Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland has announced that the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship is once again open for applications from aspiring chefs working in Scotland.
An invaluable opportunity for chefs looking to gain first-hand experience within some of the world’s most renowned establishments, the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship provides the ultimate education for up-and-coming chefs.
Launched in 2019 with the late Andrew Fairlie fronting the initiative, the scholarship is provided in partnership with HIT Scotland, an industry charity Andrew was closely associated with. Now in its fourth year, the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship is supported by HIT Scotland, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Perth College UHI and The Gleneagles Hotel.
Eddie Brown was awarded the scholarship last year, earning him industry-wide recognition as an Andrew Fairlie scholar and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build on his culinary education.
An all-star panel of the country’s finest chefs will judge the 2023 competition. Stephen McLaughlin, Head Chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, will be joined by fellow 2 Michelin starred Chef Sat Bains, 1 star Head Chef at Cail Bruich and winner of Great British Menu, Lorna McNee, and Masterchef winner and National Chef of Scotland, Gary Maclean.
The winner of this year’s Scholarship will be taken on a 2-day educational trip to France with Grand Cuisine, and gain hands-on experience at the 2-star Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, the 3-star Core by Clare Smyth in London, and the 2-star Mélisse in Los Angeles, as well as a bespoke chef’s jacket. These highly informative experiences will be taken over two years, allowing the scholar to develop their learnings over a period of time.
Head Chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Stephen McLaughlin, commented:
“The search for the 2023 Andrew Fairlie scholar has now started! I am very much looking forward to seeing what Scotland’s aspiring chefs will create and serve up to us this year.
“The judges will be looking to see a clear demonstration of the applicants’ skills and knowledge but also want to see and feel their creativity, flair, and personality.
“At the end of the day, we are not necessarily looking for a Michelin starred chef. What we are searching for is someone with a sharp eye for details and really clean set of skills. Someone who is driven to learn and improve their craft and to elevate themselves and others toward a higher level.”
David Cochrane MBE, Chief Executive of HIT Scotland, added:
“We are delighted to once again open up applications for the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship. The scholarship is a fantastic opportunity for chefs that are looking to advance their career and to continue their professional development in this remarkable industry.”
To apply, potential candidates should complete an application which can be found on the HIT Scotland website. They will be asked what inspires them to be the best chef they can be, and about their proudest career moment to date. They will also have to design a dish to create on finals day.
This year candidates will need to display their innovation and expertise by creating a potato dish which will be cooked and served to the judges at the final, along with some other culinary challenges which will be revealed on the day!
The finalists will take part in the final skills test on Wednesday 22nd November at Perth College UHI, followed by a presentation at The Gleneagles Hotel.
The test will focus on the candidates’ skills, knowledge, and creativity, with the recipient of the scholarship striking a fine balance between personality and professionalism throughout.
Applications open 15 August 2023 and close midnight 24 September 2023. Eligible candidates can find out more information about the application process on the HIT Scotland website here.