Feautured Chef – Mike Calder

Swan on the Quay, Kingholm Quay, Dumfries, DG1 4SU – 01387 253756

mikeWith honest home cooked pub farye, real ale, comfortable surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere Swan on the Quay is the newest Gastro Pub in Dumfries. The Swan at Kingholm Quay has been renamed Swan on the Quay and is now offering a new menu along with Real Ale, new wines and table service in a relaxed atmosphere. The menu is still home to some of the classic favourites but with some welcomed additions. Customers old and new are loving our new interpretation of a scampi basket!!! How does an edible basket sound?

Angela McIntyre, previously Venue Manager at Easterbrook has taken the lease to the business and whilst keeping all the existing staff she has added a few new team members including the recruitment of a new chef. Mike Calder, who is new to Dumfries, has a wealth of Gastro Pub (Food Lead Pub) experience and is enjoying getting to know the local suppliers who, for him, are vital. He is passionate about great pub food served with a twist and believes that local produce is a key to that success. He is growing a reputations for serving fish that is sourced from the Solway and prides himself on the sea bass being served as part of his list of additional specials. The new menu that he has created is prepared on site and classic to honest pub food. It includes beer batter haddock, triple minced beef in his hand-made burgers and of course pies and Sunday roasts. The desserts are also home-made and, in the words of a recent dinner….. the best sticky toffee pudding ever tasted!!

Mike childhood seen him living in a various countries all over the world which he believes has developed his passion for food and allowed him to experience, first hand, a number of different cuisines and cultures. From and early age Mike studied home economics at school which was fairly unorthodox back then but he had a real interest in baking and food prep and was not put off by the comments of his peers. He has had a career in hospitality since 1997 and this has seen him working in busy gastro pub and also some branded outlets. He is quick to tell us he is happiest preparing, in his words “honesty home cooked pub food” rather than frozen or commercialised meals. A menu of good quality unpretentious food well prepared and value for money is what he and Angela are aiming for. In 2008 he had the privilege of working as part of the team at “Flemish weaver” where he won an award for organic locally sourced foods on the menu. This is something he aims to also develop at Swan on the Quay…… watch this space for a supper club which is being developed with a local producers focus…..

Mike is also working on Christmas menus, a new winter menu and lunch time offers for the busy diner who have to stick to 1 hour lunch times……. Like the pub on facebook for updates, swan on the quay.

No need to book at the pub simply come along and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere 7 days of the week for lunch from 12 till 2.30pm and supper from 5pm till late!

[column width=”1″ place=”none” ][headline]Recipe: Crab Beignets, Swan on the Quay style [/headline]

1kg/2lb 4oz crab meat, brown and white
25ml/4.5fl oz cold water
50g/2oz butter, diced
75g/2 ¾ oz plain flour
2 free range eggs
Chopped chives
Lemon zest
Vegetable oil for deep frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Put the butter and water in a pot and bring to the boil, boil for 2 mins
  • Remove from the heat and add all the flour together and beat well until the mixture is smooth and well combined. It should come away from the side of the pan
  • Return the mixture to the heat for 1 or 2 mins until it has warmed through
  • Remove and crack in the eggs, one at a time, beat well between each addition so that each egg is fully incorporated into the mixture
  • Add 2 tablespoons of the white crab meat and 3 of the brown and stir well to combine. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Heat the oil in a fryers or heavy based pot
  • Drop teaspoonfuls of the beignet mixture into the hot oil in batches and fry for 2-3 mins, or until the beignets are crips and golden brown. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining beignet mixture
  • Serve warm with fresh rocket, lemon and sweet chilli dip

You can keep up to date with the Swan on the Quay at their Facebook Page