When a world class chef launches his first restaurant, the standards are high and the pressure to achieve is even higher. Luckily for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, Chef Paul Tamburrini's new restaurant Bistro Deluxe at Macdonald Holyrood Hotel in Edinburgh has exceeded expectations. With over three decades of experience, we were delighted to sit down with Chef Tamburrini to find out more about the man behind one of the hardest-to-book dining rooms in Edinburgh.

On his inspiration

"The majority of my inspiration comes from French cooking. I buy books from all over the world, so I just take a bit of this and a bit of that, then put it into my own vision. But mainly I'm inspired by the big three-star Michelin chefs in France. I love Guy Savoy, Michel Bras, and Frédéric Anton is incredible. There are lots and lots I could name. And Anne-Sophie Pic, a three-Michelin-star female chef, she's just incredible."


On his essential ingredients

"Butter. First thing that comes to mind. Definitely butter. I love fois gras and truffles too, but every day stuff? Good butter and sea salt. Outside of work it has to be pasta. There's a lot of dried pasta in my kitchen at home, my family is half Italian, and I can't live without pasta."


On the most useful advice he has received…

"One chef I highly respect recently told me, 'Paul, good food is good food,' and that has stuck with me. And another is from the brilliant chef at L'Escargot, who said, 'it's all about the produce,' which didn't really filter down for me until later on in my career, but that has stayed with me too. And we have that philosophy here. We don't scrimp or scrape, we buy the best ingredients, because those two comments really stayed with me, still resonate in my head."


On why he became a chef

"My dad's side of the family loves to cook, it was just part of their culture. I'd go down to my grandpa's on a Sunday and he'd be making classic beef ragu, Bolognese, meatballs - without fail every Sunday. My mum's side of the family is Glaswegian and they made soups, everything fresh, no processed foods, and that really inspired me, and that got me into thinking that I wanted to be a chef. Home cooking was a big thing in my family. I was about fourteen or fifteen when I decided to become a chef. I did food and nutrition at school and then I started working at a fish restaurant in Glasgow that had been there since the 1930's, and it went on from there. I just loved it. I loved the service, the craziness of it. Didn't mind the long hours, still don't mind them,I like the camaraderie with the whole team, it's mental, a good mental."


On what he is proudest of in his career

"This. Bistro Deluxe, by far. One-hundred percent.

"I wanted to work with Macdonald Hotels because by chance I started talking to Ruaridh Macdonald, (Deputy Chief Executive of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts) and I wanted to work with someone who was progressive and forward thinking. I wanted to take my time to consider my next move. I wanted a challenge: to be progressive and creative, but to always provide high quality. And I have to say, thanks to the Macdonald Hotels team, we've spared no expense."


And his closing advice for someone wanting to become a chef?

"You really have to put your heart and soul into it. It's a brilliant job. Just throw yourself into it. And good food is good food!"


Already lauded by foodies across Scotland, Bistro Deluxe proudly features Scottish ingredients, prepared by Chef Tamburrini in his classically French style. Check out the latest dinner menu here, or to make a booking, click here.


Sarah Watt, Digital Marketing Executive Macdonald Hotels & Resorts