HE has created elegant fine-dining dishes in some of the most reputable restaurants in Scotland, but chef Paul Tamburrini he is now facing his harshest critics – his family.

Leading a busy life as one of the country’s top chefs, Paul has been used to a work-life balance of irregular hours and long nights away from home.

“I suppose this is one of the first times I have actually been able to cook for the family,” said Paul, who has been enjoying a sabbatical of culinary discovery. “I have always been working in kitchens and at home it might have been a case of seeing what the local supermarket had to offer, but with lockdown it has been great to be at home and cook for the family altogether. Tonight I will be trying my chicken fricassee on them and so far my dishes have been going down well.”

Paul has been eased into lockdown and wasn’t in a position where he had to give up what he was doing, like many chefs. He had been enjoying time out to make new food discoveries and further his culinary experiences.

Last year, he gave up his job as head chef at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh. He has previously worked as chef director at Martin Wishart’s The Honours brasserie in Edinburgh, head chef at Cameron House on Loch Lomond and was executive chef at One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow.

“I decided it was time to take a sabbatical and do something new,” said Paul. “I also wanted to spend bit more time with the family which has been great as we chefs do work unsocial hours.

“I had the chance to be part of the launch of a new venture in London by two-Michelin-star chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias who was opening the restaurant Decimo at The Standard hotel. I can only describe it as a super-cool, high-end restaurant and the food is a mixture of Spanish and Mexican.

“I come from a typically French style of cooking background and this was something I hadn’t really experienced before, but it has certainly given me new ideas and I have been exploring bringing different ingredients together in a way that I haven’t before.”

Having been inspired by Sanchez-Iglesias, Paul now hopes to bring these culinary ideas and tastes to new diners.

And while he has been exploring options in Dubai, it seems the lure of home could well be beckoning for his next project.

Returning to his roots for his next venture is something Lanarkshire-based Paul had been looking into, but lockdown has put plans on hold.

“I had been looking at setting up in Glasgow and was so near after finding the perfect location, but the timing was hit by lockdown,” said Paul. “It is still something I would like to do and hopefully it will work out in future.

“For anyone running or starting a restaurant after lockdown there will be a lot to consider from keeping a staff safe and social distancing in the kitchen to the number of covers you can have. It’s likely that one of the things to come out of this is restaurants having to focus on the takeaway side of the business in a way they never have before.”

Glasgow has missed out on that illusive Michelin star for some years now while Edinburgh seems to be running away with them. For a major city with a thriving and diverse restaurant scene, it comes as a mystery to some observers.

One Devonshire Gardens, one of the city’s most stylish restaurants, knows what it is like to have a Michelin star, achieving (and retaining) it while the late Andrew Fairlie was head chef there. Later, Gordon Ramsay’s Amaryllis restaurant, also located at the upmarket hotel, won a star. Amaryllis closed down in 2004 and Glasgow has not had a Michelin-starred restaurant since.

However, Paul doesn’t believe that the lack of a star means Glasgow is lagging behind.

“Glasgow has come so far over the years in terms of what it has to offer. Before lockdown I was at two fantastic restaurants in the west end, Cail Bruich and The Gannet. They are doing great things. People might think differently coming out of lockdown and might just want good quality food – star or no star.”

Enjoy Paul Tamburrini's family feast

Just because you're in lockdown doesn't mean you have to miss out on amazing food ... and who better to ask for tips than Paul Tamburrini?

Here is his recipe for a fantastic, restaurant-quality three-course meal made from store cupboard ingredients:

Chargrilled asparagus, fried hens egg, aged parmesan

Serves 2


200g green asparagus spears

Olive oil to drizzle and grill

2 free range hen's eggs

30g aged parmesan shavings

Rocket leaves to garnish

Sea salt and course ground black pepper


1 Peel the asparagus and bring a pan of lightly salted water to the boil and blanch in rapid boiling water to retain its colour and maximum flavour for 4/5 minutes. Refresh in cold water, drain and gently pat dry. Once dry, gently coat with a little olive oil.

2 Pour some olive oil into a non-stick frying pan and place over a medium heat, carefully add the eggs separately and cook lightly.

3 Heat a griddle pan over a high heat, then add the asparagus spears, cook for 2/3 minutes until lightly charred and tender.

4 To serve – add the chargrilled asparagus to the serving dish, place the lightly cooked hen's egg on top of the asparagus, scatter over the parmesan shavings and rocket leaves, drizzle with a little olive oil discreetly.

Fricassee of chicken legs with Lyonnaise potatoes

6 whole chicken legs cut into thighs and drumsticks

Vegetable oil

50g butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

1 sprig thyme

100ml white wine vinegar

200ml white wine

500ml chicken stock

200ml double cream

20g flat leaf parsley, chopped

Lyonnaise potatoes:

6 large Maris Piper potatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

150g butter

2 onions, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

40ml olive oil


1 Preheat the oven to 170°C.

2 Brown the chicken pieces in the vegetable oil and butter in a pan until nicely

golden. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3 Add the onion, garlic, bay leaves and thyme to the pan, and cook until soft

4 Add the vinegar and reduce by two thirds, then add the wine and reduce by


5 Add the stock, cream and chicken pieces, then bring to the boil and skim off

any scum.

6 Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes.

7 Remove the chicken pieces and set aside, then bring the sauce back to the

boil and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

8 Cook the unpeeled potatoes in gently simmering salted water until almost soft all the way through, remove from water and leave to cool completely.

9 Once cold, peel the potatoes and cut into 1cm slices.

10 Melt half of the butter and fry the onions and garlic until soft and golden,

season and set aside.

11 Heat the remaining butter and olive oil, add the sliced potatoes and gently

colour on both sides – add the onion and garlic mix, adjust the seasoning and serve.

Chocolate Truffle Tart

For the pastry case:

240g butter – room temp

120g sugar

1 egg

Zest of 1 orange

1⁄2 vanilla bean deseeded

1⁄4 tsp salt

500g flour

For the chocolate mixture:

10oz 74% dark Chocolate

120g sugar

1⁄4 tsp salt

120g butter – room temp

160g glucose syrup

4 eggs


1 In a mixer cream together butter and sugar. Once it is light and fluffy add the egg and continue mixing until combined.

2 Add the orange zest, vanilla bean seeds and salt. Incorporate the flour in three stages and mix until the dough comes together.

3 Divide in half and roll into 1/8 inch thick rounds and place in fridge for 30 mins between 2 sheets of parchment.

4 Place both rounds into tart pan and return to fridge for a further 30 mins.

5 Preheat oven to 180°C and cook tart pans until golden brown (approx 15 minutes).

For the filling:

1 Melt the chocolate then stir in the butter until fully corporated.

2 Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, warm the eggs, sugar, glucose syrup and salt in a double boiler to 37°C. Transfer the mixture into a mixer and whisk until triple the size.

3 Whisk one-third of the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mix until incorporated and emulsified.

4 Fold in the remaining egg mixture into the chocolate mix.

To cook:

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Divide the truffle filling into the two pastry cases and smooth with a spatula. Bake for approx 6 minutes then cool to room temperature. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Serve with pouring cream, fresh raspberries and sorbet.