Jonathan MacDonald & Daniel Spurr
Filled with ambition and a passion for food at an early age, a fresh-faced 15-year-old Jonathan knocked on the door of Yes restaurant in Glasgow to ask for a Saturday job. The doors opened. His journey began.
It has been a voyage of adventure that has taken Jonathan on a whistle-stop, globe-spanning tour of duty; moving to London to train further, he subsequently landed the coveted role as Head Chef for the McLaren Formula One team.
Having also lived in Australia and Vietnam, Jonathan returned to his home town of Glasgow five years ago, where he established scoop: an events company which made a significant impression (not least with scoop’s polished aluminium retro-American trailer-cum-fully-fitted mobile kitchen; affectionately nicknamed: “The Bullet”); catering at Scottish weddings with flair and numerous high-profile events.
He then proved a key figure in the street food revolution in Scotland, co-founding Street Food Cartel and was also been mentor to pupils of Linlithgow Academy during the BBC Scotland series, “Teen Canteen”.
In November 2014, marking his contribution to the Food Industry in Scotland, Jonathan joined actor James McAvoy, singer Paolo Nutini, artist John Byrne and broadcaster Sally Magnusson on the list of winners of Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards 2014, hosted at the 17th-century Prestonfield House in Edinburgh.
The opening of Ox and Finch in May 2014 has been the latest step on Jonathan’s career path (to date). The hugely-popular Kelvingrove restaurant has added a new dimension to the quality dining arena in Glasgow, with its relaxed, sharing concept of contemporary dining. Jonathan describes the food at Ox and Finch as “simple, seasonal and ingredient-led: combining big, bold flavours with global influences served in a relaxed, sharing style, whilst using the finest produce and, of course, top-quality Scottish meat and seafood.”
Aged 28, Strathaven-born Daniel has brought levels of experience and innovation to the kitchen of Ox and Finch which strongly belie his age.
Daniel started out on his career path early: beginning training at 15-years-of-age. Head Chef, Joe Anderson of Steven Sanderson’s restaurant, The Steayban in Glassford mentored Daniel; building the practical experience and the fundamentals of his craft which would eventually lead him to the Rogano in Glasgow. Having turned 20, he soon found himself leading the kitchen of Café Rogano itself.
Daniel then journeyed northwards to the Cameron House Hotel, joining the team at Restaurant Martin Wishart at Loch Lomond. Stating this as a “turning point” in his career, Daniel commenced working in the kitchen at Restaurant Martin Wishart in the May of the year. In November, the kitchen was awarded their first Michelin star and Daniel’s skills saw him to being promoted to sous chef shortly after.
Having previously worked with Jonathan at both scoop and Street Food Cartel, Daniel’s shared-vision of the concept of Ox and Finch has proved an invaluable contribution to the popularity of the restaurant. The style of Ox and Finch is born out of the food and cooking experiences of Jonathan and Daniel, who have both worked in more “fine dining” environments in the past. These experiences have been invaluable in terms of developing foundations and technique, but they have both always preferred a more relaxed, accessible approach to restaurant dining. This has culminated in Ox and Finch.