SHE'S worked in kitchens since the age of 15 and even when her twins born was only away for eight weeks before trying to juggle both motherhood and the demands of the hospitality industry.

And as if the sector didn't face enough challenges last year due to covid, owner of west end eaterie Zique's, Mhairi Taylor, decided to embark on a £50,000 revamp reopening its doors just before heading into the Christmas lockdown.

With travel restrictions in place it meant her sons Nicky and Jamie Redmond, who had followed her onto the profession, were at home rather than working around the world and joined her in the kitchen when they reopened their doors.

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The past few months have seen two generations work in harmony around the grill and pass, presenting stunning dishes. The inspiration for the culinary journey has been Ms Taylor's mother Jean who she inherited the passion for cooking from. Now the restaurateur has handed the keys to Zique’s kitchen to her sons Nicky, 26, and Jamie, 21, – 20 years after she opened the Glasgow West End institution with her mum.

The Herald: Mhairi Taylor of Zique's is looking to her next challengeMhairi Taylor of Zique's is looking to her next challenge

"I sat them down and said to them I don't think they need me here any longer," said Ms Taylor. "They were doing a great job and I could see they could handle it by themselves and they were delighted. I won't be sitting back, but for the first time in years I will have the chance to do something different. I have worked in kitchens since I was 15 and now this is time for me."

The brothers have now launched a summer small plates menu inspired by the passion of their great grandfather, grandmother and mother for cooking, growing, foraging and hospitality.

Ms Taylor added: “My mum grew all of her own fruit and veg, and made pasta, bread, yoghurt and cheeses by hand at home. And that was before it was trendy.

“Whether at home or at work, she was all about hospitality - making sure people were well fed, watered and having a great time.

“I caught the bug for hospitality from her, and I’m so pleased that my boys share that same passion. The dishes they have created are wonderful.”

The Herald: Mhairi Taylor with sons Nicky and JamieMhairi Taylor with sons Nicky and Jamie

Inspiration for the new menu goes back four generations, as the former Cafezique was renamed Zique’s last year after Ms Taylor's grandfather, and Jean’s father, who was a great cook, forager, fruit and veg grower, poacher and fisherman. 'Zique' picked up the nickname when he fought against Franco in Spain in the international brigade

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Jamie, who has previously worked at Six by Nico and Mhor 84, will work under older brother Nicky, who has been appointed as head chef.

Nicky said: “I’ve been in kitchens around the world, but I’ve always learned the most from my mum. Food was such a huge part of our childhood and cooking is one of our favourite things to do as a family. We’ve got big shoes to fill but it’s exciting to be able to take our mum’s vision and help move it forward ourselves.”

While Jamie said his favourite memories of them as a family are all around food, adding: "my memories are in the kitchen, seeing my mum at work or sitting around the table as a family.

“We care about the food we produce because food is incredibly important to us. Mum’s been teaching us about the importance of food going from farm to fork since we were wee boys. It’s great that we can keep the kitchen in the family. “

Ms Taylor, was back in the kitchen at Cafezique just months after Jamie was born, said: “Just like my mum had to many years ago, I’ve had to let go both professionally and as a parent.

“They are both so talented and while I’m glad they still come to me for advice, I know that the best thing I can do is give them freedom to do what they’re great at - cooking.

“But as we now work together, live together and socialise together, I think it’s important they have their space to make the kitchen their own just like I once did.

“Now more than ever, trying to find chefs who you can trust is a nightmare. My kitchen is in very safe hands. Running Zique’s and Bakery by Zique will still be my main role, but I’ll have more time to explore exciting new projects further afield.”

The Herald: Small plates option was introduced at Zique'sSmall plates option was introduced at Zique's

Last year Mhairi, who also owns Bakery by Zique in Hyndland, worked with award-winning designer Mark Brunjes on a £50,000 revamp of the venue. Now Zique’s is launching a new small plates menu with dishes such as pan-seared pork neck, braised baby gem lettuce, pear and radish salsa, and Sea Bass ceviche with oyster mayo, a far cry from the full-Scottish breakfast Zique’s was once synonymous with.

Head chef Nicky, who has experience in luxury chalets, Monachyle Mhor and the iconic Stokehouse restaurant in Melbourne Australia, added: “When we decided to drop the big breakfast, which Zique’s had become known for, we expected a backlash. But it never came. I think that’s because Glasgow has changed - the food scene is just incredible.

“People want to try new things and eat healthy, creative dishes made with wonderful locally sourced ingredients. Anything else won’t do.”

“We are cooking exactly the food we want to and people are loving it. And that’s all that matters.”