SCOTTISH SUNDAY MAIL PUB OF THE YEAR - POWERED BY MERRYCHEF!
A FAMILY run business is the toast of the pub game after scooping the Oscar of the Scottish licensed trade.
Thousands voted for the Ship Inn in Irvine as their favourite local and crowned the 400-year-old pub "Sunday Mail Pub of the Year 2005".
Key to the pub's success was its food, acclaimed as, "some of the best pub grub around".
Manager Iain Murray installed six of Merrychef's Mealstream 401 ovens to fuel the kitchens at the Ship, serving hearty dishes like mince and tatties, chicken baked in pastry and their 'big' or 'wee' steak pies.
Iain's son Chris who runs the pub with his dad, brother Jamie and family friend Gary McCulloch, said:
"The Merrychef ovens are vital to our operation. We can seat up to 115 in one sitting and can cater for more than 600 on a busy day, so speed of service is critical for us."
"We put a lot of pastry and meat dishes through the Mealstream 401 and it cooks to perfection. Our steak pies, chicken with garlic and cheese wrapped in pastry and lamb shank are all popular dishes baked using accelerated cooking."
"The Mealstream 401s have also been pivotal in helping to reduce kitchen waste as the speedy cook times allow us to cook to order, even when catering for such large numbers. And with 34 staff, including six chefs, ease of operation is critical," he added.
The pub attracts guests from all over Scotland as well as tourists from Scandinavia and USA who love trying traditional dishes such as haggis and Cullen Skink.