Inaugral Andrew Fairlie hospitality award won by royal mansion

The late, great Andrew Fairlie
The late, great Andrew Fairlie
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He cooked for the Queen and 44 world leaders at the G8 summit in Scotland in 2005 and was Scotland’s only holder of two Michelin stars for his eponymous restaurant on the Gleneagles Estate.

Now the inaugural award for hospitality excellence created in honour of late Scottish chef Andrew Fairlie has been won by Dumfries House, the 18th century Ayrshire country mansion and estate redeveloped by the Queen’s son, Prince Charles.

The award, presented by Andrew Fairlie’s widow Kate, praised the renovation of Dumfries House at the Catering Scotland (CIS) Excellence Awards, held last night in Glasgow.

The property, set in 2,000 acres near Cumnock, was bought, together with its collection of Chippendale furniture, for £45 million in 2007 by a group led by Prince Charles and has since become a venue for high profile events.

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Mr Fairlie passed away aged 55 in January after a long battle with a brain tumour. Fairlie, the inaugural winner of the Roux Scholarship in 1983, was himself presented with the CIS Awards’ Lifetime Excellence Award in 2017. This year, the same award was made to Albert Roux senior. The awards ceremony also honoured chef of the year Fred Berkmiller, chef-proprietor of the L’Escargot Bleu and L’Escargot Blanc restaurants in Edinburgh. Meanwhile, restaurant of the Year was Stefano Pieraccini’s Seafood Ristorante overlooking St Andrews Bay and Glenapp Castle at Ballantrae in South Ayrshire was named best independent hotel.

Andrea Nicholas, chair of the advisory board, said: “Andrew was unequivocal about using the word ‘excellence’ in the CIS Awards’ name and only accepting and judging entries which lived up to the term. Dumfries House encapsulates all that.

“It has become a symbol of excellence in hospitality, hosting hundreds of events, as well as in education, training and restoration, and inspiring a new generation to enjoy hospitality and the outdoors.”

Other major prizes included those for establishments in the Hebrides. Edinbane, the 16th-century lodge restaurant at the head of Loch Greshornish on Skye, won the restaurant newcomer award, while Young Chef of the Year went to Jordan Clark of the six-bedroom Pennygate Lodge near Craignure ferry pier on the Isle of Mull.

Lord of the Isles, at Craobh Haven on the Craignish peninsula between Oban and Lochgilphead, took the pub excellence Award.