The chef-owners of The Gannet, the award-winning restaurant on Argyle Street in Glasgow, are looking east for their next venture. Ivan Stein and Peter McKenna will sign contracts at the end of the month to open in Edinburgh this summer. 

Exact details of the location will be announced closer to the launch date but they have confirmed their intention to be the anchor restaurant tenant for an upmarket foodhall alongside top local producers. “It’s really exciting, there’s nothing like it in Scotland at the moment,” says Peter.

“The Gannet has been open for eight years now and has built up a strong reputation. We use the best Scottish ingredients and we are known for that, not just here in Scotland but across the UK. So this made perfect sense to us, it was a logical next step. We didn’t just want to do another version of the restaurant. 

“We have the benefit of using all our suppliers, the folk who hand dive for scallops or harvest the oysters. All the farmers that we have championed over the years. We will bring them to a new audience with The Gannet East.”

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There will be a strong bond with the Glasgow restaurant. “We think of this as a shop window for what we do already,” adds Peter. “We get a lot of people who travel through to us on the train – they like the price compared to what you get in Edinburgh. They come over to us for a tasting menu that costs £50. We hope to encourage more people to visit us through this new connection.

“When we first opened, Edinburgh was the big tourism draw but now Glasgow is pulling its weight as a destination and people are then travelling up the west coast visiting distilleries and the islands. It’s fantastic to see Scotland become more inter-linked.” 

Ivan and Peter are currently recruiting for a new head chef to lead the Edinburgh operation. “We want to find someone who we can introduce to our network and work with them to design a new menu. We will be launching into research and development over the coming months, ahead of the opening.” 

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The team believe in being close to their supply chain, regularly joining foragers to learn about how they gather seaweed, wild mushrooms or truffles.

Peter talks about his respect for Scottish shellfish which will feature prominently at the new Edinburgh eatery. “I had the privilege of working in the best restaurant in Australia at the time, Banc in Sydney, and I thought that was the pinnacle in terms of seafood but here I get deliveries in, straight from the boat, and it is just extraordinary, you don’t get any better,” he says.

“I know when everything opens up the fishing industry will bounce back and we’ll be able to enjoy scallops and langoustines from those cool, clear waters.” 

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When restaurants return, Peter will have his own list of places to visit: “I like going up to Inver so I will travel there.

"Mark Donald when he was cooking at Number One was amazing so I’m looking forward to seeing what he is up to next. Tom Kitchin is brilliant, always has been. I’d like to go up and see Jamie Scott at The Newport and Billy Boyter at The Cellar in Anstruther.” 

Despite the fact that The Gannet has been open for two months in the last 12, Peter says the outlook remains positive. 

“The restaurant environment is full on and I think people are going to go out there, get busy, and make things happen across hospitality,” he says.

“I’m adding new members to the team right now because I know the demand is there, people are reaching out to us and we know when we open on May 19, we are going to be busy.”

thegannetgla.com

This article features in Best of Scotland magazine, published in today's editions of The Herald on Sunday and Sunday National.