New head chef joins Port Appin hotel

The Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant at Port Appin in Argyll, Scotland, has announced the appointment of Michael Leathley as head chef. 

Leathley has worked as a chef for over 14 years across London, Aberdeen and Glasgow. He previously held the position of sous chef at A’Challtainn Fish Restaurant in Glasgow. 

The restaurant said he is “renowned for his authentic style of cooking which brings the outside in”, with particular focus on fresh seafood offerings. His dishes include pepper dulce foraged on the Isle of Lismore, oysters harvested from Loch Creran, and langoustines “delivered straight from the fishing boat” at Loch Linnhe. 

Leathley said he “found inspiration in his family’s fishing heritage”, and is now in talks with local fishing suppliers, including The Caledonian Oyster Company at Loch Creran, Inverawe Smokehouse in Taynuilt, and local prawn and langoustine fishermen. 

Leathley said: “Cooking at The Pierhouse is a real celebration of the natural environment we’re lucky to have around us. 

“From the lobster creels at the end of our very own pier, to the finest wild hill venison from Lochaber, our dishes respect the abundance of local produce and the people who dedicate their lives to working on the land and sea to bring us the finest produce.”

He added: “I enjoy letting the food speak for itself using classic, simple techniques. The real luxury in cooking these days is making use of what’s here, right now. 

“It’s a joy to use produce that’s in season, available locally, with known quality and provenance, sourced wherever possible from within 50 miles of the hotel.” 

Fiona McLean, general manager at The Pierhouse Hotel and Seafood Restaurant, said: “I am delighted and excited to be welcoming Michael to The Pierhouse family. 

“I have worked with Michael in a previous role and I know that he will bring with him the skill, knowledge, expertise and commitment to build upon the growing reputation that we have here at The Pierhouse.”

Gordon Campbell Gray, founder and owner of The Wee Hotel Company, said: “We are all very excited to have Michael join us in The Wee Hotel Company, heading up the kitchen team at The Pierhouse. 

“Michael shares our passion for all that is exciting and local, and we are thrilled that he is part of the company as we move forward with our philosophy of sustainability and fun, and of course simply the finest locally sourced food and happy guests.” 

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