Cail Bruich features in various news sites, food blogs and lifestyle magazines. The list below gives you a taste of what people are saying about the Cail Bruich experience.
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Chris Charalambous opened Cail Bruich in Glasgow’s West End in 2008 and hasn’t looked back since. He recently completed a stage in Rene Redzepi’s famous Noma restaurant in Copenhagen.
Along with Two Fat Ladies and Cafe Gandolfi, Cail Bruich is one of the restaurants traveling through from Glasgow to take part in this weekend’s Taste of Edinburgh festival.
Can you define what you’re trying to do with Cail Bruich?
My brother Paul and I opened Cail Bruich in 2008, to offer the very best of locally sourced, seasonal Scottish produce. We also focus on good value for money; friendly and knowledgeable service and offering the kind of dishes and ingredients that you don’t get everywhere else, such as hand-dived scallops and razor clams.
Why go to Noma?
I really like their ethos and philosophy and it was a fantastic opportunity to learn from the best restaurant in the world.
What did you come away with?
It’s not just the food that is the best; the organisation of the kitchen is second to none. We run an organised kitchen too, but having worked at Noma, I can see ways to further enhance our service.
Copenhagen has a similar climate to Scotland and Noma uses many herbs and edible plants that we can also forage here, such as wood sorrel, sweet cicely, samphire and sea lettuce. They are all on our doorstep and their addition to a dish can make all the difference.
How has it affected your food at Cail Bruich?
I’m planning to introduce some of the unusual ingredients and combinations that work so well at Noma. At Cail Bruich, we also focus on imaginative use of high quality produce and foraged ingredients, but this would give our customers the chance to try a little bit of Noma in a Scottish setting.
I really liked Noma’s use of vegetables. There was more emphasis on cold and raw produce generally, unlike most Scottish menus, which tend to focus more on cooked meat and fish.
The wide range of more unusual ingredients, used to such effect by Noma, such as pine shoots, spruce shoots, moss and green strawberries, provides fantastic flavour combinations, which I’d like to create for our customers to try, from time to time. I’ve been speaking to our suppliers to see what they can get for us.
What it your favourite ingredient to work with?
I love being a chef and enjoy working with most ingredients, but one of my favourites has got to be Maldon sea salt. I like how it subtly enhances the flavour of a dish.
What do you like to eat on a night off?
I don’t often cook on a night off – after a 60 hour week, it’s the last thing I feel like doing. I like a takeaway when I’m not working, particularly Chinese food, or pakora.
Is there anything you don’t like cooking with?
I will give any ingredient a try, but I am not too keen on cooking with tofu.
Is there anything you couldn’t eat?
At the age of 28 and having been a chef for 10 years, I have eaten everything put in front of me so far.
What gadget/utensil can’t you work without?
My Thermomix – it’s like having an extra pair of hands in the kitchen
Ketchup or Maldon sea salt?
I like them both, especially on a fish supper.
You can get anyone in the world to cook you a meal. Who would it be?
Pierre Gagnaire. I haven’t eaten at his restaurant yet, but everyone I know who has says it has been even better than they could have imagined. I like his style, that he combines a classical approach with modern techniques.
Apart from your own establishment, where do you like to eat out?
I live in the south side of Glasgow and like to support my local restaurants, but in the West End of Glasgow, Stravaigin and La Vallee Blanche are always good.
What is the best thing about being a chef?
I enjoy the freedom to cook and to be creative with it. When customers tell me how much they enjoy my cooking, it makes my day.
And the worst?
The long hours and the pressure, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
Have celeb chefs been a good or bad thing on the whole?
People are more interested in what they eat nowadays, thanks to what they’ve seen and heard from celebrity chefs and that can only be a good thing.
What would you cook for a colleague who was suffering from a hangover?
A full Scottish fry up, with a bottle of Irn Bru.
What is in your fridge at home?
Lucozade, yogurts, cornichons, fruit and veg, wine and there is always cheese – particularly the smelly kind.
What has been your most memorable meal?
I tried all the dishes on the menu at Noma and they were all memorable. Closer to home, eating at Andrew Fairlie’s at Gleneagles is a treat to remember.
Your daftest customer complaint?
Someone once said a tomato based starter tasted too ‘tomatoey’. The customer is always right, but I was lost for words.
What is your best piece of printable kitchen slang?
We often use the word ‘yee-ha’, which can be a substitute for anything, such as put the dish in the yee-ha (oven), or put the yee-ha on the dish, but somehow we all always know what each other means. That’s the sign of a good team.