Find out about the chefs and outlets involved in the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival, before it launches next month

With the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival just weeks away, we chat to some of the chefs involved, starting with Eugene Reilly, Head Chef at recently opened steak restaurant, Gaucho.

 

How did you get into cooking?

Edinburgh Restaurant Festival

Picture: The Waterside Bistro Facebook

I started out years ago at The Waterside Bistro in Haddington, I was a kitchen porter there. I was 14 when I started washing dishes, and I saw these chefs around me and they seemed like rock stars, driving great cars, and I just thought, ‘I’m going to be like that guy!’

What is your favourite dish on the menu?

It has to be the beef, that’s the reason I came here to work. Because of the quality of the meat, the way it’s been sourced to the way that we handle it.

Any of the beef dishes are fantastic; the fillet is amazing, you could cut it with a spoon.

Any tips for amateur cooks?

Use quality ingredients. For people who want to cook at home, buy the best ingredients you can and do as little as possible to them.

If you’ve got some really good organic vegetables, leave them as they are, don’t try to dress them up too much with a sauce because you can take away the flavour and the characteristic of the vegetable itself.

Every piece of food has its own set of individual characteristics and if you start trying to mix too many things together, you risk taking away the characteristic of the ingredient itself.

If you’ve got a really good ingredient, leave it alone.

What’s always in your fridge at home?

beers for winter

Picture: The Wee Beer Shop

Beer! Comes in handy after a long shift! Joking aside, I’ve always got butter in the fridge. I did a lot of my training in France, so I use a lot of butter in my own cooking.

Most chefs don’t cook that much at home, if you’ve been cooking all day you’re not likely to go home and rustle up a gourmet meal for yourself, it’s usually something really simple.

Do you have a favourite cookbook?

Edinburgh Restaurant Festival

Picture: Amazon.co.uk

White Heat by Marco Pierre White and Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry Cookbook are the two books I always go to for inspiration.

The French Laundry was the reason I got my first rosette; I looked at that book, I looked at the pictures and the way he did things, and was just mesmerised by the style of the food; simple but at the same time it just looked so amazing. I always go back to that cookbook and White Heat.

What is your idea of food heaven?

Picture: Burger Edinburgh

I’m a sucker for a good burger! Something you can eat and then say. ‘I could eat that again’, that’s food heaven!

For more information on Gaucho, please visit their website.

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