THE legendary chef designing the menu for Andy Murray’s new hotel has described Scots’ ancestors as “savages”.
Award-winning Albert Roux added that he understood why the Romans had “built a wall to keep them out”.
The 77-year-old food guru – who also took a sideswipe at haggis – is designing the menu for the £1.8m Cromlix House Hotel near Dunblane, owned by Wimbledon champion Andy Murray.
Roux, speaking at a public tasting at Greywalls Hotel, Gullane, East Lothian, on Tuesday this week let slip that he had been studying Scottish history.
He told his audience: “They were savages.
“No wonder the Romans built a wall to keep them safe.”
Roux managed to be much more complimentary about modern Scots, suggesting the UK would suffer in the event of a Yes vote on independence.
He said: “If Scotland becomes independent, who is going to govern England?
“Not just the Prime Ministers, but Chancellors, heads of the Army – all Scottish,” he said.
Returning to what should have been the safer territory of cuisine, Roux then revealed that haggis is off the menu at Cromlix House.
“It is not my favourite,” he admitted.
“I will eat it if it is put in front of me but I would not choose it from a menu,” he added.
Roux was at pains on Wednesday to make clear he meant no offence and that he was talking about events that happened a “very long time ago.”
“I was referring to a marvellous book by Michael Fry called 400 Years of the Scots,” he said.
“It was a very long time ago. I love all things Scottish.”
Fry’s book – actually called Wild Scots: Four Hundred Years of Highland History – tells of “forced clearances and the breakdown of feudal relations”.