An acclaimed chef has dropped a spectacular "soft launch" of a new restaurant that is opening in the former premises of something of a Scottish fine dining institution.

The US-born Michelin-starred chef has said he is to celebrate the "wealth of Scottish produce, meat, and seafood" with a membership deal that brings befitting benefits for an annual fee of between £300 and £7,500.

Chef Rodney Wages, whose former San Francisco eatery Avery won him his sought-after accolade, announced the soft launch and the membership arrangement this week.

Avery Edinburgh told social media the venture in the former premises of the Stockbridge Restaurant opens properly in the new year but that the "December soft launch is available to book .. make sure to reserve your spot".

"Avery Edinburgh opens properly in 2024 after we renovate our space—and maybe even add a speakeasy. But throughout the Festive Season, we will be hosting pop-up preview dinners in our future home in Stockbridge.

"The price of the multi-course menu will start at £149 and both supplemental courses and beverage options will be available as an addition to the evening."

The Herald: Chef Rodney Wages said he fell in love with Scotland after his first visitChef Rodney Wages said he fell in love with Scotland after his first visit (Image: Avery Edinburgh)

Avery has also partnered with The Third Place, which "helps local businesses achieve margins worthy of their cultural impact" to offer a membership facility.

It’s not an unusual revenue stream and diners can sign up to some such experiences for as little as £150 a year.

"Once we're open, Avery members will get exclusive access to our larder, priority reservations, and a discounted house account," it said. "Before we open to the public  ... members will get invitations to pre-opening pop-ups, tastings, and friends and family experiences not available to the public."

The restaurant added: "Joining Avery as a member will grant you access to priority reservations, a glass of our favourite Champagne or sake to welcome you every time you join us, priority access to special events, and more."

Airport and ferries have provided some bright spots amid concerns over the future of Grangemouth this week, business editor Ian McConnell writes.

He said that after the closure threat to the Grangemouth oil refinery, the latest financial results of Prestwick Airport were a relief.

He also points to the Scottish Government "and its proposal to make a direct award of the Clyde and Hebrides ferry services contract to CalMac rather than embarking on a competitive tendering process in the open market".

Deputy business editor Scott Wright warns this week that there is a major test looming for First Minister Humza Yousaf's New Deal for Business.

"If First Minister Humza Yousaf had been hoping that last week’s Autumn Statement would ease any of the pressure his administration is under in the build-up to the Scottish Budget, he was likely to have been disappointed," he writes.

"Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt was certainly not met with unconditional praise from the business community when he unveiled measures that he hopes will get the UK’s spluttering economy firing again. But he did win plaudits for extending the current relief package on business rates for firms in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors in England and Wales for another year."

Elsewhere, good news as Clyde Associated Engineers, the new owner of Tayport-based Foodmek is looking to re-hire workers made redundant earlier this year when the 52-year-old business went into liquidation, reports business correspondent Kristy Dorsey. Foodmek folded in October with all of its 32 staff made redundant.