Chef, Cook School owner and food campaigner Nick Nairn is in high demand for his cooking skills, as a food consultant, TV presenter and also as a prominent spokesperson on diet and Scottish produce. He uses his integrity, entrepreneurial spirit and talents to spread the word about Scotland’s wonderful natural larder, helping people cook and eat better.
Nick owns, teaches at and bases his business at the acclaimed Nick Nairn Cook School on the shores of the Lake of Menteith, beside where he grew up. He also opened his Pizza Bar and Café in the centre of Aberdeen in October 2016.
Through Nick Nairn Consulting, Nick produces a popular food range of cereals, bread, biscuits, oatcakes, haggis and black pudding, available in various Scottish supermarkets. Nick Nairn Consulting also operates The Kailyard restaurant at the Doubletree by Hilton, Dunblane Hydro, plus Native restaurant in Aberdeen’s Hilton Garden Inn.
Nick has published ten cookery books with sales well in excess of 500,000 copies. His television career began on Ready Steady Cook which launched him as a household name.
He makes regular appearances as a food presenter on Landward and The One Show, and guest chef on Saturday Kitchen. Nick’s latest TV project is Paul & Nick’s Big American Food Trip with chef Paul Rankin, following the trail of the first Ulster-Scots who settled in the New World and cooking with their descendants. The fourth series is on STV and UTV in March 2016. His other BBC television series include Wild Harvest, Wild Harvest 2, and Island Harvest, as well as Nick Nairn and The Dinner Ladies, which won a Glenfiddich Award. He represented Scotland in the finals of BBC’s Great British Menu, ultimately winning the opportunity to cook Scottish venison for the Queen’s 80th birthday banquet.
In 2007 Stirling University recognised Nick’s contributions to Scottish cuisine and his work in promoting healthy eating, awarding him an honorary doctorate.
Nick started his working life travelling the oceans in the Merchant Navy and relished sampling street food all over the world. Returning home to Scotland he tried cooking some of the dishes he’d tasted and found an untapped talent. He taught himself the skills that led to becoming Scotland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef in 1991 at his first restaurant ‘Braeval’ in the Trossachs. He went on to open ‘Nairns’ restaurant in Glasgow in 1997 to international acclaim.
In 2012, Nick set up The Menteith Group, a campaigning group of food providers, farmers, chefs and others dedicated to improving school meals and food education in Scotland. This has since produced The Scottish Food Family, with the same aims but inviting the general population to be a part of the group.