KEVIN JOUBERT Kingarroch Inn, Craigrothie
Johannesburg-born Kevin Joubert has been here for 20 years, most of which has been spent in Fife. He runs the Kingarroch Inn with partner Aleksandra Trzcinska, and the Inn also includes accommodation. They’re also opening a new 50-cover restaurant-bar in Dunfermline, that is currently at the planning stage. The couple used to own the North Port restaurant in Perth. He explained, “We sold the business because we had a baby and you can’t run a restaurant with a newborn.” Then the couple bought a deli in Edinburgh before selling it and returning to Fife to open the Kingarroch Inn. Said Kevin, “Running a rural restaurant has different challenges to running a city centre. People need to drive here for a start. In terms of customer trends, I’d say that they’re a lot more educated with food and not only are they looking for the best quality they are also looking for the best value for money. We’re also competing with celebrity chefs like Jamie Scott, a finalist from Masterchef the professionals, who has opened in St Andrews, and customers are seduced by the fact that a chef has been on TV and compare us with them.” He concludes, “I think that online review sites should make the reviews more detailed, in terms of it being mandatory who wrote it and when they dined.”
CARINA CONTINI Contini George Street, Edinburgh
Chef-patron Carina Contini owns three Edinburgh restaurants with husband Victor: Contini George Street in 2004, Scottish Cafe & Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery Princes Street which opened in 2009, and the Cannonball House at the very top of the Royal Mile. Carina may not cook as much as she did, but she’s still chef while husband Victor is front of house and the couple has just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and when we asked them what made a happy marriage, Carina joked, “Separate restaurants.” She continue, “But seriously, he works nights and I work days.” They put a lot of emphasis on sustainability. Explained Carina, “We have a one-acre kitchen garden outside Edinburgh where we grow everything from wild garlic to rhubarb. We also have five bee hives and 19 kilos of honey yet to jar.” The couple also provides health and wellbeing workshops for their staff, focussing on physical and mental health, to contribute towards Happy Ship Contini!