Overall ranking: 91 (91 in 2012)
Chef ranking: 23 (26 in 2012)
Tom Kitchin was already a well-established chef-restaurateur on the Edinburgh restaurant scene with the Kitchin, but a £1m revamp of the Leith restaurant in December 2014 moved it onto another level. Later in 2015, the Kitchin picked up five AA rosettes, making it the only restaurant in Scotland to hold the honour.
Kitchin and his wife Michaela are very much a team. While he is in the kitchen in his eponymous restaurant, she designs the interiors and works as a director there, as well as at Castle Terrace, run by chef-patron Dominic Jack, and the Scran & Scallie, which Kitchin and Jack launched together.
What we think
Still only 40, Kitchin has come a long way since his early days as a trainee at his local pub. He has a wealth of experience, having worked at Gleneagles hotel in Auchterarder, near where he grew up in Kinross. From there he went on to work for some of Europe's biggest names in restaurants, including Pierre Koffmann at his three-Michelin-starred restaurant La Tante Claire in London, Guy Savoy at his three-starred Paris restaurant and at Alain Ducasse's Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo.
After opening his eponymous restaurant in June 2006, Kitchin picked up a Michelin star just seven months later, aged only 29. It's an accolade the restaurant has held ever since. A Newcomer Award at the Cateys in 2008 followed.
"You've got to understand that when we opened this restaurant, it was just myself, Michaela and Philippe [Nublat]," Kitchin told The Caterer in a 2015 interview. "I had two in the kitchen with me, a pot washer, a second-hand stove, second-hand fridges, and every year we have evolved and grown naturally."
Kitchin recently announced that the Kitchin and Castle Terrace would close for a week every three months to give staff time off, in a bid to improve working conditions and boost consistency. A growing number of high-end establishments are looking at ways to change how staff work to make them feel happier about arrangements and ultimately to ensure they deliver the best, most consistent experience possible.
At the end of 2017, the Kitchin Group announced it would be opening a new restaurant in Edinburgh at Bruntsfield Place.
You need to be a premium member to view this. Subscribe from just 99p per week.
Already subscribed? Log In