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A Private Chef for Your Stay at Forter Castle

The food you want, wherever you are!

If I were to say to you, "Marinated Orange and Beetroot Salmon Salad with Roast Boneless Quail and a Rabbit Mouselline Filling, followed by Berry Croustillant", your mouth may have started watering. Mine has!


I do love spending time with chefs in our castles and John Ramsay is no exception. John has been a chef for 28 years. He has been a hotel chef, a restaurant chef, a catering chef, a café chef and, for the last nine years, he has been working as a private chef in castles and large houses all across Scotland, Europe, the USA and even as far as Australia. John knows a lot about applying his trade in castles and working with demanding customers.

"Just a quick e-mail to thank you for the fabulous feast you prepared for our wedding at Forter Castle last Thursday. Everyone was amazed by the food and the presentation, It was beautiful. Your attention to detail and presentation were not missed either; the delphinium flowers on the dessert even matched my delphinium petals on the table. Just perfect."


John says, “As a private chef you have to be able to arrive in a new location, find the best produce and suppliers, settle in immediately to an unfamiliar kitchen, work with new staff, adapt to whatever equipment and facilities are available and get to know the tastes and preferences of your clients.

In essence, you have to be able to do this in a matter of hours, because you will be serving your first meal in that time and it has to be the best you are capable of delivering.” No pressure then! 


One of John’s favourite castles is Forter Castle; he has a great local knowledge of this castle and the surrounding area and is always recommending places to eat out locally, where to visit, great local walks, as well as having an invaluable knowledge of where everything is hidden away and how it all works around the castle. John has cooked for over 130 weddings at Forter over the past 9 years, so you would expect him to know his way around this castle's kitchen.


"Hi John,

Now that the dust has settled, just a few lines to let you know that we were thrilled with the standard of your cooking. Not just ourselves but all our guests were full of glowing comments. "The best Crème Brulee I have ever tasted" from a dessert lover, "The Soup was so velvety and I cannot understand how he can pack so much flavour into it" and "That Chocolate Brownie was so fine I wish there were seconds and thirds", were just some of the comments. 

Thank you once again for excelling in such an important role on our biggest of days. I could not recommend you highly enough to anyone thinking about procuring your professional services.

All the very best to you."

It is not only weddings John caters for at the castle; he meets and works with a very wide variety of clients, from families with young children on their annual holiday, to special celebration gala dinners. He cooks for groups of old friends on holiday reunions, shooting and fishing parties, corporate entertaining, as well as masters of their own castles. He is even in-demand with celebrities who are trying to find the perfect clandestine get-away. What better a place could you find than hiding away in a castle in Scotland?



John adds, “Do not believe what you see in the media; we chefs are not all shouting, demanding ogres.” John will work closely beforehand with all his clients to ensure that they are going to get the food they want during their stay, and on a day-to-day basis to adapt to whatever they might request. 


John won many awards and cooked for several critics at the start of his career, but now he is happiest when his clients get the best available food and service to suit their needs, as you may have picked up from these testimonials...

"Dear John

I am sorry for the delay emailing to thank you for the fabulous meal you prepared at Forter Castle the other Sunday evening. You made our celebration very memorable with such delicious food. We were talking about it for days afterwards and certainly set a very high standard for the rest of the week’s catering."

When John is not cooking or sourcing local produce, he loves to go anywhere where someone else cooks for him. John, how about I cook for you the next time we are together?


John loves all outdoor sports and spends a lot of his time in the hills surrounding Forter Castle, with his dog, and as much time as possible in the winter on his snowboard. Following on with the outdoor theme, John is an assistant leader with the local scout group, allowing him to pass on his love of the outdoors, as well as some practical skills, though he holds himself back from taking control over the cooking when on a camp!

"Hello John, 

I would just like you to know how much we enjoyed your food on our wedding day. It was an absolutely magical day, and your food played such a major part in that. You really worked wonders in that small kitchen! Thank you so much, you made me feel so at ease because I was really stressed out before the wedding and I knew I could trust you to pull everything together. Every single person commented on how fantastic every single course was. It was presented so elegantly and it all tasted fantastic. We all particularly enjoyed the Black Pudding starter, Cullen s

Skink, delicious Lamb and the Chocolate Brownie and Honeycomb Ice-cream was to die for! That isn't to say that the other options weren't equally as fantastic! 

Thank you so much, I hope we can return for an anniversary and meet you again."



John lives in a remote part of Highland Perthshire, with a wee bit of land around his house, which he has been trying to sort out and landscape for the past few years. He also has a 1966 Series 2a Landrover, which is only two weeks younger than he is; another restoration project!


So, just off for some Terrine of Arbroath Smokie with Pear Compote and Crostini followed by Venison Fillet with Beetroot Pesto, and Madeira and Truffle Sauce and Floating Islands with Rasps...what could be better? I am looking forward to seeing what wine John has chosen for us.

If you want to contact John, you can do so via: 

Chefs On The Move - 07733881788, john@chefsonthemove.co.uk

Forter Castle


Castles available to book through Celtic Castles

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