Chef of the Week: Ryan MacFarlane, Head Chef at Waldorf Astoria – The Caledonian in Edinburgh

How long have you worked at your current restaurant?
It will be five years in February.

Where did your passion for cooking come from and where did you learn your skills?
I have been very lucky with where l have worked and who l have worked with, which is why l have enjoyed the career for so long.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?
Every day is different.

Name three ingredients you couldn’t cook without.
Butter, tea and salt.

Which piece of kitchen equipment couldn’t you live without?~
My teacup!

What food trends are you spotting at the moment?
Street food is in, and some cracking food.

What do you think is a common mistake that lets chefs down?
Some chefs still think we should be working long hours, these days are gone and we need to adapt to keep the talent in the industry before they all leave for jobs with better hours.

What is your favourite time of year for food, and why?
My favourite time of the year is when the Scottish strawberry season kicks off, nothing better to eat.

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
I am proud of all the afternoon teas that we create here at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh.

Who was your greatest influence?
My biggest drive when starting out was to make my mum proud.

Tell us three chefs you admire.
Willie Pike, Malcolm Webster and Gary Thomson.

What is your favourite cookbook?
Gary Rhodes, New British Classics.

Who do you think are the chefs to watch over the next few months?
Dean Banks is a busy chef at moment and it is always nice to watch what he is up to.