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Calum Montgomery

Chef Owner, Edinbane Lodge, Skye

  • What was your favourite subject at school?

Business Management and Hospitality funnily enough! I never seen a career for myself in hospitality a the time, I just loved cooking. I took an interest in business management as I wanted to join my dads cleaning company one day. I was always coming up with some sort of money making idea.

  • What was your first job?

My very first job was as an assistant carpet cleaner which I did for one summer when I was 13. Followed by my first job in a kitchen at 14 as a kitchen portrer

  • Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?

I’m not sure if I have a favourite hotel or one that I return to often. I like to try new places to stay and eat in as many different places as I can. Its always an opportunity to learn how different places operate.

My favourite restaurant in Scotland must be the Gannet. On a Global scale my overall best restaurant experience was at 3 Michelin Starred Azurmendi in Bilbao.

  • How do you inspire your team

I’m not sure how to answer this without sounding incredibly arrogant! Haha. Hopefully I inspire them by staying true to my cooking philosophy and being able to source the best ingredients available. Working alongside them and not asking them to do anything I wouldn’t be prepared to do myself.

  • Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?

I’ve always admired Masterchef Professional’s winner Gary Maclean, who taught me in College. He seen something in me that not a lot of other people did and really helped me progress in my career. It’s amazing how much influence somebody can have on your mindset and career aspirations when they believe in you as a person. I really admire his approach to the kitchen and his “man management” style to get the best out of his students, he’s a real role model for the entire industry.

  • How do you manage your stress levels?

Often easier said than done, particularly the past few years with covid and closures. I enjoy running which I think really helps clear my mind. The drive back and fore to work always helps too. Just to set you up for the day or reflect on what’s happened on the past evenings service. When I’m Home I try and switch off from work as much as I can. Make sure that what I watch on TV is an alternate universe to what I deal with day to day! It’s a good escape!

  • Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?

Twitter 100% – Iove it. No long-winded posts, no posers. Just people’s thoughts and opinions with lots of arguments and popcorn material.  Its also a great way to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world.

  • If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you
    think you would be now?

Ive been doing this now for 18 years now so I have no idea!

I was very close to taking a job at William Hill in 2009 when I first moved to Glasgow and couldn’t get a chef job anywhere at the time.

 Luckily I got a call from Paul Tamburinni the night before I was due to start at the bookies! He offered me a trial at One Devonshire Gardens and I’ve never looked back since.

  • What did you do on your last days off?

A visit to the Play park with my wee girl, a quick forage for some wild garlic and a visit to our friends for a coffee and catchup.

Couple of Tea Time beers in my local – The Pier Hotel and finished off the day watching TV on the couch with my wife.

  • What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?

Love a podcast. Most recently got into gardening too. Trying my best but got a lot wrong too! It’s a great learning experience and helps me get a better understanding how much works goes into the produce we receive day to day.