Kenny, a chef and business owner doesn’t like following the rules, he makes them. He has a passion for all things foodie - from fish & chips to 3-star fine dining. However, his heart and passion is with all things Scottish. He’s an advocate of Scottish produce and shares this passion with his clients.
I grew up in Dunfermline in Fife and Ellon in Aberdeenshire.
I knew I wanted to be a chef from a young age – 14 to be precise!
Two major food memories stick in my mind; firstly, a proper British Sunday lunch at my grandfathers with either roast lamb or roast beef. This is where I learned about table etiquette and good quality food. The second memory is of my daughters first proper meal, a juicy and succulent slow braised ox tail. My daughter cleared her plate! It was even more special as was also at my grandfathers, her great-grandfather’s dining table.
The amazing producers that work day and night to bring us fantastic delights. That makes Scotland one of the best food larders in the world.
Rugged, beautiful, home.
Connor Macleod from the movie Highlander. He is a man that is proud to be Scottish, never forgets where he comes from and fights for what’s right.
Being able to follow my dreams and make them a reality. When you work for an employer you have set rules and guidelines. Instead, I get to make the rules and convert new ideas into reality. I am able to take risks on new opportunities and receive personal rewards for achievements. I am in full control of managing and controlling my business.
It’s not really like work; it’s getting paid to show people my passion on a plate. I get up every day and do what I love. It is hard work but it’s also amazingly rewarding. Helping people make their dreams come true and watch their business grow is hugely satisfying.
I can showcase my style of food and be proud of it.
Every time I cook for guest and they tell me how much they have enjoyed my food I feel proud. It’s my food, my dream and I get to share it through food.
I love Scottish seafood; I live 5 minutes away from the biggest white fish port in Europe. Fresh fish is fantastic and the versatility of what you can do with it and the variety of fish and shellfish is amazing. Cooking it simply and letting the produce be the focal point is what Your Secret Ingredient is all about.
Curing Scottish salmon in a good quality Scottish IPA beer with grapefruit.
I like to use seasonal ingredients but I get a lot of inspiration from cookery books or the internet.
Good quality Scottish rapeseed oil, Maldon salt and fresh herbs.
Anything that my wife cooks, it’s always healthy and tastes delicious. If we are entertaining we keep it simple, normally sharing food, or if my daughter has her way then it daddy’s special fish and chips.
Kiwis! Otherwise I’m willing to eat anything.
Keep it simple; don’t bite off more than you can chew. When you have friends and family round, they are there to see you and enjoy your company. Make recipes that can be served family style and something that gets everyone involved and chatting around the dining table.
Start small, the first year is hard and long, let your business grow organically. Know your customers and your market, cook for your customers, not your ego.
Doing something I love.
Managing Director, Your Secret Ingredient
Head Chef Tutor, Nick Nairn Cook School
Chef Patron of Restaurant 1756 by Kenny
Head Chef at the Carmelite Aberdeen
Hospitality Management at Aberdeen College