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Scots Cuisine On Map

 
TOP chef Martin is giving aspiring cooks the chance to see what it takes to become a Michelin star winner.

He is just back from Singapore promoting Scottish food and has launched a cookery school near his restaurant in Leith, Edinburgh, to encourage chefs into the business.

The job: I own and run Restaurant Martin Wishart.

How I did it: I was a trainee at Edinburgh's Caledonian Hotel before working with the Roux brothers and Marco Pierre White doing 16 hours a day. I resisted the temptation to jump straight into a head chef's role and taught myself more of the skills instead.

Opening a restaurant is not just about being a good chef. You have to have business skills too.

This year's haul of Michelin stars is fantastic news. We are still waiting for Glasgow to get one and I think 2009 will be the year Paul Tamborini gets one for the Hotel du Vin. Winning a Michelin star gives you a lot of publicity but we always try to focus on customers and better standards.

I got involved in the Scottish Food Scholarship because I wanted to encourage anyone who worked in the industry.

The winners get to travel to some of the world's best restaurants to learn their trade.

Perks: Seeing satisfied customers.

Five-year plan: Winning two Michelin stars is an ambition.

Tips: Dedication and passion are important. I look for easy-going people who have an intensity in their work.

BRIAN MAULE

MASTER chef Brian has cooked for Madonna, Princess Diana and Morgan Freeman.

The 39-year-old, of Houston, Renfrewshire, got his break at 19 after training in France.

How I did it: I went to Lyon with two friends because it was the capital of gastronomy. We started chapping doors and within three days had jobs in the three top restaurants in town.

That got me a job at Le Gavroche in London where I spent 12 years working with the Roux brothers. I came back to Scotland because my wife was pregnant. Setting up the restaurant, Brian Maule at Chardon D'Or, in Glasgow was hard work. I'm demanding of my staff but fair.

We run an education programme where we bring 15 and 16-year-olds into the restaurant and teach them to serve and cook basic meals.

Perks: If you are passionate about what you do, you will reap rewards.

Five-year plan: I am looking to take on new staff.

Tips: Try getting into a restaurant to see what it is like because it is not what you see on TV.

MICHAEL KILKIE

FORMER DJ Michael started cooking to pass time between gigs.

The 34-year-old Sunday Mail columnist loved it so much he swapped the decks for a successful career as a chef.

The job: I own and run The Jefferson restaurant in Kilmarnock and write a weekly food column.

How I did it: I was a DJ from the age of 16. I worked through the night at weekends but had lots of spare time on my hands.

Being a DJ is not well suited to having a young family so I decided on a career change. I went on a one-year course at Glasgow College of Food Technology. I had a natural flair for cooking and liked experimenting with different dishes.

Running your own restaurant means looking at the big picture. Luckily, I have an excellent head chef who lets me take time out to look at the front-of-house side.

Lots of people fancy the idea of owning a restaurant so they can prop themselves up at the bar and have a glass of wine with customers. In reality, being an owner-operator means you are stuck in the kitchen six or seven days a week. We opened in December 2006, hit the ground running and we have remained on a roll ever since.

I am involved in a training scheme for disadvantaged kids. You don't get the best out of people by shouting at them.

Perks: I still get a real buzz from a successful service to this day.

Five-year plan: I have ambitions but I want to concentrate on this restaurant first.

Tips: You can get in by knocking on doors but be prepared to start at the bottom.


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Tags: Scots Cuisine , Scottish Catering Jobs , Scottish Chefs Jobs , Scottish Chefs Recruitment Agency
 


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