December 19, 2019
(2:55 p.m. GMT) -- Saga Cruises has revealed that celebrity chef Nick Nairn -- the youngest-ever Scotsman to gain a Michelin star -- will create a signature dish and host cookery demonstrations on its first purpose-built river ship, Spirit of the Rhine.
The chef, who co-hosts TV's "Paul and Nick's Big Food Trip" with fellow Michelin-star chef Paul Rankin, will produce a special dish that will be showcased in the 190-passenger vessel's a la carte restaurant. He will also host cookery demonstrations on the Europe-based ship that will debut in spring 2021.
Nick, who runs the Kailyard restaurant at Dunblane Hydro and Jam Jar in the Bridge of Allan, Scotland, said: "I am kicking around ideas with the Saga team regarding the menu. At home in Stirling, my grandfather and father used to smoke their own salmon so that was a thought - it has the best taste and travels well which is so important as I must be able to guarantee the quality of the food.
"But I am known for my game dishes, I served Roe venison for the BBC's Great British Menu Royal Banquet, which celebrated the Queen's 80th birthday, so that is something I might recreate; a modern twist on a traditional dish could work well on Spirit of the Rhine."
The ship will sail the Rhine, Moselle, Main and Danube rivers, as well as Holland's waterways, and Nick will join a Dutch bulb field "Keukenhof and The Hague" itinerary departing April 19, 2021, and the "Best of the Rhine" cruise departing October 25, 2021.
He added: "As for show-cooking, that plays to my strengths, it's what I do at my cookery school in Port of Menteith. I love the entertaining, sharing ideas and skills."
Nick is no stranger to sailing as he originally served as a navigating officer in the Merchant Navy. His love of food led him to leave in 1986 and open the Braeval Old Mill restaurant in Aberfoyle, and within five years he gained a Michelin star, the youngest-ever Scotsman to be awarded the celebrated culinary accolade.