaurant dedicated to fine dining.

The menu will showcase contemporary Scottish dishes, which will be based on a foundation of classic French gastronomy and will focus on local terroir and produce.

The restaurant will join Lalique’s hospitality establishments including Villa René Lalique, the 2-star Michelin restaurant and hotel based in Alsace and Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey, the 1-star Michelin restaurant and hotel near Bordeaux.

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Speaking about his appointment, Mark said, “I’m very excited to be part of this unique and exciting culinary experience.

"The distillery has a long-standing history and great heritage – as does Lalique – so it was an exciting task to combine this with fresh, innovative ideas.

"Working closely with the local producers and suppliers has been wonderful so far; together with my team, I feel we have managed to create a contemporary, thought-provoking menu wrapped in the genuine Scottish hospitality for which The Glenturret is renowned.”

John Laurie, The Glenturret’s managing director added: “We are thrilled to have Mark join The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant.

"Not only are his humble and charismatic attitude a perfect fit for our close-knit team here at The Glenturret; his exceptional knowledge of Scottish produce combined with his creativity will perfectly complement both the heritage of where we have come from, and the new direction in which we are going with the restaurant.”

The Glenturret 10yo Peat-Smoked Maracaibo Chocolates Picture: Marc Millar

The Glenturret Lalique restaurant website currently says that reservations will be open soon, and states: "We have brought together a team with experience in a myriad of Michelin-starred restaurants across France and the UK - dedicated to this luxurious, dinner-only restaurant, and to creating one of the very best gastronomical experiences in Scotland."

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In late 2020 The Glenturret celebrated a new chapter in its 250-year-old history  with the launch of its latest range, presented with a fresh visual identity.

Last year the distillery also released its first limited-edition single malt in a new collaborative series with Lalique - The Glenturret Provenance.

The Glenturret Lalique Restaurant will launch early summer 2021.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

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