If you were looking to serve up a ‘local boy done good’ story, you would be hard pushed to find one tastier than Billy Boyter’s tale.
Hailed as one of the top chefs in the country, he is leaving behind the bright kitchen lights of award-winning Michelin-starred big-hitters and returning home to Anstruther to open his own restaurant.
In doing so, he is bringing new life to the once highly-acclaimed The Cellar and opening a new chapter in a family story long associated with the sea.
“I’ve always wanted my own place but it’s all about finding the right place in the right location and this is the right place for me,” Billy (30) said.
“Growing up in Anstruther, The Cellar was such a well known restaurant. It’s such a special place with so much character and it’s great to be able to open it up again.”
Based in a 17th-century former smokery and cooperage, The Cellar closed following the death in December 2012 of celebrated chef proprietor Peter Jukes, who had run the restaurant for 30 years and earned it numerous awards and plaudits.
Having such a respected restaurant on his doorstep could well have inspired Billy, who at 17 left home to begin the hard-earned journey to the top of his game, training first at restaurants in Perthshire, including two years at the award-winning Ballathie House, before joining the Michelin-starred Martin Wishart at his eponymous restaurant in Edinburgh.
From there is was on to the Michelin-starred No 1 Restaurant at the city’s Balmoral Hotel, where he was second chef for five years before being appointed head chef two years ago.
With the backing of his mum and dad, Billy and Fiona, who still live in Anstruther, Billy bought The Cellar last November and, as he is still working full-time at the No 1, it has been a real joint effort with family and friends refurbishing it.
Joining him at The Cellar from the No 1 will be Patricia Kirk, who will be in charge of front of house when it opens on April 5. Although not exclusively a seafood restaurant, Billy will certainly be serving up fish, which is only fitting for the son of a family whose fishing history goes back generations on both his parents’ sides.
“The quality of the food will be as high as I am doing at the moment but it will be a lot more relaxed,” Billy said.