Tony Singh (chef)

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Tony Singh
Rajinder Tony Singh

(1971-05-15) 15 May 1971 (age 48)
EducationTelford College
? (m. 1993)
Culinary career
Cooking styleScottish / French / British / Indian

Rajinder Tony Singh Kusbia MBE, (born 15 May 1971) is a Scottish celebrity chef and restaurateur.[1] He is best known for combining his love of Scottish produce with his arty, eclectic and accessible style of cooking.[2]

Born and raised in Leith, Edinburgh,[3] Singh comes from a second-generation Scottish Sikh family.[4][5] He studied at Telford College and completed a Youth Training Scheme in Professional Cookery before beginning his career in the restaurant industry. The year he completed his formal training, Singh started working 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 worked in the Greywalls Hotel, aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, and at 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[6] being made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the Food and Drink Industry.[7]

Early life[edit]

Singh was born Leith[3] 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.

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 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, aged 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 Indian restaurant considered one of the finest in Scotland.[8][9] 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 appearing in the TV show The Incredible Spice Men with chef Cyrus Todiwala, Singh and Todiwala published a recipe book in 2013,[10] and by 2014 Singh released his own solo book Tasty.

In 2015 Singh ran his own pop-up restaurant for the Edinburgh Festival at the Apex Grassmarket Hotel which featured an eclectic range of foods – including his signature dish haggis pakora.[11]

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.[12][13][14]

Singh became a resident feature at the Apex Grassmarket Hotel[15] with his "Tony Singh's Roadtrip" while also opening another pop-up restaurant under its own name in Glasgow,[16] based in the Alea Casino.[17][18]

Awards and honours[edit]

Singh is known for his contemporary Scottish cooking,[19] which combines his love of local Scottish produce with influences and additions from around the world.[20] He is a member of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, the Master Chefs of Great Britain, and the Craft Guild of Chefs. He has also received several awards 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 made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen for his services to the Food and Drink Industry.

Charity work[edit]

Singh has supported and worked closely with the charities Sick Kids Edinburgh, McMillian Cancer Research, the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service, Food Train, Scottish Air Ambulance, Water Aid, St. Columbus Hospice, and the Back Up Trust.


Singh first appeared on TV as a competitor in ITV's Chef of the Year in 2000; this was the first televised cooking competition in the UK, which he also won. He was also featured on 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.

In 2013 Singh partnered with Cyrus Todiwala to present their own cookery show on BBC Two called The Incredible Spice Men.[21][22][23][24]

Singh then went on to feature in food and personality shows around the country including The One Show, The Paul O'Grady Show, Countryfile and Celebrity Mastermind as well as appearing on Radio Scotland, Radio 1, Radio 4 and BBC Radio Asia. In 2015 Singh and Todiwala paired up again and appeared on the Celebrity edition of the quiz show Pointless.

In the same year Singh then starred as one of the chefs on BBC Two's A Cook Abroad. Here Singh went to India during Diwali where he presented traditional food in the Punjab and explored his Indian heritage.[25]

In September 2018 he appeared on the CBBC documentary Our School (TV series) as a guest head judge for the bake-off. [26]


  • The Incredible Spice Men. London: BBC Books. 2013. ISBN 978-1-84990-706-4. (with Cyrus Todiwala)
  • Tasty. London: Headline. 2014. ISBN 978-1-47221-908-4.


  1. ^ "Home". Tony Singh. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Restaurants On The Grassmarket - Metro Brasserie". Apex Hotels. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Chefs : Tony Singh recipes". BBC. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Renowned Edinburgh chef Tony Singh forced to pull plug on flagship restaurant". The Scotsman. 30 August 2010. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  5. ^ Morrison, Jenny (18 August 2013). "Restaurant curry king admits that his wife doesn't let him cook at home – because he is far too messy". Daily Record. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  6. ^ Gerrard, Neil (30 December 2016). "New Year's Honours 2017: awards for Nick Jones, Mark Hix and Tony Singh". The Caterer. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  7. ^ "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N23.
  8. ^ Trew, Jonathan (31 March 2001). "Dinner with Tony Singh Currying new flavours". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 21 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014 – via HighBeam Research.
  9. ^ 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 Questia Online Library.
  10. ^ "Tony Singh". Penguin UK. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  11. ^ "Tony Singh pop up brings Haggis Pakora...and so much more back to Edinburgh for the Festival". The Boys Eat Scotland. 21 July 2015. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  12. ^ "Tony Singh". 2017. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Television chef Singh will be a star at isles food fair". The Shetland Times. 16 October 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Food fair launches in fiery style". The Shetland Times. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  15. ^ Harmer, Janet (11 March 2016). "Tony Singh to launch a 'fun' restaurant at Edinburgh's Apex Grassmarket hotel". The Caterer. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  16. ^ Devine, Cate (14 December 2015). "Celebrity chef Tony Singh moves west". The Herald. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Home". Tasty at Alea. Archived from the original on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  18. ^ Russell, Jennifer (6 December 2016). "Tour top chef Tony Singh's new Tasty restaurant at the ALEA Casino". Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  19. ^ "Tony Singh MBE". TMC Entertainment. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  20. ^ scotdigital (22 June 2008). "Tony Singh on The 5.30 Show". YouTube. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  21. ^ "Dinner with the Chefs". The Sunday People. 15 December 2013. Archived from the original on 21 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014 – via HighBeam Research.
  22. ^ "The Incredible Spice Men: Todiwala And Singh". Archived from the original on 9 January 2014.
  23. ^ "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 Questia Online Library.
  24. ^ "The Incredible Spice Men - Tony Singh". BBC Two. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  25. ^ Brown, Annie (7 February 2015). "Scots chef Tony Singh tears up as he traces footsteps of refugee relatives". Daily Record. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  26. ^

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