The Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland has announced the recipient of this year’s prestigious Andrew Fairlie Scholarship.
The talented chef who most impressed the panel of expert industry judges was Eddie Brown, aged 30, who is the Sous Chef at The Carnegie Club at Skibo Castle in Dornoch.
Positioned as the ultimate scholarship any aspiring chef could receive, the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship is awarded annually in memory of Andrew’s unwavering commitment to supporting and nurturing culinary talent in Scotland.
The finalists had to prove their worth in a skills test, where they had to cook up a dish of their own creation using their choice of Scottish furred game, alongside two garnishes and poivrade sauce.
Eddie impressed the judges by serving up a dish using rabbit, fig and brioche. The final took place on November 17 at Perth College UHI, with the winner announced afterwards at Gleneagles.
The judging panel included some of the country’s finest chefs, all of whom knew Andrew Fairlie well.
Joining Stephen McLaughlin, (head chef at two Michelin-starred Restaurant Andrew Fairlie), is Russell Plowman, senior sous chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, two Michelin-starred Tom Kerridge (chef patron, Hand & Flowers), and Gary Maclean (National Chef of Scotland & MasterChef: The Professionals Winner).
Sponsored by HIT Scotland and The Gleneagles Hotel, and supported by Restaurant Andrew Fairlie and Perth College UHI, the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship is now in its third year.
The scholarship launched in 2019, with the late Andrew Fairlie spearheading the initiative in partnership with HIT Scotland – an industry charity he was closely associated with.
Stephen McLaughlin, lead judge and head chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, said: “What a fabulously hard-fought finals day we have just had.
"All our finalists have shown exactly why they were selected for the final. Huge congratulations to them all.
“They were all tough competitors and genuinely any of them could’ve been awarded this year’s Andrew Fairlie Scholarship, but unfortunately for them there can be only one winner.
“This year’s winner, Eddie, has shown great skill and a real understanding of the tasks that we had set out for them.
"He has displayed a rich understanding of their craft as a chef and also used their knowledge of Scottish and French culinary heritage to help set them apart as this year’s recipient of the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship”.
David Cochrane, HIT Scotland Chief Executive, added: “This group of chefs all showed extraordinary dedication and passion for the task at hand, and I commend them all for their sterling efforts in the kitchen.
"Special congratulations must of course go to our winner Eddie, who has excelled in their culinary talents and displayed a creative flair that Andrew would have been proud of.”
Conor O’Leary, Gleneagles managing director, said: “Here at Gleneagles, we’re hugely proud of the role we’re able to play in nurturing talent and creating opportunities for young people to learn and grow.
"The Andrew Fairlie Scholarship enables aspiring chefs to demonstrate their enthusiasm and passion for the culinary industry whilst learning from some of Scotland’s very best chefs.
“Andrew is sorely missed by us all but we’re incredibly proud to be honouring his legacy by continuing our support of this scholarship, which creates greater opportunities for talented individuals to develop.
"On behalf of Gleneagles, I’d like to congratulate Eddie on winning this year’s Scholarship and wish him all the very best of luck on the next stage of their career.”
Ype van der Schaaf, sector manager of Hospitality and Food Studies at Perth College UHI said: “Hosting the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship final for the second time within our kitchens and facilities was a great opportunity to support HIT Scotland.
“Our Professional Cookery students got the chance to support the finalists and had a phenomenal experience seeing industry standards taken to the next level. Our students welcomed the chance to be involved.
"Many congratulations to the well-deserved winner, we enjoyed watching all of the finalists work and create their fantastic dishes.”
Eddie will gain industry-wide recognition as an Andrew Fairlie Scholar and experience once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, such as a practical stage in an international kitchen and at Michelin-starred restaurants Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles and Core by Clare Smyth in London.