Chef Lorna McNee was born and raised in the coastal town of Forres, Scotland. She initially wished to pursue a career as a photographer, but after failing to secure a place at photography school, she instead took up a job in the kitchen of a local restaurant, alongside her studies at Moray College. She then went on to secure two weeks work experience in London, working in the kitchen at Gordon Ramsay at Claridges. It was this experience that cemented McNee’s love of cooking.
After returning from her London placement, one of McNee’s college lecturers wanted her to experience fine dining, so brought her to dinner at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at The Gleneagles hotel. She was so enthralled with the experience of dining there that she asked Fairlie if she could complete a work placement at the restaurant, before asking him at the end of her placement for a permanent job - he accepted, changing the course of her life forever. Over a 12 year period, McNee worked her way up the ranks of the kitchen team, eventually becoming sous chef of the two Michelin star restaurant.
During her time at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, McNee picked up a number of awards including Game Chef of the Year in 2016 and National Scottish Chef of the Year in 2017. She also found time to appear on the popular televised cooking competition Great British Menu, going on to become of the 2019 series winners.
In August 2020, McNee left Restaurant Andrew Fairlie after more than a decade of service, in order to go it alone and revitalise the kitchen at popular Glasgow bistro Cail Bruich. Her efforts have paid off, because Cail Bruich was awarded a Michelin star in January 2021, becoming the first Glasgow restaurant to be given a star in 18 years.