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Jak O’Donnell


  • What was your favouritesubject at school?
  • The only subject it turn out I was good at, Home Economics, as my dreams of being in travel and doing several languages also woodwork was brought to an abrupt end as I couldn’t take French as I was already doing Spanish & Italian so had to do French in Night school also when my Grannie heard I was taking Woodwork instead of Domestic science I got a clip round the ear! as it was my job to learn to cook to look after a husband, so had to change to Domestic science which then changed to Home EC then Food & Nutrition. A fabulous teacher insured I excelled not that I’ve changed my husbands weight mind you he was 10st and still is 26 years later!!What would my grannie say…
  • What was your first job?
  • In a café in East Kilbride at 13yr old dishwasher @50p/hr any breakages were 50p each so I was pretty careful!!
  • Which is your favouriterestaurant /hotel?
  • Restaurant; It is now 16 West end Craig Millar, the first time I went was on our honeymoon, then as Seafood restaurant St Monans. The food was outstanding then and still is, if not even more so, We sat on the terrace had the most amazing service in the sunshine with the best view, I can still remember each dish & cheese board, Food memories are what make me tick!!
  • Hotel; The Plockton Inn A small family run hotel where I got my first taste of fresh langoustine when the fisherman walked past me with them all jumping about in the basket & one night the owner said no scallops tonight as the boat broke and in Glasgow at that time I would have just cooked something else but if he couldn’t get the best freshest Scottish shellfish it just wasn’t on the menu it blew me away. Waking up to a view of Plockton was just the best.
  • How do you inspire your team
  • Treating the team with respect in order to get the best out of them, firm but fair
  • Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you? Inspired; that would be Shirley Speirs what she has achieved for the Scottish food tourism and continues to tirelessly promoting makes me proud to have been in the industry during the time that Scottish food was on the world stage for excellence, So many other chefs who have drive ambition & guts; Admire the story of Graeme Cheevers, our next young generation could do with listening to the commitment at a young age he had, it will be an interesting watch following him over the next few years starting out
  • How do you manage your stress levels?
  • Either walking miles at home with my family & dogs(all of this past year) but normally mostly walking all day long on the North Berwick coastline & lots of talking
  • Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?
  • Not very good at SM but possibly Instagram as it seems more colourful and engaging.
  • If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you
    think you would be now?
  • I honestly don’t think I could have been anywhere else it has been such a big part of my life and loving what you do I’m not sure any other career could touch that for me.
  • What did you do on your last days off?
  • Walked rain hail & shine an amazing dinner and a lovely glass or 2 of red wine!