Although Kinloch’s chef, Jordan Webb, loves to experiment with flavour – think traditionally Scottish ingredients with Asian spices and French technique - his favourite meal as a child was ham, egg and chips. But anyone who has sampled his unfussy and exceptionally delicious food may not be surprised. “We want to bring quality and flavour, but comfort too,” he says.
Jordan grew up in Bristol, but would “always be in green spaces. I loved to muck around in the woods as a kid, shell peas, dig stuff up.” His connection to nature and what it could provide for a creative chef was built as a child, and refined through his travels to places like Vancouver, Canada, and across Australia. “Most of the ingredients were local, the quality of the produce was brilliant. Everything was fresh.”
Discovering Kinloch at the recommendation of a friend, Jordan has found in Skye a place to where the local larder can inspire his innovation. “I might see what has arrived in the kitchens and come up with a meal on the spot. We’ll try to make the most of what we have.” In addition to the ingredients at his fingertips – which include fresh vegetables and herbs from Kinloch’s polytunnels, or sap tapped from the birch trees around the hotel and reduced to make syrups – he’ll also consider Skye’s changeable weather when designing the menu: “If it’s blowing a gale, we’ll create something substantial – warm, comfort food. On a lovely bright day, we might go with something lighter and crisper.”
Above all, Jordan relies on fostering an inclusive kitchen, and leading an environment where the whole team of chefs get involved in planning a meal. “Everyone plays a part, we’ll come together on a dish and add a little or take something away. After a while it all works together.”
Favourite Skye Spot: "Our polytunnels. I don’t think anyone else will say that!"
Top Tip: "Don’t come to Skye with any pre-conceived ideas. Clear your mind and just relax. Our aim is to make everything taste even better than expected."