Credit: Cail Bruich

West End restaurant Cail Bruich brings first Michelin star in 18 years to Glasgow

By Jamie Byrne

Head chef Lorna McNee is the first female chef of a Glaswegian restaurant to receive the accolade.

In the heart of the West End, where Great Western Road meets Byers Road, lies the quaint Cail Bruich. It celebrates the historic achievement of being awarded the first Michelin Star that Glasgow has seen for 18 years. Cail Bruich – which can be translated to “to eat well” in Gaelic – has certainly lived up to its name after being the only Scottish entry to earn its first star in the Michelin Great Britain and Ireland Guide. This recent success has brought Scotland’s Michelin Star count to 11 different restaurants across the country.

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s first restaurant in Scotland, Amaryllis, which used to be found just along the road from Cail Bruich, earned a Michelin star back in 2003 and ended up being the last star awarded in the city for nearly two decades. Unfortunately, Ramsay’s restaurant closed a year later after the tragic passing of head chef David Dempsey. Prior to the opening of Amaryllis, decorated chef Andrew Fairlie’s restaurant One Devonshire Gardens received the accolade in 1996. He later moved on to run the Andrew Fairlie Gleneagles, where he collected a further two Michelin stars, and just so happened to train a young sous chef named Lorna McNee. McNee would go on to be the head chef of Cail Bruich and bring the long sought-after Michelin Star back to Glasgow.

In what can only be described as a tremendous achievement, McNee has brought a fresh perspective to gastronomy in Glasgow. Michelin described McNee’s cuisine style as being driven by “passion and precision” with a “focus on just a few ingredients combined in perfect harmony”. The restaurant’s specialities include crab and scallop with celeriac dashi, pink grapefruit and caviar. The second speciality on the list is the roe deer, beetroot, hen of the wood, smoked farce and sauce poivrade. An olive oil sponge with heater honey and yoghurt sorbet is the final speciality on the cards. The wine list, which is curated by Chris Donnachie and Simon McAtamney, is also highly commendable, with Michelin describing it as “constantly evolving in order to best compliment the seasonality and provenance of our menu”.In a time of much difficulty for the hospitality industry, McNee and the rest of the Cail Bruich team have presented a beacon of hope for dining in Glasgow. As chefs, kitchen staff, waiters, waitresses and diners all long for the days of being in a vibrant and happy restaurant, this accolade offers a reminder that the good times will eventually return and normality will resume. A huge congratulations to McNee and the rest of the Cail Bruich team for this prestigious award, and I’m sure so many of us here in the city cannot wait to dine at this wonderful restaurant.


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