Graeme Stewart is our newly-appointed Head ChefGraeme Stewart Head Chef

To get to know Graeme better, we asked a few questions about where he’s come from, what he’s looking forward to, and a few others too!

Tell us 3 things that would help us to get to know you.
I really enjoy fishing in the river, looking after my newborn son and getting outside on my days off.

What brings you to Pitlochry?
I was brought up here but left when I was 17 years old. I have been back here for about 5 years now.

Where have you come from, and what have you been doing?
I moved to Australia as it’s where my wife is from, but I have 22 years kitchen experience working in Scotland, as well as Spain, Ireland and, of course down-under, which has enriched my passion for fresh and local ingredients to produce creative, sustainable and seasonal menus. In 2018, I also gained The Art Of Leadership Scholarship at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, awarded by the Hospitality Industry Trust.

What’s challenging and exciting about coming to Pitlochry Festival Theatre?
It’s a really nice change, and an opportunity to work in a place that’s surrounded by such beautiful scenery. And the fact that I can bring new and fresh ideas to the menu is really exciting. I would love to spread the word that we aren’t just a theatre, we are so much more!

What are you looking forward to the most?
It’s something new. I have never worked in a theatre kitchen before and making sure we are providing great food in a banqueting style is so important because of the time restrictions of the sittings and times of the performances.

Do you have a favourite production that you’re looking forward to and why?
Summer Holiday, as it means that I am able to create menus with a summery vibe.

How do you relax?
Sleeping! With a new wee boy, it’s a challenge, but it’s great when I can get it. I also love to fish and walk.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A footballer.

What do you fancy to eat right now?
Roast chicken, no matter what, a roast makes you feel at home.

What animal would you be and why?
I’d probably be a bear – I’d love to hibernate in winter and live an eternal summer!

If you retired tomorrow and started a wildly different, second career, what would it be?
I’d love an outdoor job because I’m inside all the time. Maybe a binman! Fresh air, meeting people and really feeling like part of the community. What’s not to love!

Proudest non-work achievement?
When I was younger, I won the Perth and Kinross orienteering championships.

Favourite place?
Australia, on the beach is wonderful and the sunsets are just beautiful. However, I don’t think many places can beat Scotland on a sunny day.

What could you not live without?
My family.

If you could travel the world, where would you go first?
I’d start off in Australia, then travel through Asia, go through to America and then end in Europe.

Favourite cuisine?
Italian and Asian are my top two, but I like pretty much everything!

What has influenced you the most and how?
Travelling places and meeting new people. Experiencing new cultures makes you an open person. I also really enjoy living within those cultures rather than just visiting for a short time.

And very quickly…

Cheese or chocolate?
Chocolate

Spring or autumn?
Autumn – especially here!

Sunrise or sunset?
Sunset

Red or blue?
Blue

Graeme is currently working to refresh, revitalise and renew our evening dining experience The Festival Restaurant and Cafe Bar provide tasty, fresh food throughout the day, and for evening performances. Why not join us for dinner? And relax!

The Restaurant is very popular, so please check availability. Call 01796 484626 or click here.