"Parisian Bistro Meets London Boozer": Chef Lloyd Morse On The Palmerston
In the captivating city of Edinburgh, where nature, history, and its vibrant populace converge, we find Lloyd Morse, the esteemed head chef and co-founder of The Palmerston. With unwavering conviction, Morse asserts, "I'm a big believer that if you're running a kitchen it's your responsibility to train the next generation of chefs".
It is within the walls of this esteemed establishment that Morse's profound culinary prowess and wisdom come to life, as he endeavours to impart his invaluable knowledge to aspiring chefs.
With a relentless commitment to excellence, Chef Morse curates a daily-changing menu sourced from trusted suppliers, guaranteeing that only the finest ingredients grace the plates.
This is our conversation with The Palmerston’s head chef and co-founder Lloyd Morse on his profound love for his craft.
1. What do you love about cooking? And baking?
I grew up in and around restaurants. My family has a strong love of getting as many people around a table as possible and feeding them. Professionally, I love restaurant culture and the service industry. I think I'm pretty lucky that guests make a booking, come to our restaurant and I get to cook for them the food that I love to eat. I find baking in particular very relaxing. All you have to do is read the recipe and follow the instructions (and stay calm).
2. You are from Sydney, Australia. What made you decide to stay and open a restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland?
I spent ten years living in London before I moved to Edinburgh. I'm not a city boy at all. I grew up outside Sydney in the Blue Mountains, fishing, hiking, hunting and swimming in creeks. My wife Kirsty is from Edinburgh and for me Scotland feels very similar to the Blue Mountains, there is a close proximity to nature and the air is fresh. I had to spend a few years convincing Kirsty to move back to Edinburgh but we eventually did. I felt Edinburgh was lacking the type of restaurant that I wanted to open.
3. What is the concept behind The Palmerston as a restaurant and bakery?
My business partner James and I wanted to open a neighborhood type restaurant where everyone felt welcome and guests didn't need an event as an excuse to book. The food and service is very relaxed, I try and not get too caught up on how the food is plated, if it tastes good that's all that matters. We've both spent years traveling and eating, we're both very sure of what we like. The idea that we got to after hours and hours of talking about it was a Parisian Bistro meets a London boozer.
"The idea that we got to after hours and hours of talking about it was a Parisian Bistro meets a London boozer."
4. How would you describe your work ethic?
I don't think anyone has ever asked me that before! What a good question! I definitely inherited my work ethic from my mother. She's worked so hard her whole life in so many different avenues. We were joking last week that my mother, brother and I are all workaholics. Not in an unhealthy way, more in the sense that we love what we do and we give it everything we can.
I'm a big believer that if you're running a kitchen it's your responsibility to train the next generation of chefs. A lot of skills in cooking are being lost. I want my chefs to feel confident and creative in my kitchen. We only buy whole animals and we do all the butchery ourselves. I want each chef to leave The Palmerston being able to butcher a whole pig and lamb confidently. It's a skill that will take them far in their career.
"I'm a big believer that if you're running a kitchen it's your responsibility to train the next generation of chefs."
5. How do you feel about the current cost of living crisis in the UK in recent years and how has it affected the restaurant?
In a word it's terrible. I could rant on about the current government but I won't here. Greed has taken forefront in the UK and millions of people are feeling the effect of it in their homes. We made the decision before the restaurant opened that we'd pay people properly and sacrifice profits over staff investment. We also split the service charge monthly across our employees, many other restaurants use this money to pay a percentage of their employees monthly wage. When it was clear how bad things were getting in the UK it gave us such positive affirmation for the decisions we'd made in looking after our staff, if only those in power would think the same way about the countries population.
6. How would you describe a dining experience at The Palmerston?
Relaxed, friendly and delicious.
All imagery is provided by Tonic Communications.