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Scotland’s youngest Michelin chef retains star for Heron in Leith

06/02/2024
Chef patron Sam Yorke (Heron)

THE MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2024 has announced that Heron, located in Leith, Edinburgh has retained its Michelin Star. Chef patron, Sam Yorke, made history when the star was awarded in 2023 as the youngest chef in Scottish history to receive the glittering honour for their restaurant at the age of 25.  

The prestigious culinary guide writes of Heron: 

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“There is such a pleasant feel to this neighbourhood restaurant, courtesy of a bright, clean look that’s matched by warm and unstuffy service. The skilful cooking is founded on fine Scottish produce, whether that be excellent wild sea bass or the finest berries from Fife. The tasting menu will allow you to make the most of the chefs’ talents, and all fits together like a well-crafted jigsaw. Ask for a table by the window if you want to watch the world go by around the Port of Leith, or opt for a seat at the spacious counter.”

On retaining his star, Sam (now 26) has commented:

“I feel extremely lucky to have the stunning natural larder of Scotland and the UK to inspire Heron’s dishes and to have my young dynamic team here at Heron, who bring creativity and passion for hospitality and outstanding service. From walking through the doors to leaving at the end of the night, every single member of our team plays a pivotal role and I am grateful for their hard work being recognised by the Guide for a second year. Receiving a star has meant national and international acclaim for Heron in what is a very tough time for hospitality and I feel incredibly fortunate. I’m very much looking forward to a truly exciting year ahead for Heron with my team.”

With a network of local, Scottish and British producers, the menu, at Heron, is a celebration of the UK’s natural larder using the best ingredients, skilled techniques, classic and international flavours to create a Michelin-worthy dining experience. Current dish highlights include hand dived Orkney scallop served raw with hazelnut oil and caviar, Sika deer with shiitake mushrooms and pepper dulse and Valrhona chocolate with malt and caramel.

Serving a choice of tasting and a-la-carte menus, Heron is open for dinner from Wednesday – Sunday and lunch on weekends. On The Shore in Leith, huge windows give views of the river meeting the sea and imbue an open plan dining room with natural light with split level raised seating and elegant wooden chairs at the forest green wood panelled bar. 

Sam is supported by an incredibly talented young team both in the kitchen  and front of house, including Seoridh Fraser, Restaurant Manager and Bar and Beverage Director, Edgar Lumsden-Morris Pastry Chef and Kate Cummings as Sous Chef.

Originally from Rochdale in Manchester, Sam trained at the Edinburgh New Town Cooking School and cites chef Dominic Jack of Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, where Sam worked and was promoted in just two years from Commis to Sous Chef, as his mentor. Opening Heron in the same year he turned 21, Sam was named in The Code 30 Under 30 Class for 2023/4 as one of the most innovative young chefs in the UK and earnt his first Michelin Star for Heron at 25. 

There were no new entry one stars for Scotland however, Edinburgh retained their five Michelin star restaurants, with three of these in Leith. This means that Leith has the highest concentration of Michelin star restaurants per square metre outside of London, making it a foodie capital for the UK.  

The full list of Michelin star restaurants in Scotland for 2024:

Heron, Leith, One Star

Cail Bruich, Glasgow, One Star

Condita, Edinburgh, One Star

UNALOME by Graeme Cheevers, Glasgow, One Star

Timberyard, Edinburgh, One Star

The Kitchin, Leith, One Star

Restaurant Martin Wishart, Leith, One Star

Loch Bay Restaurant, Stein, One Star

The Peat Inn, Fife, One Star

Glenturret Lalique, Perthshire, Two Star (New)

Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder, Two Star

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