Masterchef: the Professionals finalist Chris Niven has been named executive head chef of a new food and drink venue at the Scotsman hotel in Edinburgh.
The Scotsman Grand Café & Bar is set to open in early summer 2018. It will be located in the former advertising hall of the hotel’s historic building, which originally opened in 1905 as the home of the Scotsman newspaper and is currently undergoing extensive renovation.
Niven is in the process of recruiting a 15-strong kitchen brigade and developing an all-day menu of seasonal Scottish produce showcasing bold flavours.
Commenting on his new role, Niven said: “The opportunity to take the reins at The Scotsman Grand Café & Bar in this pre-opening phase and to have complete autonomy to develop the venue and its menus is one that I didn’t want to miss.
“There is no blueprint, so every dish is being designed from scratch and will be custom-made, with seasonality, flavour and sourcing at the heart of everything we do. It will be an easy and elegant menu with something for everyone, and we are working hard to offer customers something fresh, distinctive and one-of-a-kind in the Edinburgh scene when we open our doors in a few months’ time.”
Dundee-born Niven’s past experience includes stints at Rufflets hotel in St Andrews and the Dalmahoy hotel and country club in Edinburgh.
He went on to be head chef of Printing Press Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh’s George Street, during which time he took part in the 2017 series of Masterchef: the Professionals.
Joining Niven at the Scotsman Grand Café & Bar will be Kenny Arnott, who has been appointed general manager.
Prior to joining the Scotman, Arnott worked at Provincial Hotels & Inns, the Oak Royal golf and country club in Chorley, and the Isle of Eriska hotel & spa.