Quiet Man Taverns appoint first executive head chef

An Edinburgh-based pub group has appointed the award-winning William Thomson as its first group executive head chef.

William has joined from Barony Castle in Peebles, where he spent five years as head chef.

Quiet Man Taverns, which also owns the Scotsman Lounge in Cockburn Street and The Kilted Pig in Colinton, recently opened The Perch restaurant in the city centre’s Hanover Street.

William, 48, from East Calder, West Lothian, will be in charge of the group’s 9-strong team of chefs, six of whom are based at The Perch, located on the site which formerly housed The Dogs restaurant.

A former winner of Visit Scotland’s Taste Our Best award and Food Standards Scotland’s Eat Safe award, which promotes excellence in food hygiene and food safety management, William brings a wealth of experience to the new role.

Prior to Barony Castle, he had previously worked at Rufflets Country House in St Andrews, the renowned Caledonian Hotel in the Capital and spent five years on the QE2 ocean liner.

From designing The Perch’s modern kitchen to hiring his own staff and sourcing the best of local Scottish produce, William says the new role ticked all the boxes.

Said William, “This is a fantastic opportunity for me and it’s great to be back in Edinburgh.”

“Being able to put my own stamp on things was a big factor in me taking the job. It’s really exciting to have been given a free rein when it comes to designing the menus.

“My background has been predominantly in hotels but here I can focus solely on creating a memorable dining experience for customers without the likes of breakfasts, afternoon teas or functions to think about.

“I’m also training all the chefs so we have a continuity and consistency of standards which is very important to me.”

Daniel McNally, who owns Quiet Man Taverns with his brother Finn, said, “We were looking for someone with the experience to take the food forward at The Perch and The Kilted Pig and Willie fitted the criteria well. He’s done everything from fine dining to pub food and we felt he was the right man to lead our new venture.”

William brought sous chef Daniel McLachlan from Barony Castle with him, while the rest of the new team includes pastry chef Carlo Orlando, Agustin Domingues (chef de partie sauce section), Victor Mbuna (chef de partie sauce section) and Ash Donaldson (chef de partie larder section).”

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