The Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh has announced Mark Donald as the new head chef of its “exceptional” flagship restaurant, Number One.
The appointment is, the Rocco Forte Group says, the chef’s “homecoming”: he returns to Scotland after a 13-year stint “honing his skills” elsewhere.
Among others, Donald spent time as head chef at Bentley Restaurant and Bar in Sydney, Australia, and held senior positions at Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus, and at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Perthshire.
And, like so many others, he has a little-known restaurant called Noma on his CV.
Donald will bring with him a new menu to Number One. Dishes will be inspired by Scotland, with the likes of oysters with smoked kippers and parsley; scallops and Iberico pork and black garlic ketchup; and wood pigeon with green junipers, blood and potato.
The Balmoral has also announced a new partnership with Highland wagyu beef, which will be on the menu for the first time – served with beetroot and smoked bone marrow.
The Balmoral’s executive chef, Jeff Bland, who has to date proven to be a consistent tour de force at Number One, said: “Mark brings a fantastic grounding in fine dining, having worked at some incredible world-renowned establishments.
“His approach to fusing the best of Scottish produce with international flavours brings a fresh new style to Number One. Mark will take Number One to new heights as he respects the restaurant’s ethos of continually innovating and surprising our guests.”
Donald added: “After travelling and working in some incredible locations, I felt it was time to come home to beautiful Scotland.
“The Balmoral is such an iconic property steeped in history and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such a fantastic team in the heart of Edinburgh.”