HE once vowed he'd never cook again in a commercial kitchen but now Nick Nairn, Scotland's first celebrity chef, is to open a restaurant in Aberdeen - and has two further ventures in the pipeline.

 

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Situated in Aberdeen city centre at the Hilton Garden Inn, Native will use locally-sourced ingredients and will offer a range of heritage dishes.

Potted heid pate, cullen skink and proper seafood cocktails will be among his starters, while unusual cuts of beef, upmarket burgers and his signature monkfish curry will feature as mains.

Nairn, 54, who was the youngest Scottish chef to gain a Michelin star, has had restaurants in Aberfoyle and Glasgow but vowed he'd never again return to cook in a commercial kitchen.

He opened a highly successful Cook School in Aberdeen last year and admits that the city has been a "revelation" to him.

"I once said I would never again cook in a restaurant kitchen, but times have changed and there's a new excitement around food in the north-east," he said.

"Aberdeen's economy is very robust, supported by oil and gas, and it is emerging as a powerhouse of excellence in the industry worldwide.

"People are enthused by good food here, and while we're not aiming for Michelin stars, it feels good to be back in the kitchen."

He has headhunted Gary Leishman from the rival boutique hotel Simpsons as his head chef, but says he will cook at Native at least once a week. Nairn also runs the Kailyard restaurant at the Doubletree by Hilton at the Dunblane Hydro.

He said: "Kailyard has gone from being almost empty to feeding 340 people a night, so we have proven our formula works. I look forward to opening new restaurants in Edinburgh and the Highlands after Aberdeen in October."