Andrew Fairlie Scholarship 2023 winners announced

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Andrew Fairlie Scholarship 2023 winners announced

Related tags Andrew Fairlie Scholarship Andrew Fairlie Scotland Fine dining Chef

Darren Seggie and Rachel Bremner have been named as this year’s recipients of the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship.

Seggie is a lecturer of culinary arts at City of Glasgow College, while Bremner is commis pastry chef at The Balmoral hotel in Edinburgh.

Now in its fourth year, the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship is positioned as ‘the ultimate scholarship any aspiring chef in Scotland could receive’.

It was established by Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland in the wake of Fairlie’s death​ back in 2019.

Five chefs competed in this year’s final skills test, which took place at Perth College UHI with the winners announced afterwards during a ceremony at Gleneagles.

Alongside Seggie and Bremner, they included Daniel Robb, chef de partie at Gleneagles; Spud Henderson, sous chef at Craig Millar @ 16 West End; and Rita Varga, chef de partie and kitchen departmental trainer at Voco Grand Central Hotel.

The finalists were tasked with creating a dish with potato as its star ingredient while incorporating Scottish dairy, and also had to deliver a surprise dish using hand-dived scallops.

Seggie impressed with his potato-based dessert comprising butter gold potato pudding and espuma, sourdough crumble and ice cream and caramel sauce; as did Bremner with her potato and egg yolk ravioli dish served with crispy potato skins and potato espuma.

The judging panel was headed up by Stephen McLaughlin, head chef at two Michelin-starred Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, and also included chefs Sat Bains, Lorna McNee, and Gary Maclean.

“The chefs should all be extremely proud of themselves for getting to the final but must also take great pride in how they handled the pressures of the day and in the fabulous dishes that they all produced.

“This year’s winners not only submitted immaculate application packs but followed this through and showcased themselves clearly as the best on the day with clean, precise and creative cookery.”

The winners 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.

“It was a true delight to see our group of finalists demonstrate a passion for cooking that Andrew Fairlie would be proud of,” says David Cochrane, HIT Scotland chief executive.

“A huge congratulations goes to Darren and Rachel, who have demonstrated exceptional skill, creativity, and dedication to their craft. They have bright culinary futures ahead.”

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