Chef Michel Roux Jr. is aiming to shake up the Scottish food scene with the launch of an interactive dining experience, called Seasgair, at Inverlochy Castle which is inspired by the history of the castle, which is situated just outside Fort William.
The five-star hotel’s new dining experience, Seagair, which is Gaelic for cosy, warm and comfortable, ‘will see chefs preparing and serving canapes and dishes in front of guests, sharing platters and showpieces presented on traditional silver, fine bone china and crockery crafted by local potters. Dishes will be presented as an entirety, with some served up at the table rather than plated. This is a nod to the castle’s past when it was a family home and Cook Mary Shaw would create a new menu each night, for its owner Mrs Hobb, who would entertain family and guests.
Michel Roux Jr. said, “Our goal is for everyone who enters the dining rooms to leave with a taste of how the castle would have been when the kitchen was run by the extraordinary woman that was Mary Shaw. We’ve taken Mary’s ethos and created an experience that showcases the best of what’s seasonal in creative and compelling ways, with each course a new discovery and surprise. Mary was an incredibly gifted and passionate cook, so it’s fantastic to continue her legacy for guests to discover something completely new.”
Guests will dine in just one sitting each evening and be transported back in time by five carefully devised dishes, each with a story to tell and using the finest seasonal ingredients recommended by professional artisans. The team hopes to bring the dining experience back to basics, and particular attention is paid to presentation, quality and interaction between guests and chefs. The menu will also have a hyperlocal focus including foods from producers neighbouring the castle that aren’t available anywhere else.
Inverlochy Castle’s head chef Coalin Finn, who has just joined the team, will oversee the restaurant, having worked closely with Michel Roux Jr. in bringing the concept to life. Having trained under the likes of Gordon Ramsay and with experience in fine dining restaurants around the world, he brings an exceptional amount of talent to the kitchen.
Norbert Lieder, managing director of Inverlochy Castle Management International (ICMI), which operates the management of the property, said, “As we come out of the pandemic, we know that the way people enjoy dinner gatherings has changed. Rather than offer a traditional menu, a more relaxed and immersive approach to dining is favoured by many.
We want everyone who steps into the castle to feel like they’re being welcomed into our home. Everything we serve will be handpicked by chef Michel Roux Jr. and chef Coalin, favouring producers on the castle’s doorstep and with nothing imported. The creativity and energy put into creating Seasgair will be evident throughout, as will the chance to try one-of-a-kind dishes among great company.”
As well as individual tables in the dining room, to further enhance the experience the castle is also introducing the Mary Shaw table, nestled within the Library. Here, guests can meet and learn more about the ingredients selected directly from chef Coalin while they savour each dish.