THE recipients of the inaugural Andrew Fairlie Scholarship have been revealed.
Emma-Rose Milligan, who is currently demi chef de partie at Chez Roux at Inverlochy Castle in Fort William, and Joseph Harte, a junior sous chef at Douneside House in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, were chosen as the first scholars to take part in the programme after impressing a judging panel, led by Stephen McLaughlin, head chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.
The scholarships, which were open to chefs over the age 21 working in Scotland, were set up in partnership with HIT Scotland, Gleneagles and the Scottish Government in memory of Fairlie, who passed away in January.
Milligan and Harte, who are both 23, came out on top against four other competitors after a final round at Gleneagles on October 24. Finalists were tasked with a two-part skills test: recreating a classic Andrew Fairlie dish before making a dish which showcased their own individuality and creativity as a chef.
The other judges included Scotland’s national chef, Gary Maclean, and Michelin-starred chefs Tom Kerridge and Sat Bains.
The chefs will now benefit from placements at a variety of restaurants in the UK and abroad, including Core by Clare Smyth in London and the Culinary Institute of America.
McLaughlin said: “We were thoroughly impressed by the standard shown by the finalists, they all showcased passion and talent that Andrew would be proud of. Emma-Rose and Joseph excelled in the skills tests and they have conducted themselves in a manner that truly represents the man himself.
“We are pleased to have them to help continue Andrew’s legacy and we are hugely excited to see how their careers blossom from here.”
David Cochrane, HIT Scotland’s chief executive, said: “It was fantastic to see such a talented group of young chefs in action at the finals, and the creativity and dedication on display by these young chefs was truly inspiring.
“Congratulations to Emma-Rose and Joseph, who will now get to experience some fantastic opportunities and represent Andrew’s legacy wherever they go.”