Readers of The Herald Magazine will soon be able to recreate the magic of the restaurant menu at One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin in their own kitchens. The recipes come courtesy of Gary Townsend, the 34-year-old head chef at the elegant, award-winning restaurant and luxury boutique hotel in Glasgow’s West End.

The initial batch of recipes, starting next week, includes avocado mousse, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella; whole baked sea bass with capers, prawns, herb butter and fennel; and monkfish curry, the latter a reminder of Townsend's love of Indian food.

He hopes that his recipes to be published in these pages will encourage readers to be more experimental when it comes to making meals in their own kitchens.

"I want to make these recipes the kind of thing you can make at home; they're simplified versions of the food we do here, but of course they are still good cooking.

"I might throw in a few dishes that we do here, every now and again, for people who want to impress their guests at dinner-parties. But in the main I'll keep them relatively simple: good food, in other words, using ingredients from around here.”

Townsend was appointed as head of the restaurant brigade at One Devonshire in late 2017 in succession to Barry Duff, executive head chef. Before then, he had been, for just over a year, head chef in the main restaurant at Cameron House on Loch Lomond, where he was responsible for a 20-strong team of chefs. Like all top chefs, he makes full use of Scotland’s natural larder.

He had previously worked as sous chef at the Michelin-starred Restaurant Martin Wishart in Loch Lomond, where he played a key role in the venue being awarded a Michelin star in 2011. His CV also includes work-experience spells at such notable restaurants as The Kitchin, in Edinburgh; Tuddenham Mill in Suffolk, L’Enclume in Cumbria, Restaurant San Bans in Nottingham and the now-closed Hibiscus, in London.

The place has a rich history in top-line chefs. The late Andrew Fairlie won his first Michelin star there. Gordon Ramsay ran the hotel restaurant, Amaryllis, until 2004. Paul Tamburrini, who now runs his own restaurant in Edinburgh’s Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, was once executive chef at One Devonshire.

It was a friend of his from Cameron House, now a sous chef at One Devonshire, who told him about the position of head chef. “I’d never intended, originally, to apply for the job, but I thought I’d go and see what it’s all about,” he says. “I walked through the door, had a chat with the general manager at the time, and thought, ‘wow, I want this job’.

“Fortunately, I got the job, and then I studied the history behind this place and I thought, if others can do it, why can’t we here?”

Townsend, who has 11 chefs working under him, has already made his mark on the menu; one customer, writing on TripAdvisor about her first visit to the restaurant, last October, describes him as an ‘amazingly talented head chef’.

Townsend, who is married and has three children, is from a small town in Cambridgeshire, and has been in Scotland for almost nine years. “I love Scotland, this is my home now,” he says. “I’m an adopted Scot now. I’ll never go back.”

Like many top-class chefs he has been in the business since his teens. He has worked in restaurant kitchens “pretty much since I left school at the age of 16. I got a wee part-time job somewhere where I was at the time.

“Fortunately, it was a good place at the time, and I stuck it out for a couple of years, which gave me a good footing to go somewhere else.

“I’ve worked hard to get where I am, I’m not going to lie,” he added. “I’ve always tried to work in the best places I could, whether that was a full-time job or even just doing work experience in different restaurants up and down the country, just to be the best I possibly could be at the time.”

It’s no secret that restaurant kitchens can be a tough and demanding environment, with little room for those who aren’t up to standard.

Yet when it all goes right, when you get to the top of your profession, when you get customers coming from far and wide to sample your food, there’s surely no better feeling in the world. “That’s completely right,” Townsend acknowledges. “It’s hard, it’s gruelling, but if you love it, that makes it all okay.”

Townsend acknowledges his passion for classical cooking, and he is forever challenging himself with new techniques and creating new flavour and ideas.

“Throughout my career, most places where I’ve worked have been French classical cooking but in a modern kind of way.

“When I worked with Martin [Wishart], his background is very much French classic, but as time has gone on he has evolved as well. I’m in the same boat but at the same time I need to make it fit in with the hotel – I need to remember I’m also working in a hotel, so I need to please everybody.”

Does he have any long-term ambitions? “The short-long term goal is, I’d love to get a Michelin star for Glasgow – and obviously for this restaurant. That’s the ultimate goal for any chef if you’re passionate about your job. That’s the goal for here.”

Edinburgh currently has four one-star Michelin restaurants – Martin Wishart, The Kitchin, The Balmoral's Number One restaurant and Royal Terrace restaurant 21212 – but Glasgow has consistently been overlooked.

“I remember when I first came up [to Glasgow], it wasn’t really renowned for food as such,” says Townsend. “But as times evolved and people’s outlook on food has evolved, I think Glasgow is definitely ready for a Michelin star now.

“If one happened to be awarded to One Devonshire, it would be amazing. Not just for me, but for everybody else who works here.

“I’ve been part of a team that has won a Michelin star. It’s second only to any major milestone in your life, such as getting married, or your first child being born. You work all these hours and you think, My God, you’ve actually done it.”

Next week: Gary Townsend's recipe for avocado mousse, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella