MEET THE CHEF

Feb 10, 2021 | FABULOUS FOOD

I grew up in a small rural farming community in Northeast Scotland in a town called Keith. My Grandparents had a bakery business in Glasgow in the 1940s—mum was a highly respected baker and confectioner to trade. I cherish the many lessons and vital life skills she passed on to me.

The large family garden and greenhouses were the source of nourishing gifts tended to by my dad. To this day, mums recipes are used by family, friends, and me. I like to think much of her passion for people and cooking rubbed off on me.

The Andersons name is derived from my dad’s name, John Anderson Smith Stevenson. It was also the name of the air raid shelter at the bottom of my mum’s childhood garden where she spent her 3rd birthday during the Clydebank Blitz! She fondly recalled the bunk beds and little fire to keep them cozy.

I place high value on using great local produce sourced fresh from our rich soils, spectacular hills, and abundant, flowing rivers. From farm-to-fork and sea-to-shore, I thoroughly enjoy sourcing and working with Scotland’s best local suppliers—game dealers, fishermen, and farmers. They are all a real joy to meet.

Everyday I’m reminded of how precious life is and how meaningful my life has become because of the interesting and friendly people I meet each day on my adventures. The connections formed have enriched my life.

People are becoming more aware of health and how they nourish their bodies. They like to see behind the scenes and understand the story of their food—how it is sourced and how it is prepared. I welcome my guests into the kitchen, and enjoy passing along tips as I carry out my daily prep. It’s not unheard of that I would share many impromptu cookery classes with the ladies and baking session with the kids at the party. All creating a very homely environment. I am a traditional family-style cook. With clear old-fashioned love, care, and attention for what I do in every aspect of my services—from the minute I meet my guests on arrival, until I see them away.

I am a fun-loving soul—a family girl at heart. I have two adult children—a son Jack and daughter Katie. They have left the nest and have encouraged me to spread my wings and soar in this labor of love. Although I work alone at present, I have a willing team of Andersons’ angels waiting in the wings to support me as I support YOU.

When I’m not in the kitchen, I enjoy sampling the local food and meeting the local people. On one recent occasion, I met Mhairi a local fiddle player who came along to play a send-off to my guests from Novia Scotia during their last breakfast with me. These are the precious moments that I cherish and the encounters that remind me of the value of friendship and remind me to not take life so seriously. I make a point of keeping humor in my day and in every guest experience.

I value my health greatly. It’s a true saying, Health is a body’s wealth. With this mindset I feel incredibly wealthy! My interests include mountain biking, hill walking, keeping fit, yoga, eating healthy and music! (possibly the one I couldn’t live without!) Music has been a staple in my life since I was a child. I enjoy playing the piano and the accordion for my guests when the moment allows. “If music be the food of love, play on.” – William Shakespeare

My Professional Background

I gained my formal education in Hospitality Administration and Management from the University of the Highlands and Islands. After working 30 years as a commercial caterer, I decided to spread my wings and explore what else this world had to offer a humble chef. I found my passion to explore Scotland and Andersons was born.

I genuinely enjoy bringing people together through food, fun, and friendship—it’s my passion and I feel privileged to have shared cooking experiences in some of the most beautiful castles, grand homes, and estate properties that date back centuries.

How many can say their profession gives them life? I’m humbled that I can honestly say my life is enriched and most fulfilled when I am engaging locals and visitors around good food, laughter, and love. I am delighted to bring memorable experiences to those who pass my way. Equally, I am delighted and encouraged by those whom I encounter.