If you want an excuse to eat turkey before Christmas, visit the new 18 St Andrews rooftop restaurant at Rusacks for their first Thanksgiving dinner, which takes place on November 25 from 6pm. It’s been designed by their executive chef and inaugural MasterChef: The Professionals winner, Derek Johnstone, who looks after the three restaurants in this venue. This hotel, along with the new Marine North Berwick and Marine Troon, which opens in Spring 2022, is owned by US company Marine & Lawn.
“A thanksgiving dinner is the chance for friends and family to gather and enjoy good food and company as a celebration of the year”, says Johnstone, who won the BBC One cooking competition back in 2008, when he was just 24 years old. “We have a large number of American guests and students at St Andrews University who have family coming over for the holiday this year so we wanted to be able to give them a taste of home while they’re in Scotland”.
Pumpkin pie is conspicuous by its absence, though perhaps that’s a good thing. This dish is usually part of the traditional meal, which celebrates the annual harvest.
Instead, there are five courses for £65 per person, including a glass of eggnog on arrival, all of which will be served in a space that has views over the Old Course.
The dinner will start with bread rolls from Crieff’s Wild Hearth Bakery, served with butter from The Edinburgh Butter Co. Then there will be beetroot-cured salmon with coal fired beetroot, creme fraiche and fennel followed by the main event – turkey with roast potatoes, root vegetables, cranberry sauce, bread sauce and pigs in blankets. The pudding is salted caramel tart with a kumquat and orange sorbet.
“The menu design came from researching traditional Thanksgiving dishes with an emphasis on the very best quality ingredients which I put into every menu for Rusacks, so alongside a lovely free range turkey we also have the Loch Duart smoked salmon and for a little twist, some goat curd dumplings”, Johnstone says.