Brakes shines light on chefs | Scottish Licensed Trade News

Scottish Licensed Trade News

Brakes shines light on chefs

BRAKES Scotland is putting young chefs from across Scotland in the spotlight this year to celebrate the Year of Young People.

As part of its long-standing commitment to support young talent, Brakes Scotland is running a series of special columns in SLTN (see pages 4&5), profiling young chefs from across the country.

John Mclintock, operations director for Brakes Scotland, said: “Tourism is everyone’s business and we need to continue to grow our industry as well as the chefs who thrive within it.”


Kirsty Buick

Name: Kirsty Buick
Age: 17
Job Title: Commis Chef, West Highland Hotel, Mallaig

Describe your career so far

I started as a KP at Arisaig House; then, when I left school, I started full-time as a commis chef at the West Highland Hotel, where the head chef has mentored me and taught me so much.

What made you join this industry?

I grew up surrounded by people who have had very successful careers in the industry. I’m the third generation of my family to pursue a career in hospitality, so they have been the main influences. Hearing stories from my grandparents about their careers sparked an idea and a vision in my head that I wanted to do this. Not knowing exactly where I’ll end up in the industry is the exciting part because there are so many incredible things out there to get involved in and achieve.

What would you like to be doing in ten years’ time?

Travelling the world is a huge dream of mine. I want to be making my way around the world, learning about – and cooking – different cuisines. One day I also hope to have my own restaurant.

Which chefs do you admire and why?

Josh Arrindell, who I worked with during my time at Arisaig House. He was the person who really made me believe in myself – and for that I will always be grateful. Of course I also have to mention Harry Marshall, the head chef of the West Highland Hotel, who mentors me and is helping me develop my skills every day. He is very talented and has such a huge love for creating delicious food with local produce. I hope to be half the chef he is and I’m very, very lucky to have him to learn from. I also adore celebrity chef Monica Galetti’s work; seeing such a successful woman in the industry is amazing – especially as kitchens are known to be quite male dominated.

What’s your favourite style of food?

I’m really interested in fine dining and the more intricate dishes with unusual components. I also enjoy working with local produce such as freshly-caught seafood, Highland venison and game.


Zhana Ivanova

Name: Zhana Ivanova
Age: 25
Job Title: Commis Chef, Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh

Describe your career so far

I embarked on my culinary journey a little over a year ago and I’m extremely grateful I was given the opportunity to work in the Sheraton Grand Hotel, alongside many talented chefs, who have taught me a great deal about the art and craft of preparing food. They have also helped me tremendously in acquiring new transferable skills that will undoubtedly contribute to my future career development in the field of culinary arts.

What made you join this industry?

I have always been fascinated by the art of food, but I never thought that I had the talent, nor the necessary qualifications, to succeed in this extremely competitive industry until a year ago. What truly inspired me and gave me that confidence boost was the movie The Hundred-Foot Journey.

What would you like to be doing in ten years’ time?

Ten years from now I can see myself working in a Michelin-starred restaurant, bringing new inspiring and creative ideas and initiatives into the organisation. Ultimately, I hope to be able to progress into a high-level position within the industry, which will allow me to give people a chance by actively contributing to the unlocking of their full potential.

Which chefs do you admire and why?

I admire the entire world of culinary arts. It is a dynamic, constantly-evolving, innovative world, which helps people fulfil their creative potential. I admire all the hard working and talented chefs within the industry, who have dedicated years of their lives to the field of culinary arts to go the extra mile and turn an ordinary dining experience into an extraordinary one.

What’s your favourite style of food?

I firmly believe one can experience a wealth of enjoyment from various cuisines, characterised by distinctive ingredients and techniques, ie. coupling various flavours, which complement each other, to create unexpected taste sensations. I have a thirst for culinary knowledge and I am particularly eager to travel and invest time and effort in exploring various cuisines of the world.

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