Head Chef Scott Davies
Every young Welsh lad dreams of pulling on a red shirt, stepping out onto the turf at the Millennium Stadium and playing rugby for their country to a chorus of Land of My Fathers. For Scott Davies – a Welsh Schools Rugby player in his teenage years – that fantasy could have been reality, but Scott never doubted that he would cook for a living. ‘I think I made my mind up when I was about thirteen that I wanted to be a chef,’ he says, ‘and that was it. I never changed my mind!’
Inspired by his parents and TV chefs like Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay, Scott left his native Caerleon at the age of sixteen to start catering college in Dundee, working under Paul Whitecross and David Kinness at the Carnoustie Golf Hotel in the summers to get his foot in the door. A stint with Craig Miller at The Seafood Restaurant in St Andrews soon followed, but it wasn’t until he worked under Robert MacPherson at the Isle of Eriska Hotel that Scott started to understand who he was as a chef. ‘Robert is absolutely brilliant,’ he says. ‘He taught me so much about wastage and using the entirety of your produce, as well as foraging and being inspired by your natural surroundings.’
Robert also encouraged Scott to travel, and two years later he left the Isle of Eriska for the rather sunnier shores of Australia. He settled in Melbourne, taking a job at The Point in Albert Park and working under Scott Pickett, who himself had recently returned from his own travels, and three years at The Square with Phil Howard. ‘I absolutely loved The Point,’ says Scott. ‘The produce was amazing, and I was lucky to work with a great head chef. The food in Australia was a lot cleaner than what I was used to. A lot of my training was classical French, using a lot of cream and butter and very heavy flavours, whereas in Australia food was much lighter.'
On his return to the Scotland, Scott’s newfound culinary identity and talent became clear to see when he worked at Glenapp Castle with Adam Stokes. He then became senior sous chef at the Russacks Hotel in St Andrews, and earned the restaurant 3 AA Rosettes within a year of being promoted to head chef. He later moved to The Adamson, and built a reputation for excellent food there too, before he starred in the 2013 series of MasterChef: The Professionals. Scott finished as runner-up in the competition, and got to work alongside two culinary heavyweights in Sat Bains and Massimo Bottura. ‘It completely opened my mind. They were always talking about how to create pure flavours. When you have high quality ingredients, you’re actually diluting them by using butter and cream to make purées and sauces. A lot of what we do now at The Three Chimneys is inspired by that. When we make a carrot purée, it just tastes of carrot – it’s not diluted by any fats.’
In 2015, Scott left The Adamson and became Head Chef at The Three Chimneys in Skye at the invitation of owners, Shirley and Eddie Spear, spearheading a changing of the guard at their prestigious restaurant. Scott’s clean, pure style has proved to be a wonderful match for the Isle of Skye – where he makes the most of the island’s incredible bounty of produce. With a new-look and settled team now in place, The Three Chimneys has reaffirmed its reputation as one of the most iconic Restaurant with Rooms in the World.
Scott has a quiet, but endlessly energetic and highly creative disposition, which means he never rests on his laurels and is always coming up with new ideas and dishes. During the last four years he has carefully forged excellent working relationships with over fifty local and national producers and suppliers. As time goes on, these become more like creative partnership relationships, where new ideas are often triggered by a new ingredient or a suggestion from his collaborators.
He has also taken his rightful place on national and international culinary stages, through consistent hard work and imaginative endeavour. Scott and #TeamThreeChimneysSkye created a #HuntEatSleep auction prize which achieved the highest bid at The NSPCC and Great British Chefs Dinner held recently in London’s Guildhall. He was one of five chefs invited by the BBC to take part in a Masterchef: The Professionals Christmas Special and will achieve international recognition when ARTE television’s new Isles of the Queen series launches globally in March 2019. He is the only Chef featured on their episode about Skye, which observes his work as he produces a dish fit for a Queen.
Find out more about Scott by visiting his profile on Great British Chefs.
The Three Chimneys Restaurant with Rooms has consistently carried 3 AA Rosettes for the past 20 years. We have been included in the Good Food Guide for 33 years and currently hold a Cooking Score of 7/10. In the 2018 edition of the Guide, we were honoured with recognition as The Editor's Choice, Best Restaurant in the United Kingdom.