The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at ScotHot – Day 1 Sponsored by Westlands.

The Staff Canteen

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The Staff Canteen Live 2017 made its way to Scotland for the first time for ScotHot.

All the chefs were helped on stage by students from City of Glasgow College and this year we tweeted, snapchatted and used Instagram to live feed our way through the day!

Stuart Ralston from Aizle

First to take the stage was chef Stuart Ralston from Aizle, cooking a beautiful salt baked celeriac, burnt apple, curds and buttermilk dish! Stuart mentioned that every student should come to The Staff Canteen events and added: “If they can see it first-hand then it should give them a lot of confidence to get into it and not scare them away from the industry.”

“I think all the work The Staff Canteen does it’s so important…It’s really inspiring for young folks.”

Second to the stage was Geoffrey Smeddle, chef proprietor at The Peat Inn in Fife, Scotland for ten years, earning a Michelin-star six years ago. Geoffrey cooked lemon and lime cured salmon in a warm potato crust, oyster cream and charred cucumber. He said: “It was great fun, I love doing live demonstrations, so I’m not afraid to get stuck in when I have the opportunity and to be done it at such a big event in Scotland is such a great privilege.”

When asked about whether students should invest time in attending events such as The Staff Canteen Live, Geoffrey added: “I think it’s really important that youngsters get the chance to, in an informal way,  mingle, chat with chefs, learn techniques and hopefully get inspired - who knows it could even lead to employment and I think it’s a really important chance to mix together and share that knowledge.”

The Staff Canteen is also sponsored by Wild Atlantic Prawns and Chef Works. Karen Galloway from Wild Atlantic Prawns mentioned that: “It is vital for student chefs to attend The Staff Canteen Live as they are the future of the industry.”

Emma Cohen from Chef Works added that: “The Staff Canteen Live gets better every year."

City of Glasgow College

Third to take the stage was head chef Brian Grigor, making a beautiful combination of hand-dived Dingwall scallops and cock-a-leekie, sponsored by Westlands and Braehead Food. Brian worked his magic to a huge crowd of Glasgow locals and student chefs, producing a beautiful dish that the audience loved. Brain is currently the head chef at the Michelin star restaurant Number One at the Balmoral Hotel, an iconic and well known Scottish hotel located in Edinburgh. 

We asked Brian if he felt that The Staff Canteen live was a good opportunity for all, especially young, up-and-coming, chefs, he stated; “Yeah, it’s really important to get that message across about what goes on in the kitchen and give younger chefs an insight.”

Last, but by no means least, was chef/patron of The Frog, Adam Handling; dishing up a gorgeous burnt beef rump and a “never fail” raspberry soufflé, sponsored by Westlands and Essential Cuisine. With effortless charm and talent, Adam wowed the audience with his tips and tricks of the trade. Adam began his cooking career with a bang, being the first ever trainee chef at Gleneagles, and then going on to win Scottish Young Chef of The Year in 2011. Currently the owner of his own independent restaurant The Frog, Adam has plants to open another restaurant in Covent Gardens.

We spoke to Adam about his experience at The Staff Canteen Live and he told us: “It was good, I always like doing stuff like this. I speak my mind and I talk with the audience, yeah I love it.”

When we asked him if he felt opportunities like The Staff Canteen Live were good for young and aspiring chefs he told us they were and that: “If chefs don’t communicate, food’s not going to evolve.”

We also spoke to student chefs from the City of Glasgow College who said they found the event to be “an amazing opportunity” and “nerve-wracking but good.”

Lecturer and MasterChef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean explained that: “The opportunity this has provided is brilliant” and he has seen “the excitement build up” in his students.

By Cailley Wiggins & Molly Hamilton


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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 15th March 2017

The Staff Canteen Live 2017 at ScotHot – Day 1 Sponsored by Westlands.