Serving up excellence on a plate at Seafield Arms as hotel celebrate double AA honours

THE champagne corks have been popping at the Seafield Arms Hotel in Cullen after being awarded two coveted quality ratings.
Serving up excellence on a plate at Seafield Arms as hotel celebrate double AA honours

The chef team have been honoured with an AA rosette for excellence in the food they create while a four star rating has been awarded for overall hotel experience.

For head chef Luke Green, who has been with the hotel since it reopened in 2019, achieving an AA rosette was a huge moment.

He said: “I was so chuffed when I learned we had got a rosette.

“It’s something I’ve wanted since I started cheffing, it’s something every chef wants to aspire to.

“The guys in the kitchen are so chuffed. I’ve been an absolute nightmare in the kitchen for the last six weeks. Anything that hasn’t been perfect has been sent back.

“I’ve been on their backs so I think they’re just glad it’s all over, to be honest!”

Making a bid for an AA rosette is something Mr Green has been contemplating for a while.

He continued: “Rosettes and Michelin stars are pretty much the highest that can be awarded for culinary excellence; we’ve been humming and hawing for five years whether we should go for it.

“Obviously with Covid we had problems getting a full kitchen team and this year we were lucky enough to get two chefs from South Africa so we’ve got a full complement.

“When we started off we were running blind. We weren’t sure what the criteria were but we got there. They’re quite strict with the criteria; it has to be best of the seasonal produce - the more local the better - no two dishes can really be the same, you can’t really repeat ingredients so it’s quite a challenge to get it right.”

To assess what the chef team were creating, the AA sent up a secret diner who, after having sampled the fayre on offer, then revealed their true identity the next day and went through their report with Mr Green.

He continued: “It was actually quite ironic, really.

“When you put in your application they tell you they’ll be up in six to eight weeks. For about six weeks I pretty much wasn’t taking off days. The night I took off for the first time in like four weeks was when they came.

“When he took me through the process he told me he was originally thinking three rosettes but we had a garnish which was out of season, which lost us one, and I’d repeated venison on two dishes so we lost the second one.

“It’s a learning curve for us; they’ll come back within a year - the same scenario, undercover - so hopefully we’ll get the other two.”

The maximum number of rosettes a restaurant can be awarded it five.

The dual award was hailed by the hotel’s general manager Ailie Flett, who paid tribute to the dedication of all who worked at the Seafield Arms.

She commented: “We are delighted to share our remarkable achievement of being awarded an AA rosette for our kitchen/food excellence and a prestigious four star rating for our overall hotel experience.

”This recognition is a testament to the dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to excellence that each member of our team brings to their role every single day.

”Receiving a coveted AA rosette is a tremendous honour and reflects the exceptional standards we uphold in our kitchen. It speaks volumes about the care, understanding and skill with which our talented chefs craft each dish, using only the finest quality ingredients. Our guests can dine with confidence, knowing they will experience culinary delights that surpass expectations.

”Furthermore, achieving a four star rating for our overall hotel experience is a testament to the professionalism and dedication exhibited by our staff across all departments. From the warm welcome provided by our uniformed staff to the well-appointed public areas, we ensure that every aspect of our guests' stay is nothing short of exceptional.

“Our commitment to providing attentive, personalised service shines through in every interaction, making each guest feel valued and appreciated. With all of our bedrooms offering en suite bathrooms, comfortable beds, and high-quality furniture, we ensure that our guests enjoy a restful and memorable stay. Moreover, our breakfast offerings, featuring a greater choice of fresh ingredients cooked and presented with care, further enhance the overall guest experience, setting us apart as a premier destination for traveller’s seeking luxury and comfort.

”This achievement would not have been possible without the collective efforts of our entire team.”

By Alan Beresford 

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