Kinneuchar Inn set to re-open this month with top London chef at the helm

Renowned chef, James Ferguson and partner Alethea Palmer are set to open The Kinneuchar Inn in Fife this autumn.

Published 25th Sep 2019
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Behind the food at the Kinneuchar Inn will be James, who has worked alongside the likes of Angela Hartnett at The Connaught in London, and will bring his unique cookery to Scotland for the first time.

The pub in the East Neuk village of Kilconquhar has been closed for two years whilst undergoing refurbishment and will reopen on 25 September, with Alethea managing front of house.

The Kinneuchar Inn will retain the traditional pub area, which has long been at the centre of village life, with a separate dining area for 32 covers, a private events space, and a cosy nook for drinks and bar snacks.

Visitors and locals can look forward to a cosy, relaxed space with open fires and furniture carefully crafted from local wood.

When it comes to the food, the menu will focus wholeheartedly on the integrity of the ingredients without over-complicating the plate.

Kinneuchar Inn
The menu will include local produce.

With most dishes changing daily, everything on offer will feature foods both wild and farmed that have been sourced directly from the nearby Balcaskie estate and producers nearby.

This will include locally caught fish and shellfish, native breed meats and game, and organically grown or foraged vegetables and fruit.

Thanks to the new purpose-built butchery, James and the team will work closely with local farmers to source whole carcasses, which he can butcher on site.

The restaurant will open for lunches (Thursday to Saturday) and dinners (Wednesday to Saturday) and a long, relaxed Sunday lunch.

The pub will be open from Tuesday evening through to Sunday and will serve a range of local, British and European beers alongside a carefully selected wine list.

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Kinneuchar Inn
The restaurant at the Kinneuchar Inn.

Who are James Ferguson and Alethea Palmer?

James has been a driving force in the East London food scene for the last decade and is much admired by food industry insiders.

He is known for his particular take on modern British cooking with an eye on diverse global influences: Scandinavian pickles, Middle Eastern spice, Southern European seasonality.

An executive chef with 20 years of experience in the industry, he has worked at The Connaught, as launch head chef at and mastermind behind Beagle in Hoxton, and headed the kitchen at Rochelle Canteen with Margot Henderson.

Originally from Halifax with Scottish/Greek heritage, James grew up helping in the kitchen of his parents’ acclaimed Yorkshire restaurant. James initially trained as a classical pianist before going back to his true first love, cooking.

For the last eight years Alethea Palmerhas been General Manager at Arnold & Henderson, one of the most talked about restaurants and catering companies in London.

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She oversaw the running of Rochelle Canteen in Arnold Circus and has also designed and executed carefully tailored events across the world – from major art openings to celebrity weddings, as well as intimate high profile private dinners.

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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