Ivan Stein and Peter McKenna escape from the kitchen to take a seat in The Gannet’s dining room. Lunch service is finished and they have a short period of calm before guests start arriving for dinner. They are working chefs and owners, preparing dishes, organising ingredients, devising menus.
Ivan is from London, Peter is Irish and worked in Dublin. Both gravitated towards Glasgow. They couldn’t find a restaurant they wanted to work in. So they created their own in a vacant tenement building that had been derelict for almost a decade. With the help of some architects and a significant amount of effort, a stylish bar and restaurant was fashioned from the space.
The concept for the restaurant was born in the summer of 2012 on a trip to the Hebrides to source produce for their kitchen in the West End. By the end of the trip, they had met scallop divers, oyster growers, fishermen, smokers, farmers, game producers and some interesting characters.
The menus are dictated by the rhythms of the seasons. They are driven by the ingredients. The relationships the chefs have with local producers, combined with their flair in the kitchen, is the basis of their success. As if to prove the point, a farmer walks in the door with some pigs heads to sell. Downstairs there is a sack of huge wild Scottish mushrooms from a forager they work with. Conversations and direct engagement with the people who cultivate the best ingredients guides the menu at all times.
Restaurant manager Kevin Dow is another important part of the picture. He has an easy manner, a quick wit and a great knowledge of ingredients and wine to share. One of the finest hosts in the city. He also grows herbs in Finnieston that populate the spring menu.
Lunch at The Gannet last week, sitting on our favourite table by the window was a joyous experience, one that we recommend to you as among the very best culinary experiences in the city.
1155 Argyle Street