Franco Scottish exchange programme for young chefs-to-be
A new group of 16 French budding chefs and waiters come to Scotland from 18 to 22 March 2014 to take part in the fourth edition of the Budding Chefs in Scotland. The young chefs will experience the Scottish larder, meet Scottish producers and chefs and run a Pop-up Restaurant at The Hub with their mentor Craig Sandle. The other highlight of the week will involve a series of talks on food by Nicholas Lander, Roderick Sloan, Hervé Mons and many other chefs, artisans and food writers.
Set up in 2011 by the Institut français d’Ecosse and Chef Fred Berkmiller, the constantly expanding Budding Chefs programme offers 12 young French chefs and 4 budding waiters from the Lycée Hotelier in Dinard (in Brittany, France) the opportunity to visit Scotland, experience the Scottish larder and get hands-on experience running the busy kitchen of a pop-up restaurant.
Craig Sandle, head chef of The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe at The Caledonian Hotel, is the mentor of the youngsters this year and will accompany them on their Scottish adventures. The trip will take the budding chefs to Blackford Farms (Perthshire) where they will see the Wagyu and Angus cattle and they will meet the fishermen discharging their catch of the night at Peterhead’s Fish Market (Aberdeenshire).
Their newly gained knowledge will be put to the test at the Pop-up restaurant they will open at The Hub on Saturday 22 March. For this unique dining experience, their mentors Craig Sandle and Fred Berkmiller have designed a five course menu that brings French and Scottish cuisines together and introduces some of the little known gems of the Scottish aquatic larder. In the kitchen, the budding chefs will be working under the watchful eyes of Craig and Fred to deliver a dinner for 250 foodies while the budding waiters will lead the service in the restaurant.
Craig Sandle says: ‘After a very rewarding experience last year mentoring the young French chefs, I’m genuinely excited to be more involved with the 2014 exchange. Having the opportunity to work with all the young chefs at The Hub is a huge honour, and one that I approach with enthusiasm. It echoes my own passion to support and train young chefs for the future whilst having a great time!’
To mark the fourth birthday of the Budding Chefs, the programme this year will involve an extended series of public events. The ‘Talking Food’ series will gather some of the greatest names of the food industry from France, Great Britain and Scandinavia. Nicholas Lander (restaurant critic, England), Roderick Sloan (sea urchin diver, Norway), Michael Booth (journalist and writer, Denmark), Hervé Mons (cheese affineur, France), Erica Randall (gardener, Scotland), Loic Bienassis (historian, France), Tom Kitchin (Chef, Scotland), Craig Sandle (Chef, Scotland) and Fred Berkmiller (Chef, Scotland) will follow one another on The Hub’s stage to talk about gastronomy, larder, restaurants and all other things food. The talks will be chaired by food writer and journalist Alex Renton and will take place at the Hub on Saturday 22 March afternoon.
Vincent Guérin, director of the Institut français d’Ecosse and co-founder of the Budding Chefs programme explains: ‘There is a real revolution going on in Scotland nowadays, with lots of passionate people involved. Practices, habits and tastes regarding food are really changing and I believe this is a great time to contribute to the conversation. I am very proud that such fascinating guests have accepted our invitation to take part in this event and I can’t wait to see them before a Scottish audience!’
Fred Berkmiller, chef-patron of the Escargots Restaurants in Edinburgh and co-founder of the programme says: ‘This is the biggest and the most exciting Budding Chefs programme we’ve ever done. As a chef, I am keen on finding ways to re-connect people, youngsters especially, with what they eat and cook. The programme as it stands today, strongly supported by fantastic, passionate professionals is the perfect opportunity for me to do just that. I am incredibly proud of what it has become over the past four years, and extremely excited by the week to come.‘
Coming all the way from Norway where he handpicks sea urchins for the greatest restaurants in the world, Scottish chef and fisherman Roderick Sloan returns to his homeland with a new challenge: to get people eating sea snails. He will start his ‘crusade’ at Stockbridge Primary School on Friday 21 March where he will host a workshop with the P3 pupils (8-9 year olds) and introduce them to the wonders of periwinkles. Taking part in ‘Talking Food’, he will discuss his passion for the sea and its superb produce with journalist Michael Booth.
To attend the school workshop with Roderick Sloan on Friday 21 March or one of the Budding Chefs’ visits on 19 or 20 March, please contact us.
Talking Food⏐Saturday 22 March, 13.30 – 18.30⏐The Hub, Edinburgh EH1 2NE⏐ £12 (£10) ⏐Info & Booking: www.buddingchefs.net
The Pop-up Restaurant⏐Saturday 22 March, 19.00 – 22.30⏐The Hub, Edinburgh EH1 2NE⏐Five course menu £40 (£38) – Drinks not included⏐Advance purchase only: www.buddingchefs.net or 0131 225 5366.
Tickets for Talking Food and the Pop-up Restaurant are now on sale and the full programme is available online.