A scholarship providing career-changing opportunities to young chefs working or studying in Scotland has been launched in the name of two-Michelin-starred chef Andrew Fairlie.
Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland has revealed details of the inaugural Fairlie Scholarship, which will recognise the lasting contribution of the multi-award winning chef and founder of Scotland’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.
Fairlie passed away last month, several years after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. His eponymous scholarship had been in the planning for some time and will be sponsored jointly by HIT Scotland, the Scottish government and Gleneagles. It will be awarded annually to a male and female chef.
In December 2018, Fairlie said: “I know from first-hand experience how valuable this type of development can be for all aspiring chefs. I am particularly excited by the fact that this opportunity will allow a male and female chef to experience a world-class scholarship that will enhance their all-round culinary knowledge. I hope that this will inspire the next generation of Scottish talent with the ongoing support of Gleneagles and HIT Scotland.”
The winners will have the opportunity to undertake a practical stage in an international kitchen, as well as a placement at the Culinary Institute of America and at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie.
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge will be involved in the judging process alongside Masterchef: The Professionals winner and National Chef of Scotland Gary McLean. The panel of judges will also include Stephen McLaughlin, head chef of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Gleneagles’ general manager Conor O’Leary, HIT Scotland chief executive David Cochrane and a representative from the Scottish government.
David Cochrane, chief executive of HIT Scotland, added: “In a world where honesty, integrity and sheer hard work to achieve success are not always apparent, Andrew Fairlie summed up these qualities in abundance and influenced many chefs locally, nationally and internationally. What will make the Fairlie Scholarship so unique to Scotland is the fact that it will be awarded annually to two chefs in Scotland – one male and one female. This reflects the huge amount of work that Andrew has championed over the years to ensure gender equality in his kitchen and the industry at large.”
Gleneagles and Ennismore’s chief executive, Sharan Pasricha, added: “Andrew Fairlie was a treasured part of our Gleneagles family, whose remarkable talents, passion for excellence and unwavering efforts to nurture the talents of others inspired the wider team every day. Through our co-sponsorship of this scholarship alongside the Scottish government, we’re proud to ensure the flame that Andrew established continues to burn as we support and celebrate the next generation of world-class chefs in Scotland.”
First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Andrew Fairlie was taken from us far too soon. Yet his contribution – to the food industry, and to Scotland – will always be remembered. And we are determined to ensure that his legacy endures.”
To apply, potential candidates should visit: https://hitscotland.co.uk/scholarships/