With its aquamarine tiled bar and ceiling-height windows overlooking Blythswood Square, iasg is arguably one of Glasgow’s most instantly recognisable restaurants. 

Housed in the Kimpton Blythswood Square hotel, its chequered floors have over the years been crossed by hundreds of champagne drinkers, oyster lovers and an eclectic mix of celebrity diners. 

Since a rebrand in 2021, Sean Currie has been the man behind a menu bursting with sustainable seafood from roasted North Sea cod to Goan-style Shetland mussel curry. 

The Herald: Pictured: Sean Currie, head chef at iasgPictured: Sean Currie, head chef at iasg (Image: Supplied)

Brought up in the Ayrshire village of Auchinlek, the head chef at iasg has always had a keen interest in cooking and began working in kitchens at a young age before going on to catch the eye of one of Scotland’s most famous restauranteurs. 

“Tom Kitchin was judging at a competition I was at and I got chatting to him afterwards,” Mr Curie said. 

“I moved to Edinburgh to work with him and later got the option to join the team at Castle Terrace. 

“It was one of the best places I’ve ever worked but it was very, very tough. 

“I was there for about a year and a half until I wanted to get back home. 

“My girlfriend was still living in Kilmarnock, so the travelling back and forward had become difficult.” 

 Upon his return, Mr Currie had his first taste of working at what he describes as ‘a staple’ of Glasgow’s food and drink scene, taking up the position of sous chef at the Blythswood’s restaurant. 

The Herald:

He would later go on to work at the Dakota hotel as it opened just a short walk down the road, before moving on to Number 16 on Byres Road, a small restaurant with big culinary credentials and a spot on the Michelin Guide. 

After seven years, an offer from his former head chef and word of a revamped restaurant that would focus solely on seafood was enough to tempt him back to lead the team at iasg.

He said: “The Blythswood is a Glasgow institution, and I knew what it was like to work there from the first time around. 

“It was a big jump to go from an independent restaurant to a large hotel like this. 

“The size of my team doubled which was a steep learning curve, but working as head chef at iasg was a great opportunity. 

“All of the menus are fully designed by me, so I enjoy the chance to get creative with them."

iasg has currently reached the tail end of another busy summer which has seen its tables close to fully booked for months.  

Not one to let the momentum drop, Mr Currie has spoken of plans for new measures which will help to polish their sustainable credentials even further as a new general manager joins the team ahead of the festive season.

He said: “We’re very selective of our produce because sustainable Scottish seafood is important to me. 

“In particular, our customers seem to enjoy our partnership with The Firth Forth Lobster Hatchery. 

“£1 from every bill is donated to them which helps to maintain stock levels. 

“We’re very careful with waste, but you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to keep track of in such a busy kitchen. 

“We’ve introduced a new system that helps us to monitor whether we’re ordering too much in, over-prepping or getting the portion sizes wrong.” 

The Herald:

Firmly settled into a role which allows him to cook with the best of produce from across Scotland, talk turns to whether Mr Currie has ever felt close to cracking under the pressure of the Blythswood’s glittering reputation. 

“About eight months ago Gordon Ramsay was staying at the hotel and came down to eat,” he said. 

“I don’t get starstruck, but I felt more quiet than usual when I went over to his table after the meal. 

“That was a highlight for me, the pressure to maintain high standards is a huge part of the reason I became a chef. 

“That’s when I’m at my best and I really enjoy it.” 

For more information on iasg visit their website here