New King of the Kitchen at Dalhousie Castle
We are delighted to have appointed Pedro Barreira as Head Chef. Pedro was promoted to the position having previously worked as Senior Sous Chef at the castle since 2018. Passionate about local, seasonal produce, Pedro brings a wealth of experience and culinary expertise to the role and his appointment underscores our hotel’s commitment to develop talent and promote ‘from within’.
Pedro started his career at Gary Rhodes’ Rhodes & Co Edinburgh restaurant where he was employed as a waiter. Having shown a keen interest in the kitchen, he was encouraged to take on a commis chef position and spent two and half years there learning the ropes. It’s this experience that has shaped his management style and the need to develop the team around him today. Upon being appointed Head Chef at Dalhousie, he promoted the then kitchen porter to commis chef who now thriving under his tutelage.
Having worked his way through the ranks it was at Ballachulish House in the Scottish Highlands where, as Junior Sous Chef, the restaurant won a Michelin Star, a time he credits as his proudest career moment. His most recent post, prior to Dalhousie Castle, was as Senior Sous Chef at Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club, in Edinburgh.
With responsibility for overseeing the food in Dalhousie’s 2 AA rosette Dungeon Restaurant, Orangery Restaurant and extensive banqueting, Pedro is already making his mark, with a focus on increasing the range of vegetarian and vegan menu options as well as the sustainability of ingredients. Wild garlic foraged from the castle grounds is being used in pesto and dressings, and ingredients with a stable supply chain such as sea bream and scallops will feature strongly.
Commenting on his influences, Pedro said “Growing up on the north coast of Spain with parents as dairy farmers and keen cooks themselves, I learnt the importance of eating and cooking seasonally from a young age. We grew vegetables in our garden and ate a lot of fresh seafood, particularly scallops, octopus, and langoustines.”
“We have a tremendous choice of ingredients on our doorstep and Scotland is home to some of the finest produce available to eat anywhere in the world thanks to its unique climate and terrain. I take the principles of only using, where possible, local, seasonal ingredients and adding a special twist to create a unique dining experience.”
Alex Bryant, General Manager of Dalhousie Castle said; “Pedro was the natural candidate for Head Chef, he is highly skilled, and has the passion and ambition to take our restaurants forward. For us as a business, his ability to train and develop the team is crucial as it aligns with our core values of encouraging succession through the business and it’s wonderful to see staff flourishing under his leadership and mentorship.”
The Dungeon and Orangery restaurants are open daily for dinner to residents and non-residents with a choice of table d’hôte and a la carte menus. Lunches and traditional afternoon tea are served daily. The castle can cater for up to 110 guests for weddings, banquets and private parties.