The six finalists of the inaugural Andrew Fairlie scholarship have been revealed.
The Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland launched the scholarship earlier this year in recognition of the lasting contribution of the multi-award-winning chef and founder of Scotland's only two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles in Perthshire.
Stephen McLaughlin, head chef of Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles and lead judge, said: "It was fantastic to see so many chefs in Scotland with such an obvious passion for food and an appetite for learning. It wasn't an easy decision, however the final six are all there on merit. They were selected for their understanding of the ethos of Andrew Fairlie's culinary traditions, the essence of this included how they talked about themselves and their culinary ambitions, and how they created their menu."
Judge Gary Maclean, Scotland's national chef, added: "The next stage of the competition will give the judges a greater understanding of the finalists' skills and dedication to culinary excellence. As well as their technical abilities and creativity, we will also find out about their drive and why winning would mean so much to them and their career. The standard is high and we're looking forward to hearing more from this talented group of young chefs."
The two winners, one male and one female, will receive career changing opportunities including a stage in an international kitchen, and placements at the Culinary Institute of America and Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.
The finalists (listed below), aged between 22 and 27 and all developing their careers in Scotland, will compete in the next stage of the competition in October at Gleneagles, which supports the scholarship alongside first minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish government.
Sturgeon said: "Andrew Fairlie did so much in his life and career to encourage the next generation of world class chefs in Scotland. The scholarship in his name will ensure a fitting legacy is created and I am proud that the Scottish government is supporting it."
Abbie Clunie, chef de partie, Craig Millar @ 16 West End, Anstruther
Emma-Rose Milligan, Chez Roux at Inverlochy Castle, Fort William
Jake Hassall, chef de partie, the Pompadour, Edinburgh
Joseph Harte, junior sous chef, Douneside House, Aberdeenshire
Ryan McCutcheon, head chef, Greywalls hotel and Chez Roux, East Lothian
Peter Meechan, chef de partie, the Strathearn restaurant at Gleneagles