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Chef Lorna McNee from Dallas wins Michelin star for Restaurant Cail Bruich in Glasgow

By Ali Morrison

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Chef Lorna McNee has won a Michelin star for Restaurant Cail Bruich in the West end of Glasgow.
Chef Lorna McNee has won a Michelin star for Restaurant Cail Bruich in the West end of Glasgow.

A FORMER Scottish Chef of the Year from Dallas has won a prestigious world rating for the top restaurant she works in now.

For the first time in 18 years, a Glasgow restaurant, Cail Bruich at 725 Great Western Road, has been awarded a coveted Michelin star - Lorna McNee brought the accolade to the city just over five months into her first head chef role, making her the first solo female chef to be awarded one in 20 years and the first female chef to be awarded one in Scotland’s largest city. The last solo female chef to hold one was Gunn Eriksen with two stars at the Altnaharrie Inn in Ullapool in 2001.

Lorna said: "Winning a Michelin star has been a dream of mine since I became a chef. The feeling of achieving it is better than I could have ever imagined. The best feeling for me though, is seeing the happiness on my team members’ faces knowing that all our hard work and sacrifice has been worthwhile. It is amazing to share it with them. I’m so proud, it is a dream come true."

Lorna started out working in Little Sicily on Forres High Street, where she washed dishes and considered studying photography before discovering her real talent in the kitchen.

She went on to study professional cooking at Moray College and completed a two-week work placement with Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's in London aged just 19.

Since then, Lorna has made her mark on the Scottish culinary scene, collecting accolades including Game Chef of the Year (2016), Scottish Chef of the Year (2017) and in 2019 was crowned the winner of the BBC’s Great British Menu competition.

The last restaurant to hold a star in Glasgow was Gordon Ramsay’s Amaryllis which closed in 2004.

The family business has been open since 2008.
The family business has been open since 2008.

Cail Bruich was opened in 2008 by brothers Chris and Paul Charalambous. Early last year, chef Chris moved away from the kitchen to focus on other aspects of the family run business.

Lorna was appointed head chef at Cail Bruich in August, a step up from her previous role as sous chef at two Michelin starred, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, where she started her career as an apprentice.

Lorna’s decision to join Cail Bruich was influenced by its style of cooking, the front of house team headed up by general manager Chris Donnachie, and the opportunity it offered for her to make her mark on the menu.

Lorna makes the most of Scotland’s seasonally changing ingredients. Dishes on her most recent tasting menu included West coast crab, celeriac, citrus, apple, langoustine consommé, Exmoor caviar; Peterhead cod, baby gem, cornichon, squid, sourdough, beurre noisette and Anjou squab pigeon, braised chicory, roast onion, seared duck liver, preserved cherry.

Since November, she has been preparing dishes for delivery and collection in Glasgow.

Cail Bruich’s owner Paul said: "We’re delighted and humbled to receive this accolade. To achieve Glasgow’s first star in 18 years is the dream of a lifetime. The award is for our team, suppliers and craftspeople who strive to provide the best possible experience for our guests."

His brother Chris added: "We wouldn’t have achieved this prestigious award without the support and loyalty shown by our guests. We hope that this recognition of excellence will put Glasgow firmly on the culinary map, where it undoubtedly should be."

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