Dan Ashmore launches new restaurant ASKR

Dan Ashmore

Dan Ashmore

Executive Chef 27th February 2024
Dan Ashmore

Dan Ashmore

Executive Chef

Dan Ashmore launches new restaurant ASKR

Dan Ashmore has launched his own restaurant ASKR – with the support of his friend and mentor Dean Banks.

Dean is passionate about encouraging his team to take the leap themselves and launch their own businesses.

So much so that Dan’s first restaurant, ASKR, is actually launching as part of Dean’s group – so Dan will remain as Food Director of all the outlets and have the backing of a successful established group behind his fledgling eatery.

ASKR occupies the old Chop House site.

It’s a dynamic, exciting new way of helping chefs and the business in general evolve and grow - and Dan is understandably thrilled.

“I am absolutely still part of the Dean Banks Group and very proudly so. I’ll still be working away in the background helping develop dishes and train staff for the other sites.

“For me it’s a huge plus to still be connected to the group, it’s a scary world out there right now in hospitality and to have partners, especially ones as experienced as Dean is nothing but a benefit for me.

“The fact he’s very keen to make this restaurant about me is such a testament to how selfless he is, I want to make sure people know we’re still very much working together.

“I think it’s a fantastic way to create growth for teams, it can often happen that people reach a ceiling at work and the only way to break that is by moving on. I think this is a very modern well thought out path that benefits everyone involved.

“It can show other team members that it’s absolutely worth digging your heels in and calling the DB group home. I’m incredibly humbled to have been given this opportunity.

Dan’s first restaurant is an exciting new concept and something fresh for the group and for Edinburgh.

As well as the fulfilment of a lifelong dream for the chef himself.

Dan said: “It still doesn’t feel completely real. It’s something that’s been on my mind in various forms since I started cooking 18 years ago when I was a 15-year-old boy. The fact it’s happening and especially how it’s come about is really amazing.

“The concept is a lovely one. We’ve got a wonderful fire pit style bbq in the kitchen and we’re going to be using that as the main source of cooking.

“We’ll be using different coals and woods to create different flavours and levels of smoke. I’ve already started researching which coals and woods do things differently to others and what flavour profiles they have.

“I love cooking over coal and have two different types of bbq at home. I just love how tactile cooking over fire is. You’ve really got to be on your A-game.”

As for the name, we have been trying to figure out what ASKR could be the initials of… Ashmore’s Sexy Kool Rubs? But no – Dan’s gone Nordic.

Dan explained: “ASKR is the name, it comes from old Nordic. Depending on where you read it means Ash or Ash Tree, both very fitting for the type of cooking we will be doing.

“It’s a very happy coincidence that Ash is the first half of my surname. I think the whole thing just fits together so well, it all feels very elemental in nature, the name and the cooking style marry together perfectly.”

Dan reckons opening should be some time in March, and hasn’t yet created the menu but is working on the fun part – figuring out ideas and how to put them together.

“I’ve been busy working on a few sample menus and jotting lots of ideas down. “I’m quite excited about a hogget dish I’ve been working on, the plan is to buy the animals whole and create a two-part dish.

“The first will be a smoked consommé with morels cooked in hogget fat and wild garlic, this will be served while we will be dressing the second serving which will be the loin, served with sheep’s curd and fresh peas, and a fragrant hogget sauce poured tableside.

“I’ve also got a wonderful Orkney scallop dish that’s cooked almost directly on the coal and is then glazed in an Edinburgh honey and pine vinegar dressing, this will be served with a sauce made using grilled pears.”

Meanwhile Dean himself is over the moon to be able to support Dan in his first solo venture – while keeping him in the family.

Dean said: “I’m really proud of Dan, this is a special moment and it’s a thrill to see him go out on his own.

“It’s a massive benefit to me to keep him as part of the Group too – he’s integral to what we do and I would hate to lose his skills.

“At the same time it’s really important to me to help our team dream big and achieve those goals, fulfil their potential.

“Dan is already a star so it’s a privilege to be able to help him take the next steps. It’s always stuck with me how hard it was getting started on my own, so I want to help the next generation through that.

“I hope other chefs see this and take it on board. We need to ensure the future of hospitality – so help each other please.”

And of course the last word goes to Dan – who is buzzing that his boss is now his business partner.

Dan said: “I just want to say a huge thank you to my friend and now business partner Dean. It’s amazing to work with people who have such unwavering faith in you, it really does mean the world.”

ASKR opens March in Edinburgh – keep an eye on socials for updates.

Instagram link - www.instagram.com/askr_restaurant?igsh=cmxieHphNWUzaDVj

For further info or to talk to Dan or Dean, contact Mickey at Dirt Comms - [email protected]

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