GROWING up in Drumchapel, Kenny Maltman was inspired to become a chef by watching “the best cook in the world.”

The new head chef at Glasgow’s The Raven laughs: “My granny Dot never used recipes - she would just throw everything together in a pan and every time, it would taste amazing.

“I used to watch her in awe. She definitely influenced my passion for cooking. She was a brilliant baker too - I have never found a better shortbread than the one she used to make.”

Kenny is now at the helm of Renfield Street’s popular craft beer bar and kitchen. Previously, he worked at The Church on the Hill, also owned by The Raven’s parent company, Signature and at NY American Grill in Princes Square.

“I think I have always enjoyed cooking, apart from at school - I didn’t really like the kind of things we did in home economics, although the basics have stayed with me all my life,” says the 41-year-old, who lives in Milton with his partner Elaine. He has a son, Jordan, 22, and a daughter Phoenix, 18.

“I like experimenting.”

Kenny trained at Cameron House, the luxury hotel and restaurant on Loch Lomond, while studying at Glasgow Food Tech (now City of Glasgow College).

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“Everyone said, oh, you don’t want to do your placements at Cameron House because it will be busy and hard work and you’ll be exhausted all the time,” he grins.

“All of that was true, but it was fantastic training and the standard of food was tremendous. I learned a lot, and got the opportunity to work in all areas, including pastry.

“It was brilliant and I’m really pleased I had that chance.”

He is impressed by the current restaurant scene in Glasgow.

“There are so many places to eat, whatever you like - you can get any kind of cuisine in the city,” he explains. “In a relatively small space, there is so much to choose from which is great for the industry.”

Kenny is excited to be at The Raven, which is marking its fifth anniversary with a revamped interior and a new menu.

“The idea is to showcase the best of Scottish meats,” explains Kenny.

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“I had a lot of ideas to play around with when I came here, and I’ve been given the opportunity to do so, which is fantastic.

“A lot of my ideas start in my own kitchen - on a much smaller scale. It’s been fun to experiment with different meats, flavours, marinades, with smoking and roasting - and just coming up with dishes people will really love.”

The new menu boasts a huge variety of burgers, loaded fries and gourmet mac and cheese options, as well as grilled sandwiches stuffed full of luscious pastrami, juicy roast pork and crispy crackling, plus mouth-watering house gravy dips.

A vegan and vegetarian menu, in collaboration with Sgaia Vegan Meats, includes veggie burgers, mac and cheese and veggie loaded fries and if you really feel like trying something different, Kenny has also added a peanut butter jelly doughnut burger.

“It’s a bit of fun and it looks and tastes great,” he smiles. “I can imagine it will be a bit of a novelty - maybe a good one to share with friends, just to see what it’s like.”

He adds with a laugh: “Not sure what Granny Dot would have made of it, right enough...”