The St Andrews star who has revolutionised the dining experience through lockdown with Haar At Home now returns to what he does best with a stunning new collaboration with the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, creating the “ultimate Dean Banks experience” for locals and visitors to Edinburgh.

The high-end yet relaxed restaurant will offer Tasting Menu experiences only, five evenings a week from Wednesday to Sunday from June 9.

 

A delighted Dean said:

“Originally we wanted to move to Edinburgh pre-pandemic. So I always had the drive to come to the Capital. I have built my reputation in St Andrews but I lived in Edinburgh for four years and trained there so always saw myself having a restaurant there.

“The concept has changed in that Haar is that relaxed dining idea of coming off the beach from walking the dog, whereas our Edinburgh restaurant is more refined. We still want to use the term ‘relaxed dining’ but want to make it even more premium, more of an occasion.

 

“I want to put the Dean Banks name against the restaurant to represent me being there in the city. It is something I dreamed about in the younger years of my career especially when I worked at No1. I knew at the other end of Princes Street was the Pompadour, I have to pinch myself to think I am taking it over.”

 

Dean worked and trained in Edinburgh so is fully aware of the legendary status of the Pompadour and its star-studded history – and honoured to be the future of such an iconic room and venue, which dates back to 1925 and is known for its category A-Listed, hand-painted walls and framed views of Edinburgh Castle. “You think of iconic locations for food in the whole of Scotland and the legendary Pompadour is one of them. The other one I would want is somewhere on a beach, but in the city of Edinburgh we have the castle view, the room is one of the most historic dining rooms in the city and the chefs that have passed through the doors are incredible. To be part of that history is superb.

 

“It feels like I am ticking off a life goal achievement but like opening Haar for the first time, there are of course massive nerves. I feel I am starting to be more creative, constantly thinking about food and design, waking up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning with ideas bursting out of my head. After the pandemic when we have been so focused on business, now my mindset is changing back into development. I really want to push myself and Edinburgh is the main stage, a huge stage in the Capital in one of the best locations in Scotland, and I will give it my all.

 

“This is definitely the ultimate encapsulation of what I want to do from the kitchen to quality of equipment. Two years ago I started a business with less than 10k, so was buying whatever I could just to get open. Now we have built businesses and funding and can put everything I have into this project and give the ultimate Dean Banks experience and take food to where I envision it

 

“Of course we are using locally sourced produce and working with many of the suppliers I have built relationships with through Haar. We have meat from all over Scotland, shellfish and fish from Fife and Angus, the organic farm we work with in Fife for vegetables, and in general will work with local suppliers as always – that’s at the heart of everything I do.”

 

Dean is accepting bookings now via his websites haarrestaurant.com and deanbanks.co.uk and is confident the Pompadour will see him at his absolute best. In fact he says this is unquestionably his proudest moment to date.

 

Emma Banks, vice president, F&B Strategy & Development, EMEA, Hilton said, “The opening of Dean’s restaurant at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian highlights our commitment to working with talented local chefs. As a company with a focus on responsible hospitality, we are also delighted to be partnering with a chef who has such a passion for locally sourced produce. We cannot wait to welcome guests to the restaurant soon.”

 

 “Definitely, so far this is my greatest achievement – the opportunity to come into Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh and be part of the story is massive in itself, it’s almost ‘is this real?’. The point is I came home and started my business two years ago and one of those years has been a pandemic. So to now be in one of the best restaurants in Scotland is incredible, my team and myself have worked so hard in such a short time to achieve massive goals and this is moment for us all.

 

“I am very excited and look forward to building a great relationship with Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh and my champagne Charles Heidseick will be there with me every step of the way – we have a long-lasting relationship with them and they’re a fantastic friendly, professional team, just like the team at the hotel. We do great things with them both and we will all grow together.

 

“Charles Heidseick the iconic champagne house have supported me from the Haar launch and will always be part of my ongoing journey, I’ve had unbelievable support and have a great future with them as there is no champagne out there that matches my food as well as theirs.

 

“I have to single out Dale MacPhee, General Manager at Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, who has been simply incredible – she understands my vision perfectly and has completely embraced it. She and her team are stellar and the opportunity to work with such amazing people in such an iconic venue has me lost for words. I feel very lucky, this is the culmination of a lot of work but the beginning of a lot more and I cannot wait to get started and welcome our first guests into Dean Banks at The Pompadour.”

 

Dale MacPhee, general manager, Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – The Caledonian, on the announcement of this new partnership, said “We are delighted to be welcoming such a charismatic and driven Scottish chef who shares not only a passion for showcasing the best of local produce but also a mutual appreciation of this very remarkable venue, a venue that holds such a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Dean and I hit it off immediately and I look forward to seeing Dean build on the legacy of this very special Edinburgh dining institution.”

 

For bookings go to haarrestaurant.com and deanbanks.co.uk

 


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