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Jonathan MacDonald

MD, Scoop restaurants, Ox & Finch - Ka Pao,

  • What was your favourite subject at school? – I always enjoyed practical things, Technology, cooking in Home Economics or experiments in Science.  Was neve great at sitting still in class concentrating!
  • What was your first job? – I had a paper round, then my first kitchen job was on a Saturday in Yes restaurant in Glasgow when I turned 16.
  • Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel? – So hard to just pick one, L’Enclume was one of my most memorable dining experiences of recent years, it was phenomenal. Loved Sabor last time I was in London too, really unpretentious and the team were so friendly and passionate.
  • How do you inspire your team – We try to create a culture where people genuinely enjoy coming to work, buy into the ethos of the restaurants and feel proud to be a part of them.  We offer career progression to people too, pretty much all of our senior chef and management team have been promoted from within the business.    
  • Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you? – I have a lot of respect for Angela Hartnett, she’s an amazing chef and a great ambassador for the industry.  
  • How do you manage your stress levels? – I’ve started trying to be better at taking a break from my phone when I’m off.  It’s good to take a break from all the calls, messages and emails occasionally, otherwise you never really switch off from work.
  • Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why? – Probably Instagram, I’m not very active on any social media though!
  • If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you think you would be now? – Genuinely don’t know, I’ve never had an inkling to work in any other industry. I love my job now as much as I did when I started almost 22 years ago!
  • What did you do on your last days off? – I was in a hall full of screaming Primary 2s for my daughter’s 6th birthday party, she had a great day!
  • What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing? – Spending time with my kids helps me to switch off from work.  Taking our dog, Trevor, a long walk and listening to music or a podcast is probably the most peaceful thing I get to do.