Celebrity chef Nick Nairn, the youngest Scotsman to receive a Michelin star, has announced that he will create a signature dish for the Spirit of the Rhine’s a la carte restaurant. The vessel is Saga’s newbuild river ship set to debut in 2021.
He will also host show-cookery demonstrations during two of the ship’s journeys: the April 19, 2021 Keukenhof and The Hague sailing, and the October 25, 2021 Best of the Rhine sailing.
The chef said he “was more than happy” than to sign up with Saga to create a signature dish.
“I am kicking around ideas with the Saga team regarding the menu. At home in Stirling, my grandfather and father used to smoke their own salmon so that was a thought – it has the best taste and travels well which is so important as I must be able to guarantee the quality of the food,” he said.
“But I am known for my game dishes, I served roe venison for the BBC’s Great British Menu Royal Banquet, which celebrated the Queen’s 80th birthday, so that is something I might recreate; a modern twist on a traditional dish could work well on Spirit of the Rhine.As for show-cooking, that plays to my strengths, it’s what I do at my cookery school in Port of Menteith. I love the entertaining, sharing ideas and skills,” he added.
Nairn knew nothing about international cuisine before he ran away to sea.
As a young navigating officer, he sailed throughout South-East Asia and discovered the delights of Asian menus and eating out.
In 1986, Nick left the merchant navy to open a restaurant, Braeval Old Mill, in Aberfoyle, and within five years he became the youngest Scotsman to gain a Michelin star. Hecurrently runs the Kailyard restaurant at Dunblane Hydro and Jam Jar in the Bridge of Allan, Scotland.
The Spirit of the Rhine launches on March 23, 2021 with sailings along the Rhine, Moselle, Main, Danube and the Dutch waterways.