The death of the Formartine area’s top chef has shocked and saddened the town of Ellon where he practiced his culinary arts.
Edwin Stewart, 61, better known as Eddie, who died after a short illness was a prominent figure in the hotel and catering industry in which he made in career after leaving his native Banff.
His interest in cooking came in his early years, as a consequence of watching his father prepare meals with his mother, leading him to acquire the necessary qualifications at his local college.
After a short spell in Bournemouth, Eddie came back to Scotland to work where he took up a post at the Craighall Inn before working for former hotelier Ian Watson at the Station Hotel, the Buchan and the New Inn, all in Ellon.
During the 1980’s and through the 1990’s Eddie established a fine reputation as the area’s leading chef, and it was no great surprise when he decided to go into business with the partner of nearly 20 years in their own restaurant in 2003.
The Poacher’s Rest at Auchmacoy became a firm favourite on the eating out circuit, as discerning diners came to appreciate the cooking skills of Eddie, combined with the organisational expertise of Joan who he married secretly in 2009.
Despite his rare talent Eddie remained a shy, modest man who was popular with customers and staff with whom he had good working relationships.
His love of cooking was, however, equalled by his love of Glasgow Rangers football club, though he respected the rights of others to support “lesser” sides.
If you have enjoyed a meal out in the Ellon area in the last 30 years, it is almost certain you will have had one lovingly, and meticulously prepared by Eddie Stewart at some time in the process.
His well-attended funeral was held last Friday at Aberdeen Crematorium, where he was given the best of send-offs by his many friends, accumulated in a lifetime of catering.