Chef Michael Leathley

Growing up in North Shields and Newcastle my grandfather was an in-shore fisherman and this led me to develop an early love of fish and seafood. After his retirement my grandfather started fishing for eels which he smoked himself on his allotment – the taste of smoked fish and eels still evokes wonderful warm memories of my childhood. I've always loved to cook, and my first venture into a professional kitchen was in Newcastle in the late 1990s. After studying art I decided my vocation was firmly as a chef.

I would describe my cooking style as unpretentious – a little classic and a little modern. I like to let the produce speak for itself with nice clean flavours. I do like to honour classic dishes but add a playful and comforting twist. Coming to work at The Pierhouse has allowed me the freedom to explore and experiment with our incredible local larder and there’s so much of it right on my doorstep. I’d never really felt connected to the food in the same way as I do in Port Appin.

I work very closely with a network of Argyll's best local producers and suppliers, including the freshest langoustines and mussels harvested from Loch Linnhe and Loch Etive, and the finest hand-picked oysters from the beds of Loch Creran just 10 minutes from the hotel. I am exceedingly proud of the relationships that I build up with our suppliers and wherever possible I source all ingredients within a 50 mile radius of the hotel.