ENTREPRENEURIAL chef Dean Banks is up for triple success at Scotland’s most
prestigious hospitality event.
He is shortlisted in the inaugural Scottish Excellence Awards as Chef of the Year, in
the Restaurant Newcomer category for Dulse in Edinburgh and in the Restaurant of
the Year Award for HAAR in St Andrews.
In 2021, Banks and his team re-opened HAAR, situated right by the 18th golfing green of the Old Course, following its closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Dulse in Edinburgh is a seafood restaurant in the city’s West End with a wine and cocktail bar downstairs.
A 2018 finalist on BBC 2’s Masterchef: The Professionals, Banks’s career has included training at Rick Stein’s Seafood restaurant in Cornwall, stints at Edinburgh’s Number One at Balmoral and 21212 restaurants, Tides Lodge in Tanzania and as a private chef in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier. In 2021, he launched Dean Banks at The Pompadour in the Waldorf Astoria at Edinburgh’s Caledonian Hotel recently opened The Forager, a gastropub in Dollar, Clackmannanshire.
Other finalists for Chef of the Year include Derek Johnstone, first winner of Masterchef: The Professionals in 2008, who launched the Rabbit Restaurant and its sister bar, The Seal, at the Marine Hotel at Troon last Summer.
Also featuring on the shortlist are Calum Montgomery, Chef-Patron of Edinbane Lodge on the Isle of Skye – itself a finalist in the Restaurant of the Year category – and Paul Wedgwood, whose eponymous restaurant recently celebrated its 15th birthday. The five-star Glenapp Castle at Ballantrae in South Ayrshire is shortlisted in two categories – Independent Hotel of the Year and Restaurant Newcomer for its Azalea Restaurant. Rivals for the Restaurant of the Year prize are the family-run Rufflets in St Andrews and Banchory Lodge near the River Dee in Aberdeenshire.
Kevin Dalgleish’s restaurant in Aberdeen, Amuse, and the 700-year-old Mingary
Castle, built on a rock overlooking the sea in Ardnamurchan, complete the Restaurant Newcomer final line-up.
Anne Gracie Gunn’s Sonas Collection’s Duisdale House on Skye’s Sleat Peninsula is shortlisted for Group Hotel of the Year along with the Radisson Red, near Glasgow’s Ovo Hydro entertainment venue and Scottish Events Centre, and the Royal Marine at Brora in Sutherland, part of Highland Coast Hotels.
Group General Manager Andreas Maszczyk could provide a second win for Sonas as he is shortlisted as Employee of the Year along with Carmen Cordero, Events and Sales Assistant at Edinburgh-based Saltire Hospitality.
Highland organisations provide the finalists for the Sustainable Business category.
Glen Mhor Hotel and Apartments in Inverness and Visit Inverness, the website for
the Highland capital and Loch Ness are shortlisted, along with the Scottish Crannog
Centre at Kenmore, on Loch Tay.
The awards, described as ‘the ultimate accolade for businesses and individuals
working in Scottish hospitality,’ will be announced and presented at the Sheraton
Grand Hotel and Spa in Edinburgh on Thursday 16th March. For more information
and a full list of winners, visit here.