Hall of Fame
Since the hotel’s grand opening in 1924, Gleneagles has nurtured generation after generation of the country’s nest chefs. From master chocolatiers to two Michelin-starred restaurateurs, here are just a few of the culinary greats who’ve cut their teeth in the hotel’s kitchens
ILLUSTRATION Linda Rogers
Gleneagles’ head chefs recruit from all over Scotland to nd the best new talent. Tom Kitchin – one of the youngest chefs ever to receive a Michelin star at 29 years old – was discovered working at The Loch Lomond near Kinross as a kitchen porter while still at school. The gifted young man’s potential was evident and he was lured to the Gleneagles kitchens, where he blossomed as an apprentice. Kitchin went on to work with some of the world’s most renowned chefs, including Pierre Ko mann at La Tante Claire in London; Guy Savoy in Paris and Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo. His own restaurant, The Kitchin in Edinburgh, earned him his rst Michelin star, and he now co-owns Edinburgh’s Castle Terrace Restaurant as well. He has also become a TV personality, appearing on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen and Great British Menu, and regularly sitting on the panel for Masterchef’s The Chef ’s Table.
Another chef earmarked for success early in his career was four-time winner of “Britain’s Best Chocolatier”, William Curley. Having followed his Gleneagles education with spells under Marco Pierre White and Raymond Blanc, Curley went on to become the youngest Chef Patissier in the history of The Savoy (at 27) before opening chocolate boutiques in London’s Belgravia and Richmond-upon-Thames, with a concession in Harrods. In 2012, he was awarded the Master of Culinary Arts by the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts – the highest accolade given to chefs in the UK. His first book, Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate, was voted Cookery Book of the Year by The Guild of Food Writers, he’s won British Dessert of the Year and a Culinary Olympic Gold. And the list goes on…
Wizard of Oz
Often, apprentice chefs hone their skills at Gleneagles before going on to work overseas. Australia’s answer to Gordon Ramsay, Raymond Capaldi graduated from Gleneagles and then set up shop in Melbourne – stopping off at the Dorchester in London, the British Embassy in Moscow and the Park Lane Hong Kong on the way. In Melbourne, he was awarded three Chef’s Hats for his experimental cuisine at the Hotel Sofitel by The Age Good Food Guide and he went on to open Fenix, Marmalade and Soul, the award-winning Hare & Grace and most recently A25 Pizzeria. Having worked in the city for over 20 years, he has profoundly influenced modern Australian cookery.
While Andrew Fairlie’s extensive training through the Roux Diners Club Scholarship (as it was originally named) set him up for great success, it was when he chose Gleneagles as the home for his first restaurant that his talent was universally recognised and he was ultimately awarded two Michelin stars. Other highlights from this stellar chef’s varied and brilliant career include becoming the first Scottish Chef of the Year in 2002, cooking for the Queen and 44 of the world’s leaders during the G8 Summit in 2005, being named AA Chefs’ Chef of the Year in 2006 and a Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef du Monde in 2011 (one of just seven in the UK). Plus, in 2012, Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles topped The Sunday Times “Food List” of the top 100 UK restaurants. If ever there was an advertisement for great Scottish chefs…