Tony Singh (chef)
|Born||Rajinder Tony Singh
15 May 1971
Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland
|Spouse(s)||1993 August 16 (m. 2017)|
Rajinder Tony Singh Kusbia, MBE (born 15 May 1971) is a Scottish celebrity chef and restaurateur. He is best known for combining his love of Scottish produce with his arty, eclectic and accessible style of cooking.
Born and raised in Leith Edinburgh, Singh comes from a second-generation Scottish Sikh family. He studied at Telford College and completed a Youth Training Scheme in Professional Cookery before beginning his life long career in the restaurant industry. The year he completed his formal training, Singh started off in some of Britain's most prestigious restaurants including The Balmoral Hotel in 1990, Gravetye Manor in 1992 and The Royal Scotsman Train in 1994. Afterwards Singh moved up even further to the famous Greywalls Hotel, The HMS Royal Yacht Britannia and Skibo Castle before opening his own restaurant in 2001.
His menus have featured all the very best seasonal and local Scottish ingredients with influences and additions from around the world. As a respected Master Chef of Great Britain and a member of both the Academy of Culinary Arts and Craft Guild of Chefs, Singh has been honoured by the Queen in her 2017 New Year Honours List with a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services in the Food and Drink Industry.
Singh was born and raised in Leith to a second-generation Scottish Sikh family. While he was growing up his father, Baldev "Billy" Singh Kusbia, became one of the first Sikh lorry drivers in Scotland while Singh's mother looked after their family home. As a youngster Singh shared his home not only with his three siblings (two brothers and one sister), but with his aunts, uncles, grandmother and great grandmother also. This upbringing showed him the value of family life and the importance of sharing what you have with who you can.
Singh was educated at Lorne Street Primary, then Leith Academy Secondary School before moving on to Telford College at 16 where he earned an OND in Hotel Management. During his time at college, Singh also enrolled himself in a Youth Training Scheme where he earned an equivalent to City and Guilds 7061 and 7062 qualification in Professional Cookery.
After formal training at Telford College, his distinctive style soon developed and lead him to positions with some of the most prestigious restaurants in Britain including The Balmoral Hotel, Gravetye Manor, The Royal Scotsman Train, Greywalls Hotel, The Royal Yacht Britannia and Skibo Castle.
In 2001 at age 30, Singh became the Chef Patron at Oloroso; a roof-top bar and restaurant on Castle Street Edinburgh. This restaurant won many accolades during its time including Restaurant of the Year, Bar of the Year and Cocktail Bar of the Year. Singh was also the former owner of Roti in 2005; a fine-dining Indian restaurant considered one of the finest in Scotland. which he had for four years before selling it on. Then in 2009 Singh opened Tony's Table; a modern style bistro also in Edinburgh which earned a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 2010.
After starring in his successful TV show ‘The Incredible Spice-Men’ with noted chef Cyrus Todiwala, Singh and Todiwala published a recipe book in 2013 and by 2014 Singh released his own solo-book called ‘Tasty’. Both these books characterize Singh's fun loving, arty and accessible style of cooking while highlighting his love for Scotland's amazing ladder.
Throughout his career, Singh has been a huge advocate of staff development and training, and continues to strive for the best customer service in his restaurants and bars. Singh still works hand in hand with schools and colleges throughout Scotland to achieve just that.
Today, Singh is still known for his contemporary Scottish cooking, which combines his love of local Scottish produce with influences and additions from around the world. In the most recent months Singh has become a resident feature of the Apex Grassmarket Hotel with his "Tony Singh's Roadtrip" while also opening another pop-up restaurant under its own same in Glasgow, based in the Alea Casino.
Awards and honours
Singh is a respected chef in the UK's culinary world and a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Master Chefs of Great Britain, Craft Guild of Chefs. He has also received several awards for his culinary talents including; the Drambuie Chefs Association Best New Restaurant of the Year, Scottish Chefs Award Scottish Chef of the Year and SLTN Best Restaurant catering in Scotland chef of the year. In December 2016, he was awarded an MBE by the Queen for his services to the Food and Drink Industry.
Singh has always had a love and desire to do what he can to give back to the community and wider-world. He has supported and worked closely with Sick Kids Edinburgh, McMillian Cancer Research, the Scottish Blood Service, Food Train, Scottish Air-Ambulance, Water Aid, St. Columbus Hospice and the Back Up Trust.
Singh first appeared on TV as a competitor of the ITV Chef of Year Awards in 2000; this was the first televised cooking competition in the UK which he also won.
Once Oloroso was opened and running smoothly, Singh featured on the famous Ready Steady Cook with James Martin in June 2008. Afterwards, Singh appeared in Series 3 of the BBC's Great British Menu which then lead to his reappearance in Series 5 and 6.
Singh then went on to feature in food and personality shows around the country including The One Show, The Paul O’Grady Show, Country File and Celebrity Mastermind as well as joining Radio Scotland, Radio 1, Radio 4 and BBC Radio Asia. In 2015 Singh and Todiwala pared up again and appeared on the Celebrity edition of Pointless.
In the same year Singh then starred as one of the chefs on BBC 2 ‘A Cook Abroad’. Here Singh went to India during Diwali where he explored and presented traditional food on the Punjab and his Indian heritage.
- Trew, Jonathan (31 March 2001). "Dinner with Tony Singh Currying new flavours". The Scotsman. Retrieved 3 September 2014 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- Booth, Samantha (21 August 2007). "Singh for Your Supper; SCOTS CHEF TONY SINGH IS DETERMINED TO CHANGE OUR EATING HABITS FOR THE BETTER". Daily Record. Retrieved 3 September 2014 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- The Boys Eat Scotland (2015-07-21). "Tony Singh pop up brings Haggis Pakora...and so much more back to Edinburgh for the Festival". Retrieved 2015-08-23.
- "Dinner with the Chefs". The Sunday People. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2014 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- "The Incredible Spice Men: Todiwala And Singh".
- "Seasonal Favourites; Tony Singh and Cyrus Todiwala Have Won Awards and Wowed Monarchs with Their Indian-Influenced Cooking". Western Mail. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2014 – via HighBeam Research. (subscription required (. ))