Signature Festival returns to Aberdeen this weekend

Aberdeen's fine dining festival is back from 3-15 November in the city's Chester Hotel.

Published 1st Nov 2019
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

Staged within one venue – the hotel’s 2 AA Rosette restaurant – Signature Festival sees visiting chefs and their kitchen brigades recreate menu experience from their own restaurants - with only 80 places available at each dinner.

Making his debut this year to the city and festival, is celebrity chef, Daniel Clifford. Chef patron of two-Michelin starred restaurant Midsummer House in Cambridge, he is widely regarded as one of the most inventive and gifted chefs of his generation.

Renowned for modern British cooking, underpinned by an unmistakably French style, Daniel reinvents British classics using fine local produce.

Daniel was awarded his first Michelin star in 2002 at Midsummer House, followed by his second in 2005, and it continues to be the only two-Michelin star restaurant in East Anglia, in addition to holding five AA Rosettes.

As well as this, he has twice won BBC’s Great British Menu and has become a TV regular appearing on MasterChef the Professionals and Saturday Kitchen. He still appears as a veteran judge on BBC’s Great British Menu.

Signature at The Chester Hotel returns for its third serving this month, with Daniel joining the line up of Glynn Purnell, Martin Wishart Phil Howard and Brian Grigor.

Chocolatier-patissier William Curley will create the dessert at a Sunday lunch held to officially open the festival, which will include a set from stand-up comedian Jason Manford.

The festival is the brainchild of Graham Wood, owner of The Chester Hotel, who saw the local appetite for fine dining through the popularity of his own upscale venue.

He said: “We have some outstanding produce available to us here in the north east, yet for many years Aberdeen simply didn’t appear on food lovers’ radars.

"That is quite ironic given that so much of our raw ingredients – seafood, game and fruit – is recognised as being of outstanding quality and used in world-class restaurants all over the UK and beyond.

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“What we wanted to do with Signature was to bring together the best of both worlds: to take these locally sourced ingredients and for exceptionally talented chefs to create simply stunning menus in an intimate setting.

“The success of the event speaks for itself. It has sold out the past two years – we’ve had to operate a waiting list for some dinners – and we’ve had guests travel considerable distances to be part of it.

"Signature, along with all the other food-focused events and markets in Aberdeen, is putting the city on the map as a must-visit destination for foodies.”

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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