Michael first came to Skye in 2004 replacing Chef/Patron Shirley Spear at the stoves of the renowned Three Chimneys restaurant. For 11 years, Michael continued to maintain and enhance its reputation, achieving considerable critical acclaim. He consistently created and evolved dishes that reflected the restaurant’s surroundings, specifically utilising as much of the superb Skye and Scottish natural larder as possible. His style of gastronomy inspired by Scottish tradition and classical techniques received many accolades. Among them, The Three Chimneys was named by New York Times food critic Franck Bruni as one of his top 5 destinations in the world. Michael earned a Michelin star in 2014 as Chef Director of The Three Chimneys.
In early 2016, Michael opened his own restaurant, Loch Bay. Situated in Stein in the Waternish peninsula of Skye, the restaurant is small, welcoming and comfortable offering a 5 course seafood degustation and a set 3 course meal. Described as “Contemporary Scottish with classic French influences”, the food is simply delicious, combining local, seasonal ingredients, perfect cooking and beautiful but simple presentation.
The Road to a Michelin Star
Having first experienced commercial kitchens aged 15 in his home city of Inverness (capital of the Highlands), as a part time KP in a local restaurant, Michael quickly decided to pursue a career as a chef. This decision was reinforced in 1988 when he secured a place in the brigade of Arisaig House on the west coast of Scotland where he stayed for 3 years working under Chef Matthew Burns.
From there he moved to London, initially working at Le Gavroche before moving to Le Pont De La Tour and most significantly spending 4 years as Senior Sous with Jeremy Lee at Blue Print Café. From there Michael moved back to Scotland, commissioning 3 new Glasgow restaurants, firstly with Andrew Radford’s Blue then Arta and Gong with Stefan King’s G1 Group, between 1999 – 2003.
International Ambassador of Scottish Gastronomy
As a passionate ambassador of Scottish gastronomy, Michael has been fortunate enough to be asked and participate in many events in the UK and internationally.
In 2011 and 2013 he was Scotland’s Food Ambassador during Tartan Week in New York and Toronto. He has delivered several banquets in London for charitable organisations as well as his home city of Inverness.
Between 2013 and 2016 Michael was commissioned to deliver a St Andrew’s Day Banquet in Monte Carlo, each attended by HSH Prince Albert.
Michael on TV
In 2013 Michael represented his country for the 3rd time on BBC’s Great British Menu. This time, his african inspired “I love kids but I couldn’t eat a whole one” goat tagine, won the main course place at the final banquet, in celebration of Comic Relief 25th Birthday, at the iconic Albert Hall.
Michael & Media
Michael regularly writes and contributes a food & recipe column for the Press & Journal’s Saturday “YL” magazine and regularly features on BBC Radio Scotland’s Kitchen Café and Kitchen Garden Café broadcasts.
Permanently based on Skye with his wife Laurence and 2 children, Margot and Oscar, Michael’s idea of a perfect day away from work would be an early morning scramble on the Cullin Ridge, followed by an afternoons canoeing & mackerel fishing trip on the loch, ending up around an island beach fire BBQ.