Geoffrey Smeddle was crowned the king of the kitchen range last night when he picked up two gongs at the annual Scottish Restaurant Awards. Not only did Smeddle’s Peat Inn restaurant win the Restaurant of the Year category but he also won the Chef of the Year accolade.
Geoffrey and his wife Katherine received one of the biggest cheers of the night when asked by the MC Tam Cowan what it was that made their Fife restaurant so special. ‘We love what we do,’ was their simple but heartfelt response.
There were also big cheers for Glasgow’s Nanakusa and 5pm member Osteria Piero restaurants who, respectively, won the Best Oriental and the Best Italian categories. While accepting their awards, both mentioned that they had opened just as the recession had started but had managed to thrive despite it. Judging by the cheers from their fellow restaurateurs, there was wide-spread recognition and possibly relief that the belt-tightening caused by the credit crunch was easing.
While the quality of food produced by the winning restaurants may be exceptional, the quality of their jokes was rather more variable. Cowan asked each winner to tell a joke when they came up to accept their award. As you might imagine, most of them are unprintable.
The biggest surprise was Geoffrey Smeddle’s contribution. The fresh-faced chef looks as though butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth but came out with a gag that would certainly have brought a blush to a nun’s cheek and maybe even a sailor’s.
The team from Ondine, winners of the Best Seafood category, provided one of the few jokes that we can retell here without fear of upsetting someone.
‘There are two aerials on a roof and they fall in love and get married. The wedding wasn’t so great but the reception was brilliant.’
The full list of winners are here:
Best Italian Restaurant
Best Indian Restaurant
Mother India, Edinburgh
Best Oriental Restaurant
Best Speciality Restaurant
Best Family Friendly Restaurant
Best Chef of the Year
Geoffrey Smeddle / Peat Inn, Fife
Best Fine Dining Restaurant
Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh
Best Pub Grub
The King’s Wark, Edinburgh
Best Hotel Restaurant
Ardeonaig Hotel & Restaurant, Perthshire
Best Customer Service
Best Rural Restaurant
Cail Bruich, Bridge of Weir
Best Urban Restaurant
Opus One Restaurant, Perth
Best Seafood Restaurant
Ondine Restaurant, Edinburgh
Best Newcomer Restaurant
Rocpool Reserve Hotel, Inverness
Best Healthy Workplace Restaurant
Eurest (Scottish Power)