Torrish Restaurant’s New Executive Chef: Lindsay Mackay

Torrish, the esteemed fine dining restaurant in Inverness, has proudly welcomed the talented and award-winning former head chef of Skibo Castle, Lindsay Mackay, as its new executive chef.

This marks a significant milestone in the culinary journey of Torrish, as they look to reach new heights under Mackay’s culinary expertise.

A Culinary Journey Inspired by the Scottish Highlands

Lindsay Mackay, whose culinary passion ignited in the quaint fishing villages of northern Scotland, has meticulously crafted a menu that draws inspiration and ingredients from the breathtaking landscape and pristine shores of the Highlands of Scotland. His creations are a testament to the rich history of the region, with even his chocolate dessert paying homage to the local gold prospecting heritage.

Torrish Restaurant's New Executive Chef: Lindsay Mackay

Furthermore, Mackay has introduced a separate, dedicated vegan menu, reflecting Torrish’s strong commitment to sustainability. The restaurant exclusively sources fresh, locally grown produce from nearby farms, ensuring both exceptional taste and environmental responsibility.

A Thoughtfully Curated Wine List

Torrish’s wine list has not been overlooked; it boasts a meticulously curated selection of old-world wines that take precedence over less sustainably sourced “deep sea” wines. The attention to detail in the wine selection mirrors the commitment to sustainability that runs through the entire dining experience at Torrish.

Mackay’s dedication to sustainability goes beyond the kitchen. Torrish actively nurtures relationships with local food purveyors. The back door is a constant hub of activity as new friends and long-standing partners drop off samples, while Mackay’s email inbox is abuzz with discussions regarding the qualities and quantities of seafood, livestock, fruits, vegetables, and seasonal foraged goods. Each dish on the menu is a heartfelt celebration of local small-scale artisan and craft producers, farmers, and growers.

Torrish Restaurant's New Executive Chef: Lindsay Mackay

For instance, the beef is meticulously sourced from Highland Beef in Banchory, pork from the nearby Petley farm, and delectable beetroot, spring onion, and summer salad vegetables from Dores farm. The vegetables are hand-picked in the morning and delivered fresh by the afternoon, courtesy of the Natural Vegetable Company. Local berries hail from Hardmuir farm, a short 20-minute drive away.

Dishes with a Unique Story

Lindsay Mackay takes pride in infusing each dish with its own captivating story. He shares that the ‘roe deer & chicory’ dish is inspired by Camps coffee chicory extract, a nod to the Gordon’s highlanders and the brave soldier depicted on the bottle’s label. This soldier, a Beauly man named Hector MacDonald, distinguished himself in the battle of Omdurman in 1898 and was subsequently knighted for his service.

The ‘cape wrath oyster dish’ draws inspiration from Sorley Maclean, the Gaelic poet, and his evocative poem ‘The Shores.’ The dish seeks to capture the essence of looking out on the edge of the world at Cape Wrath through its unique oyster flavour.

Torrish Restaurant's New Executive Chef: Lindsay Mackay

The ‘lemon sole & langoustine dish’ is aptly named ‘the roller coaster’ after a fishing ground in the Minch. The name is not derived from the waves and swells but rather from the undulating seabed, where fishing fleets go to great lengths to land these iconic and delicious species.

A Remarkable Culinary Journey

Lindsay Mackay’s remarkable culinary journey began in the most northerly tip of Scotland, on the rugged Sutherland coast. Growing up in a fishing village, he often found himself peeling langoustines alongside his mother in the local pub. His classical training under the legendary Glasgow college lecturer, Willie McCurrach, set the foundation for his culinary expertise. Mackay’s journey then led him to his uncle Jim’s seafood restaurant, The Captain’s Gallery, and subsequently to Michelin-starred establishments, both locally at Nairn’s Boath House and internationally in Bavaria, Sydney, and Sicily.

A pivotal turning point in his career came during a 15-year tenure as the head chef at the prestigious Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle, where Mackay honed his craft and earned recognition as a rising star in the culinary world when he won the Rising Star award at the Champagne Jacquart Young Chef, Young Waiter competition in 2011.

Torrish Restaurant's New Executive Chef: Lindsay Mackay

Lindsay Mackay’s Vision

Lindsay Mackay articulates the philosophy behind Torrish: “At Torrish, we firmly believe in the power of local ingredients and creativity in the kitchen. We are thrilled to offer a dining experience that celebrates Scotland’s culinary heritage and showcases the incredible flavours of our local producers, especially here in the North. Our commitment to sustainability aligns perfectly with the abundant green energy opportunities in the area, including solar, wind, hydro, and wave.

Torrish, situated within the five-star Ness Walk Hotel, derives its name from the salmon fly commonly used when fishing in the River Ness. The restaurant, located within a lovingly restored 19th-century family home, retains its period features and offers an elegant dining experience with sweeping views of the River Ness through its floor-to-ceiling windows.”

In conclusion, Torrish, under the visionary leadership of Executive Chef Lindsay Mackay, is poised to offer a truly exceptional dining experience that captures the essence of Scotland’s culinary heritage, all while staying committed to sustainability and celebrating the flavours of the local region. With Mackay’s culinary expertise and dedication, Torrish promises to be a standout destination for food enthusiasts in Inverness and beyond.

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