A mellowing of attitudes in the kitchen should encourage more youngsters to take up careers in catering, according to two-Michelin-starred chef Andrew Fairlie.
The chef-patron of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Perthshire said that aggressive behaviour no longer existed in UK restaurants, and that with more jobs available than ever, youngsters should no longer fear entering the profession.
He said: "When I started my career, kitchens could be brutal, violent places.
"However, over the last 30 years, to its great credit, the industry has taken many steps to remove this aggression. The macho culture has dwindled and kitchens are nowadays often calm places where the emphasis is on order as well as creativity."
Fairlie added that the industry had suffered from an image of unsociable hours and confrontation, which had been exacerbated by some TV cooking competitions.
He said: "There are pressures in any kitchen, especially in top end restaurants, but that can be part of the attraction. The fact is, that with the huge increase in the number of restaurants, there are countless jobs out there. I don't know any kitchen in the UK that isn't looking for staff."
The chef was speaking at the launch of Scotland's Junior Chef of the Year, part of the Catering in Scotland (CIS) Excellence Awards. The Brakes sponsored award is open to chefs under 25 working at any professional level in Scottish hospitality.
"The CIS Excellence Awards present a unique opportunity to nurture and encourage the truly talented chefs of the future to be ambitious, hard-working, studious and conscientious, and to win recognition for their efforts," Fairlie said.