It’s home to Scotland’s only designated Food Town, boasts a range of fantastic markets, and now Dumfries & Galloway is set to add another ingredient to its gastronomic menu – Wheeler’s of St James’s, by Marco Pierre White. Having opened branches across England and even in Dubai, the former enfant terrible of the culinary world now brings his brand to Scotland with a stylish new restaurant in Dumfries, due to open with a VIP dinner this Thursday, 28th of November.
Established in 1856, Wheeler’s of St James’s was originally a hotspot for wealthy Londoners with a taste for tartar and caviar, but had long disappeared when White revived the old haunt in 2009. Located in Dumfries’ Aston Hotel, the new Wheeler’s will serve a blend of British and French dishes made with locally-sourced produce, taking advantage of the excellent beef, fish, seafood and other ingredients available in Scotland.
White isn’t the only celebrity chef with a taste for Scotland – Gordon Ramsay previously owned a Michelin-star establishment in Glasgow, while Jamie Oliver has branches of his popular Italian chain in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Scots chef Nick Nairn unveiled his new restaurant, Native, in Aberdeen earlier this month, while April 2014 will see the opening of Michel Roux Jr’s fine dining establishment in Cromlix House, the Perthshire hotel recently bought by tennis star, Andy Murray.
While the small town of Dumfries may not seem like the most obvious place for the Michelin-star face of Knorr stock cubes to set up camp, Dumfries & Galloway is in fact something of a haven for foodies. Castle Douglas boasts some 50 outlets selling food and drink, and the region hosts numerous farmers’ markets plus the annual Flavour Fortnight, celebrating local food with more than 90 events each September. The Galloway Smokehouse in Newton Stewart smokes succulent Scottish salmon, trout and seafood, and Cream o’ Galloway make delicious ice cream with flavours such as Caramel Shortbread and Whisky, Honey and Oatmeal – all worthy of any top notch restaurant.
Has all this talk of food got your mouth watering? Check out Wheeler’s of St James’s website for information on menus and booking, and have a look at our guides to food and drink in Dumfries & Galloway and Scotland’s Michelin-star restaurants. Bon appétit!