Tom Kitchin – From Paris to Edinburgh
‘I knew I wanted to be a chef by the age of 13 when I got a job working in the local country pub close to my family home. After that I went to study Catering at Perth College before securing a placement at the Gleneagles Hotel as a young 16 year old.’
I then worked under the legendary Chef Pierre Koffmann in London where I spent a total of five years. Chef Koffmann taught me the real foundations of cooking – the beauty of working with seasonal produce, using every single piece of it, the art of butchering and filleting.
After my time in London I was sent to Paris to work for one of Paris’s grand chefs, Guy Savoy. Guy Savoy was equally exciting with his artistic techniques and his ability for dressing plates and his passion for the art of cooking.
It was in Paris where I really learnt to appreciate the beauty of local produce from my visits to the local Parisien markets. I loved strolling the markets in search of the best produce as a young chef. Paris is also where I discovered that a lot of the best fish and shellfish came straight from Scotland. My passion for seasonal cooking and using the very best produce I can get my hands on is certainly something which I am fanatical about across all my Edinburgh restaurants and simply believe we have the best larder in the world, right here on our doorstep.
My next career move after spending more time in London was working with iconic Chef Alain Ducasse in Monaco. Monsieur Ducasse was an incredible inspiration to me and his kitchen is that of a fine tuned orchestra. Everything was cooked ‘á la minute’, and the discipline in the kitchen was like nothing I had ever seen before. As soon as a check was called through, chefs started to prepare the vegetables or cook the live shellfish. Even pasta and risotto were made to order. Very inspirational. I learnt a lot from Monsieur Ducasse and I still to this day have the utmost respect for him and all he has achieved for the culinary world.
Having lived back in Edinburgh for 12 years where we organically built up our business from nothing, I am excited to say that my cooking is still constantly evolving. Since opening The Kitchin followed by Castle Terrace and The Scran & Scallie I always look at new ways to challenge myself and the team. With the new exciting openings this year, Southside Scran in Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield area and The Bonnie Badger, our pub with rooms in Gullane, East Lothian, we are able to develop and nurture talent and share our sincere passion for hospitality. Throughout the restaurants we always use Scotland’s freshest and most seasonal produce in line with the ‘From Nature to Plate’ ethos. I feel really fortunate to be able to combine my Scottish heritage with a genuine love for French cuisine and techniques in my cooking.’
Tom Kitchin’s Fish and Shellfish
Published by Absolute Press, 23 August 2018
£26.00 · Hardback · ISBN: 978-1472937834