Top 50 Gastropubs

Scott Fairweather

Getting on the Top 50s has been a lifetime ambition


Scott Fairweather, aged 31, is the Head Chef of The Black Swan, in Ravenstonedale, nestled in the heart of the Eden Valley, Cumbria. Beginning kitchen life at the age of 15, he has progressed quickly through working in some of the country’s top kitchens, entering competitions and showing dedication to all things food & drink.

He was introduced into Cumbria’s dining scene at the age of 21 and since then has become recognised across the county as one of the leading pub chefs, known for creative and flavourful food that is inspired by the pub’s surroundings and driven by local, seasonal ingredients.

With a wealth of experience, achievements to date include holding 2 AA rosettes for culinary excellence for the past 10 years in 2 different kitchens, previously being named Cumbria life ‘young chef of the year’ and also a ‘national pub chef’ finalist in 2014 & 2015. In his previous role, he held Cumbria’s ‘Dining Pub of the year’ title for 4 years and he continues to mentor some of the brightest young chefs through Kendal colleges apprenticeship scheme.

Moving to the Black Swan in October 2016, Scott’s goals remain the same as they always have been. To cook and serve consistent, attractive pub food with a creative slant, that is full of flavour and shows off his individual personality. During his time here, he has continued to thrive within the industry, taking part in the ‘National Chef of the year’ semi-finals 2019 and also leading his dedicated team to the number 45 spot in this years ‘top 50 gastropub’ awards, which has been a lifetime ambition.

Get to know Scott

Why gastropubs?

I tried a lot of high-end restaurants when I was younger but didn’t fit into the environment. I prefer everything being a bit more understated. I prefer less rules, I’m happy I started a more casual approach early in my career.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Anything apart from a chef – I did business and economics a-levels but fell into cooking and got the feel for the adrenaline and pumped up feeling of a service. Initially, it was meant to be a fireman or professional football player!

Who or what inspires you?

My grandmother is a huge inspiration, she’s led me on the right path feeding me the best food, homegrown and organic. As soon as I got into the industry, I was influenced by people I met along the way. When I was younger it was people like Marcus Wareing Gordon Ramsay, now it’s anyone who’s pub driven like Dominic Chapman and Tom Kerridge.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee, but only Nescafe!

What’s your favourite thing about being a chef?

The creativity but also training up the chefs from a young age to help them work their way through the kitchen ranks.

What makes The Black Swan stand out above the rest?

Individuality helps majorly, we have a quirky owner with her own unique style. Our location as well, being out of the way of cities means you could potentially stumble across it and be blown away. Accessibility, we try and cater for everybody whether you’re here for business or found us on a walk.

What does being a Top 50 Gastropub mean to you?

Without a shadow of a doubt it’s the biggest achievement in my career, it means the world to me.

Favourite junk food?

I’ve really toned it down recently, but if I had to choose it would be pizza.

What’s your signature dish and why?

Smoked Haddock kedgeree scotch egg – its long-standing classic that’s been developed over 10 years. It’s now in its simplest cleanest form.

What do you think you’ll be doing in 15 years’ time?

I’d like my own place within the next 10 years with a Michelin Star.