Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Success speaks volumes for a true masterchef

Bruce Price
Bruce Price who is Executive Head Chef at the Crieff Hydro (Andrew Cawley)

IT’S an industry often associated with hot-headed chefs bellowing instructions over the clatter of the kitchen.

But it’s safe to say Bruce Price isn’t one to let tired stereotypes stand in his way.

The three-time Scottish Chef of the Year has been profoundly deaf since birth, and never learned sign language due to his mother’s belief it would hold him back.

Now, at the age of 52, he oversees a brigade of 45 chefs across six separate restaurants at Crieff Hydro, where he has been executive chef for nearly five years.

Speaking to The Sunday Post, the dad-of-two insisted he had never brooded over his disability.

“I have never, ever let my deafness restrict my ambition to become a great chef,” he added.

“I have never seen it as a disadvantage.”

And his staff attest to his calm, collected demeanour in the kitchen – more likely to be seen having a quiet word with someone than screaming across the hobs.

(Andrew Cawley)
(Andrew Cawley)

While the day’s business is written out on a whiteboard every morning, communication in the kitchen is mostly verbal, with Bruce lip-reading and staff quickly learning to understand his spoken instructions.

Born in Blenheim, New Zealand, Bruce has a twin brother called Andrew who is also profoundly deaf and a pastry chef.

After leaving school at 17, he landed his first full-time job as a kitchen porter – sparking a love affair with food that has lasted ever since.

“I started relatively late, and was first into technical drawing at school,” he said. “It’s the team and the camaraderie within the kitchen that I like. If you’re an architect or you’re going into art school, you’re just sitting there at a desk. I enjoy that buzz, working with a team.

“And I think there are obvious parallels with technical drawing and cooking. You’re ‘engineering’ a dish, making it functional, and obviously making it look easy on the eye.

“My mum was into good, home-cooked food. And my dad was into the garden side of it – growing vegetables, and tending to the greenhouse with the tomatoes in it. I first saw a lobster at home.”

As Bruce describes it, his mother wanted to “push him, make him stronger”.

Venison main course dish. y (Andrew Cawley)
Venison main course dish. y (Andrew Cawley)

Rather than signing his thoughts and ideas, he speaks them – occasionally writing things down for greater clarity.

And while new staff sometimes take a couple of weeks to fully understand him, his kitchen otherwise functions like any other.

Pal Shawn O’Connor, banqueting head chef at Crieff Hydro, has worked with Bruce for 14 years.

He said: “I don’t think you notice it. I sit and have full-blown conversations with Bruce about anything. There’s some words you get stuck on, but that’s it.

“Chefs are typically hot-headed and they do get stressed, but Bruce is the exception to that.”

Since his early days in New Zealand, Bruce has cooked all over the world, from Australia to Switzerland, China, Taiwan and now Scotland.

He’s worked in more than 10 restaurants and gained valuable experience with Michelin-starred chefs.

But his current role holds a special place in his heart.

He said: “Crieff Hydro is not just a family-friendly place for guests – and an award-winning one – but it’s also a place with a great family feeling among staff.

“In a word, my role here is busy. There are six eating places across the resort and functions on top of that. Each eating place has its own head chef and some have satellite kitchens.

“We have 45 chefs working in the main kitchen.

“That’s a lot of people and eating places to manage, but I love that I get to oversee a range of different food outlets and offerings.

“With so many different restaurants, there are several different styles.

“I don’t really have a signature dish as such but I do have my favourites.

“There are dishes I like to put on menus regularly, such as Venison Wellington with haggis, and homemade Hendricks Gin and juniper berry cured Shetland salmon.

“I love all kinds of shellfish and also game. Being in Scotland we really have the best of these in the world.”

As for those who want to follow in his footsteps, Bruce insists determination is key.

“If you want to become a chef you need to think of it as a profession rather than a job,” he said. “This isn’t a Monday to Friday, nine to five thing.

“You need to be dedicated to learning your craft and that takes long hours.

“Sometimes it can mean sacrificing family time but if it’s your passion, it is very worth it.”