Scottish independence: ‘Yes’ stance costs Andrew Fairlie restaurant customers

Chef Andrew Fairlie. Picture: Robert Perry
Chef Andrew Fairlie. Picture: Robert Perry
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THE COUNTRY’S leading chef has revealed that some customers threatened to boycott his Michelin starred restaurant when he declared his support for an independent Scotland.

In a wide-ranging interview with Scotland on Sunday in which he discusses his political beliefs and aspirations, Andrew Fairlie, who runs the eponymous restaurant at Gleneagles – the only restaurant in the country to be awarded two Michelin stars – likened the experience to admitting he supported an Old Firm football team.

“I thought long and hard before putting my head up and saying I would get involved because you are sticking your head above the parapet,” he said. “I immediately had e-mails from people and Twitter people saying ‘I’m never coming to your restaurant again’. It’s like coming out for Celtic or Rangers, you get the backlash. It’s all very well having these beliefs and talking about it but you can’t just sit back.”

However, Fairlie, who in June was appointed to the campaign board of Yes Scotland, refuted suggestions that he would merely be a mouthpiece for the SNP. “If I felt I was being manoeuvred or having to defend policies that I didn’t agree with I would always speak out,” he said.

Fairlie also said he didn’t believe in a “middle ground” with independence, wanted a straight yes-no question on the ballot form and accused the No Campaign of having nothing to offer.