Kinloch Lodge’s latest new face is going to seem rather familiar.
For after a spell at Ullinish Lodge, local chef, Calum Montgomery, will return to the Michelin starred restaurant in the New Year.
Portree-born Calum made the move in January 2016, after three years working his way up the ranks from chef de partie to senior soux chef. After a year away he will return to Kinloch as head chef.
Executive chef-director Marcello Tully said: “Having demonstrated the ability to run another kitchen, we’ve invited Calum back to help with Kinloch’s ongoing development. I’m very much looking forward to welcoming him back into the Kinloch family, he’s a very creative but organised and really competent chef, with a cool temperament that fits in perfectly in my kitchen.”
When asked why he’s returning to the Sleat hotel, Calum said: “It's many chefs’ dream and ambition to work in a Michelin starred restaurant, so to have been approached to be head chef is an incredible opportunity that doesn't come along very often.”
He continues: “While being in charge of a small team was a great experience, I'm very much looking forward to being part of a larger brigade that feels like a family. I think this team bond is integral to Kinloch’s success and I am really looking forward to working with Marcello, Isabella and the rest of the Macdonald family again.”
Kinloch’s dining capacity will increase in 2018 and hiring Calum is part of Marcello’s plans to build a larger team, while he will remain hands on in the kitchen, having Calum as his head chef will allow Marcello to also focus on future progress. The two chefs will work side by side on the development of new dishes and continually strive for the next level.
Amongst his recent accolades, Calum can boast that at just 26, he’s the only Skye-born chef to have been awarded three rosettes, in his time at Ullinish Lodge, a career highlight for him. While he was at Kinloch he was voted Sous Chef of the Year (Scottish Hotel Awards 2015). He started his chefing career at the Cuillin Hills Hotel, trained in Glasgow, and then went on to work at One Devonshire Gardens before being offered the role at Kinloch, following some work experience.
When asked what he’s most looking forward to Calum said: Working alongside Marcello, he’s so calm, a real gentlemen in the kitchen; creativity, organisation and precision in equal measure is the name of the game and this suits my way of working. I also can’t wait to be part of, and leading a brigade, and sharing my own skills, in a larger kitchen, for bigger numbers while keeping my attention to detail.”
So what inspires him to keep striving for his goals? “Ironically, I only realised I wanted to be a chef, when I stopped being one, I went to do a management course and really missed the cheffing I’d done as a stop gap. Day-to-day, wanting to make the most of Skye & Scotland’s abundant fresh produce, is what drives me. There’s a bit of a Nordic influence in some of my dishes, inspired by Michelin starred chef, Wassim Halal who I worked with in Denmark."