The Machrie appoints Iain Nicholson as Head Chef

The Machrie has announced the appointment of Iain Nicholson as the new Head Chef at 18 Restaurant & Bar.

With an impressive career spanning over 12 years, Scottish born Nicholson brings a wealth of experience to the position.

At The Machrie, he plans to create dishes centred almost exclusively around Scottish ingredients, with most of the produce sourced from Islay or Argyll.

Working with local fishermen, farmers and crofters living within a few miles of the hotel, he will make the most of the island’s bounty of seafood, game and freshly grown vegetables to develop menus that reflect the seasons and are as sustainable as possible.

The cooking at The Machrie will also reflect his training under some of the world’s best chefs blended with his own Scottish heritage, reflecting his passion for fresh and simple food.

Nicholson’s skills were honed under the helm of renowned chef Albert Roux, working as a sous chef across his Scottish and London restaurants, including the iconic two Michelin-starred Le Gavroche. His career has taken him across the globe, gaining experience in the US, France and Switzerland, as well as some of Britain’s top restaurants incluidng The Adamson, The Rav and The Atelier. He joins The Machrie from Vie Montagne in Verbier, where he was head chef.

An experienced forager with a passion for native ingredients, Nicholson is also the creator of, a website showcasing foraged ingredients and designed to educate budding chefs about Scotland’s natural larder.

Commenting on his new appointment, Iain Nicholson comments: “The pandemic provided me with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to try something new, but I am delighted to be back in the kitchen to start my new journey with The Machrie. Cooking, and the creativity that comes with it, will always be my life’s passion and I have exciting plans in the pipeline.”

He adds: “My aim is to put The Machrie on the food map, providing diners with an exclusively Scottish experience as possible. I want guests to be able to close their eyes, taste my food and know exactly where they are, and I look forward to achieving this as The Machrie.”