Award-winning restaurant Eat on the Green in Udny Green, Aberdeenshire celebrated its 19th birthday on this month. Since opening in 2004, chef proprietor Craig Wilson along with his wife and company director, Lindsay Wilson, transformed this former village pub into one of the most renowned restaurants in the north east, with a loyal customer base and dedicated team of young staff.
The restaurant was named ‘Best Eating Experience’ in Scotland at the 2019 Scottish Thistle Awards, in recognition of Eat on the Green’s commitment to working with local suppliers to access the freshest, homegrown ingredients in their dishes, something which remains a strong focus. Recently, Craig, Lindsay and the team also successfully retained their two AA rosettes for Culinary Excellence for the 15th year running, reflecting their dedication to deliver a high-quality food and drink experience.
Craig Wilson, chef and owner of Eat on the Green comments, “Delivering the best experience for our guests has always been at the heart of what we do, and we have been fortunate to share in several special occasions and memorable moments with our customers over the years. Many have become a part of the Eat on the Green story, almost like family, and we wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us. We would not be where we are today without our loyal customers.
“We are also so grateful for the hard work and dedication of our staff. Alan Florence has been a key part of my kitchen brigade for the last 18 years and our front of house team aim to provide our guests with a high level of service from the moment they set foot inside Eat on the Green, until their evening draws to a close.
“We have made many changes to the restaurant over the years, completing an extensive renovation in 2015 and in 2018 we opened the doors of our Gin Garden. The addition of our private rooms offers relaxed yet luxurious setting for parties of up to 18.
“ Our Dine at Home restaurant boxes were established during lockdown & we have continued to offer this on a Friday and Saturday. Supporting local producers and suppliers is something that I’m very passionate about and last summer we created the Kilted Chef Supper Club, featuring a five-course menu of Aberdeenshire’s larder. A producer or small business is invited along as a guest to share their ‘food story’ during the evening and this has been exceptionally popular. It has also enabled us to help put the spotlight on the hidden gems and truly outstanding food and drink businesses we have in this area.”
Eat on the Green has been a long-term supporter of Friends of Anchor, raising over £100,000 for the charity and supporting its aim to ensure cancer and haematology patients received the best possible care and treatment. Over the years Craig has also raised over £250,000 for cancer-related charities including Breast Cancer Care through various challenges, food demonstrations and fundraisers.
A real highlight was the Human Anchor of Light, where we had Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle perform in our local church. After singing a medley of songs, the crowds were led onto the village green to form a human anchor of light in tribute to those affected by cancer. It was a truly special moment.”
In 2018 Craig Wilson launched the Kilted Chef Ltd brand, which runs alongside Eat on the Green, delivering a wide range of food and drink projects. Craig also became a regional food tourism Ambassador for Scotland Food and Drink in 2019, supporting the organisation in raising Scotland’s profile as a global food tourism destination.
Craig continues, “Via the Kilted Chef brand we delivered an educational initiative called the Kilted Chef Learning Project with Aberdeenshire Council. This involved a range of films which explored food education and cookery skills and a series of live sessions in Alford Primary School.
“During the last five years I was fortunate to travel to Vietnam and participate in a Culinary Stars competition with fellow chefs from across Europe, introducing black pudding, haggis and shortbread to diners of the five-star Metropole Hotel in Hanoi. Last year I also launched my first, hand crafted artisan Scottish summer berry gin, in conjunction with Lost Loch Spirits. Featuring local berries, honey and pure Scottish water, it was really well received and lead to the creation of our latest tipple – Fireside Gin, a warming, aromatic gin created by The Gin Bothy.
“As an ambassador for Scotland Food & Drink, it has been a real opportunity to focus my passion for my home, Aberdeenshire and tell our fantastic food story, sharing the products and businesses which make it really special. There are great plans in the pipeline for 2023 and I’m excited to continue my food journey.”
Eat on the Green is a fine-dining restaurant based in the village of Udny Green, Aberdeenshire. Open Thursday – Sunday, for further information or to book a table visit www.eatonthegreen.co.uk. For further information about the Eat on the Green Dine at Home restaurant box visit www.kiltedchefdineathome.com.