How a Restaurant in a Distillery Got a Star in 2022

You can take the chef out of Michelin but you can’t take the Michelin out of the chef. Taking on the mantle of head chef at The Glenturret Distillery in Crieff was a gamble for chef Mark Donald who had held a star at The Balmoral in Edinburgh. It was a away from the safe zone of Michelin-star kitchen and clientele. But six months later and all is smelling beautifully of roses with the award of a first star for the new restaurant.

But, then again, this was no ordinary distillery. Glenturret had been bought by Lalique, the makers of fabulous crystal glass and purveyor of luxury goods – and they had out-of-the-ordinary ambitions. They poached Donald to open a restaurant in the distillery. In Scotland distilleries attract visitors in large numbers so the idea was not outlandish. Add to that Lalique also owns Michelin star restaurants in France such as René Lalique in Alsace, and the one Michelin-starred Château Lafaurie-Peyraguey in Bordeaux.

Donald and Managing Director John Laurie set out to put Glenturret on the map when they opened in the summer of 2021. They billed the restaurant as the first “in-distillery fine dining concept” and took aim at the local “terroir”. It didn’t hurt that Glenturret dates back to 1763 and is reckoned to be Scotland’s oldest working distillery.

The £125 tasting menu doesn’t hold back in its ingredients. It includes:

The restaurant also has an extensive international wine list curated by executive sommelier Julien Beltzung, which comprises more than 400 bins.

Donald told The Herald: “I am so proud that Michelin have acknowledged the hard work, creativity and dedication from my team – and everyone at The Glenturret. Our Scottish heritage and surroundings are vital to the heart and soul of the restaurant.”