Andrew amazed at the love as he steps down
Michelin star chef’s terminal brain tumour news
Andrew Fairlie, Scotland’s only two Michelin starred chef, has opened up about his battle with terminal cancer after stepping down from his Perthshire restaurant.
The renowned chef was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2005 and has undergone three years of chemotherapy and a course of radiotherapy.
But the 54-year-old was told in July that intensive treatment and surgery was no longer possible because of increased swelling around the tumour, which impacts his mobility.
He is now taking steroid drugs to reduce the pain, which has caused him to put on a stone and a half in weight.
Andrew married his longterm partner Kate White on Wednesday.
Reacting to public well-wishers, the chef tweeted on Thursday: “If success could be measured by the love and kindness you are surrounded by, today I feel like the richest man in the world, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.”
His self-named restaurant in Gleneagles Hotel is the only place to hold two Michelin stars in Scotland.
Speaking of his diagnosis in an interview with The Times, he said: “Giving up my restaurant kitchen was the hardest part.
“The fact that I’ll never be back, never have that buzz and atmosphere of the kitchen again, was very emotional.But it’s dangerous for me to be there. I’d just be a liability.”
He added: “The difficult part has been in watching my parents, family and friends digest the news.
“It was hard telling the team that I would never be able to work in a professional kitchen again.”
Andrew admitted to having worries about the future of his Gleneagles restaurant.But following a meeting between Andrew and Sharan Pasricha, chief executive of Ennismore which runs the Gleneagles resort, it was confirmed that the restaurant will continue under its current name with its three-year rolling contract extended to five years. His longterm colleagues including creative cofounder Gregor Mathieson, general manager Dale Dewsbury and head chef Stevie McLaughlin, will take over the Andrew Fairlie Restaurant.
Despite his declining health Andrew said the future of the staff at his restaurant, which opened in 2001, was his main concern.
He explained: “I had so many sleepless nights worrying that my life’s work would turn to dust.
“My worst case scenario was that Gleneagles would take back the space and give it to some other chef.
“I am very grateful that it is not the case and that my legacy will continue.”
Sharan Pasricha of Gleneagles’ owners Ennismore, paid tribute to Andrew and said: “We’re immensely proud of all of Andrew’s achievements, and are delighted to continue the legacy of such an important and cherished culinary icon through the renewal of our long-term partnership with the restaurant.”
Andrew became a huge hit in the culinary scene at the age of 20 when he became the first winner of the Roux scholarship in 1984 and went on to work under three Michelin starred chef Michel Guerard at Les Pres d’Eugenie in Gascony, France.
Since then, he has been chef de cuisine on the Royal Scotsman train, cooked at Hotel Disneyland in Paris where he set up the hotel’s fine dining restaurant and ran the California Grill.
He became head chef at the One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow, and after seven years there, Andrew was awarded his first Michelin star and went on to open his restaurant in Gleneagles, committing £115,000 of his own money.
He achieved his first Michelin star at Gleneagles in 2002 and a second in 2006.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among those to praise his work this week.
Chef Andrew Fairlie has had to leave his restaurant because of illness
The fact I’ll never be back, never have the buzz and atmosphere of the kitchen,was very emotional