One Square’s Head Chef Craig Hart takes us through his kitchen inspiration and shares a recipe
Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?
No. In fact, I failed my Home Economics class at college and my teacher would’ve told you I was a lost cause! I only knew that I wanted to travel and that I didn’t want an office job. With that in mind, I considered cooking, joining the army and working with animals as potential careers. While I liked the idea of running a farm, it didn’t seem like the most profitable choice. I also wasn’t too keen on the army route, so I opted to become a chef, an interesting profession where no two days are ever the same.
Who has inspired you most in the kitchen?
My first chef, Volker Steinemann, whom I worked with during my placement at a 4* country house hotel in Dunfermline and, more recently Alan Gibb, who was the Executive Chef at Gleneagles when I worked there. Alan has completely changed the way I think about food and how I approach cooking. He was a first-class mentor and I’m grateful that I had the chance to learn from him.
What is your favourite Scottish ingredient?
Scallops or langoustines. They are both fantastic ingredients, so fresh, vibrant and versatile. I believe working with fresh ingredients makes an incredible difference to the final dish. This was always at the forefront of my mind when creating our newly launched Tasting Menu. You’ll be able to see from each course that we work very closely with local suppliers to bring the best quality ingredients to the table – this is a philosophy we live by in everything that we create at One Square.
What’s your signature dinner party dish?
When hosting a dinner party, I would most certainly serve up some kind of fish. I love fish and fishing. Where I live in Fife, we have a local fishmonger who drives around in his delivery van and delivers fresh produce right to your door – it’s fantastic!
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Definitely chocolate – especially when I’m tired. I’m partial to all sorts really, but if I had to pick, my favourite would be milk or caramel chocolate.
Can you tell us a bit about the Dining at the Pass experience?
Dining at the Pass is a unique, bespoke cooking experience. We create dishes based on your culinary preferences and cook your choices live in front of you while explaining all the steps along the way.
- 8 hand dived scallops, roes removed
- 80g shiitake mushrooms
- 1 Braeburn apple, cut into batons
- Chervil, optional
- 50g butter
- 20ml olive oil
- Chicken jus (you can get this from any good butcher)
- For the fennel purée
- 1 head of fennel
- 50ml full fat milk
- 50ml double cream
- 1/2 clove of garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 60g butter, split into two and diced
- For the pork belly
- 500g pork belly, with skin
- 10g fennel seeds
- 10g sea salt
- 50ml olive oil
- 1 clove of garlic, puréed
- 50ml Scottish honey
- 50ml water
- Poaching liquor
- 100ml white wine vinegar
- 100ml water
- 100g sugar
- 2 black peppercorns
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 strip of orange peel – no white bits
Marinate the pork belly with the fennel seeds, honey, sea salt and olive oil and let rest for 4 hours.
Cook in a roasting tray with 4 tbsp of water in the bottom. Cook at 90°C for 4 hours, covered with foil. Baste every 30 min with the juices. Remove the foil and turn the oven up to 180°C for a further 30 min to get the top of the belly crispy – remove and rest.
For the purée, slice the fennel finely. In a large pan, sweat off the garlic and finely sliced shallot with half of the butter – do not colour. Add in the finely sliced fennel and sweat it off with no colour. Cover with the milk and cream and cook until soft, then add in the rest of the butter. Once melted, drain the liquid into a separate jug. Blend the fennel, adding in the reserved milk mix until the purée is smooth and thick. Season.
Put all the poaching liquor ingredients into a pan and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 min. Sautee the shitakes in oil and season. When cooked add into the warm poaching liquor and reserve until ready.
Pan-fry the scallops, giving them 1 min each side. Finish with a knob of butter and place into a cloth until ready. Cut the pork belly into four long strips. Drain the shitake mushrooms from the poaching liquor. Arrange as per photo and finish with picked chervil.