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Dan Ashmore

Executive Chef, Dean Banks group

  • What was your favourite subject at school?

My favorite subject at school was of course cooking!

  • What was your first job?

My first job (other than my paper round) was working in the café of a local garden centre, I did my work experience there and stayed on doing weekends after.

  • Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?

There is such a selection here, I would say my favourite hotel is Gleneagles, having been lucky enough to work there as well as stay as a guest I’ve seen both sides and it’s just such a special place.

My Favorite restaurant is a tricky one, I’ll give you two – one local to me in Edinburgh and one a little further afield. Edinburgh favourite would be The Palmerston, you are always guaranteed a great meal with a cold pint of Guinness or a great wine. My favorite further afield would be The French Laundry, watching from a distance it’s amazing to see the level of detail and the progression the team have made while staying so close to the very core of what makes the restaurant special.

  • How do you inspire your team

I make a conscious effort to get to know all the chefs and KPs across the 4 sites I run, I may not be with them each and every day but I do my best to let them know I care about them and make them feel valued. Take time and show them what we are needing and give them the training for them to grow.

Most importantly, never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.

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

I’m very lucky to have worked alongside some incredible chefs in my time in kitchens, it’s a little cliché but I’ve never worked for someone who hasn’t inspired me and I’ve taken various bits from all of them.

  • How do you manage your stress levels?

I do my best to remember that at the end of the day it’s just food we are cooking, if mistakes happen so be it, it’s how we deal with those mistakes that matters.

I try and remind myself “I can only do what I can do, so I will do all I can do” it basically means you can’t do everything so achieve what you can and the rest can wait until tomorrow

  • Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?

Instagram for sure, it just seems so much more positive than twitter, and Facebook.

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

No clue to be honest, possibly something to do with finance.

  • What did you do on your last days off?

Began the mammoth task of re-painting my house. Hallway got done on my last days off.

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

Spend time with my wife and kids.