Chef brings tastes of globe trotting home to Solas

Phil Sim, new head chef at Solas Restaurant in the Cabarfeidh Hotel
Phil Sim, new head chef at Solas Restaurant in the Cabarfeidh Hotel

After eight years of globetrotting, the Cabarfeidh hotel’s new head chef, Phil Sim, and Lewis-born wife, Marie, have set up home on the island.

Phil’s foreign travels, in France, Greece, New Zealand and Australia, have provided him with the opportunity to cook in world-class restaurants, honing his culinary knowledge and skills.

Having a passion for working with fresh local ingredients, Phil particularly enjoyed cooking with lamb, fish and seafood in both Queensland and New Zealand’s South Island. Given the quality of these products on the Isle of Lewis, he has already begun to woo diners in the Cabrfeidh’s Solas restaurant.

The new menus launched at the hotel last week include a fusion of traditional Scottish tastes, the French classic cuisine of Phil’s training, plus influences from his experience in foreign restaurants.

Modern versions of old favourites are making an appearance.

For example, the Stornoway black pudding, that often accompanies chicken, nestles in home-made filo pastry; cod from the Minch is topped with local langoustine and served with Mediterranean style vegetables. Among the desserts, Tipsey Cake combines a freshly cooked brioche, brandy cream and a slice of roasted fresh pineapple.

Phil also enjoys cooking at home, where he can experiment at leisure with different cuisines. Some ideas might eventually make it to a Cabarfeidh menu, but he tells us: “I’m taking baby steps to start, finding what tastes will become favourites with our guests and listening carefully to our diner’s feedback.”

The new Solas menus, are listed on the Cabarfeidh Hotel website ( www.cabarfeidh-hotel.co.uk ) and bookings are welcome on 01851 702604