Budding Chefs – Foodie events not to be missed!

Last night was the launch of the Budding Chefs programme 2014 – it was lovely to hear from this year’s mentor Craig Sandle, Head Chef of The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe at The Caledonian, Fred Berkmiller, founder of Budding Chefs and Chef-patron of L’escargot Bleu and L’escargot Blanc restaurants, Vincent Guérin, Director of the Institut Français d’Ecosse, and Alex Renton, renowned food writer and journalist. 


Now in it’s 4th year this is a truly exciting exchange programme for budding French and Scottish chefs with some truly outstanding not-to-be-missed foodie events (at bargain prices I might add) – see details below! 


The Budding Chefs exchange programme, set up in 2011, is a two-way project initiated by the Institut français d’Ecosse and Fred Berkmiller chef patron of L’Escargot Blanc and L’Escargot Bleu restaurants in Edinburgh to develop the gastronomic connections between French and Scottish budding chefs.

images (3) @BuddingChefs

For more information on the Budding Chefs programme please visit the website www.buddingchefs.net

( Photo Credit: Albie Clark www.albieclark.com )


Talking Food

Saturday 22 March / The Hub / 13:30-18:00
Tickets: £12 (£10)

Eventbrite - Talking Food

What is gastronomy? How do French and Scottish do it? How do you define a larder? Why choose to produce sustainable and tasty food? What’s a periwinkle? Are the Scandinavians a food model?

We’re talking Food with chefs, journalists, scientists, producers and many other incredible people who all share a passion for food and maintain the French and Scottish gastronomy at the highest standards. Just a little food for thoughts as a mise en bouche before dinner…

Tickets are valid for all talks. Drop in to see one, a few or all of them. A bar is open all day and during the talks.

Talks start at 13:30. Titles and schedule are tbc but here are the speakers:

Loic Bienassis

Loic Bienassis is a French historian at the European Institute of History and Food Culture in Tours, and is a specialist of food history. He deals more specifically with the notions of culinary and food heritages. He was instrumental in the inscription of the gastronomic meal of the French on the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. His latest book introduces the reader to the best produce and recipes of the French Larder:Reflets de France (Albin Michel) with a foreword by multi-starred French chef Joël Robuchon.

Michael Booth

With five books published, many of which have become bestsellers, such asSacré Cordon Bleu: What the French Know About Cooking (2008), this English “globe-taster” based in Denmark is a travel and food writer and a freelance journalist. Michael Booth contributes to numerous British and foreign includingThe Independent, Condé Nast Traveller, Monocle, The Guardian and Time Out. He won the Guild of Food Writers Award for work in food and travel in June 2010.In his latest book The Almost Nearly Perfect People: the Truth about the Nordic Miracle (Random House), he embarks on a revealing and humorous journey through all five of the Nordic countries to discover the secrets of their success.

Tom Kitchin

Born in Edinburgh, Tom trained at the Gleneagles Hotel before working for some of the world’s most renowned chefs and restaurants, including Pierre Koffmann, Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy, all of whom have been awarded three Michelin stars. Tom is Scotland’s youngest Michelin starred chef proprietor, having achieved a star aged only 29, and has become a well-known face on television, having appeared on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, UKTV Food’s Market Kitchen and in BBC2’s successful series, The Great British Menu.

Nicholas Lander

What’s better than a restaurateur to judge other restaurants? English by birth, Nicholas Lander started his career as a restaurateur, establishing himself as one of Britain’s foremost restaurateurs in the 1980s with L’Escargot restaurant in Soho, London. Since 1989 he has been the restaurant consultant for the Financial Times where he is known as the “restaurant insider”. Every week he publishes his sharpest opinions and critics of many restaurants around the world and look at themes and trends in the restaurant industry. Lander is a published author of several books, including The Art of the Restaurateur (Phaidon), a compelling look behind the scenes at some of the world’s best restaurants, and celebrates the complex but unsung art of the restaurateur. He has recently been a food critic on BBC’s Masterchef.

Hervé Mons

The Mons family story began in 1960, selling cheese on the markets in Roanne. Having been trained by the best cheesemongers in Paris, Hervé Mons decided to follow in his father’ footsteps and opened his first shop in the Halles Diderot in the Roanne city centre in 1983. In 2000 Mons received the award of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (the best Artisan Craftsman of France). With this consecration, he became one of the most important and well-known cheesemongers in France and in the world, recognised for his affinage (cheese ageing) know-how and sourcing skills. Now internationally renowned and supplying some of the greatest restaurants throughout the world, Mons has opened a string of successful cheese shops in France and London and has about about 190 different cheeses maturing day and night in his cellars.

Erica Randall

Erica Randall is the Head Gardener of the Scottish Kitchen Garden, supplying both Edinburgh restaurants The Scottish Café and Centotre. Situated a few miles south of Edinburgh, Erica’s garden provides local fruits and vegetables sustainably grown fruits and vegetables. Randall was formerly Head Gardener of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh.

Craig Sandle

In 2012, Edinburgh-born Craig Sandle joined Galvin Restaurants to head up the kitchens of The Pompadour by Galvin and Galvin Brasserie de Luxe at The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. He returned to his city of birth 15 years ago, and has since worked in a handful of establishments, most notably as Head Chef at Michelin-starred Restaurant Number One at Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel for nine years. He was instrumental in gaining its first Michelin star and retained this accolade for eight consecutive years. He prides himself on developing his team and providing people with opportunities to grow. His menus are inspired by seasonal Scottish and French ingredients.

Roderick Sloan

Roderick Sloan is a Scottish chef and a sea urchin fisherman living in the village of Nordskott, on the coast of northern Norway. Very passionate about his work and focusing on sustainable fishing, he harvests his sea urchin beds on a five-year rotation and only by hand. Delivering sea urchins to René Redzepi’s Noma in Copenhagen since 2008, he now supplies 32 of the world’s best restaurants, from Sweden’s Fäviken to the two-Michelin star Maaemo in Oslo.


The Pop-up Restaurant

Saturday 22 March / The Hub / 19:00
Tickets: £40 (£38)

Eventbrite - The Budding Chefs' Pop-up Restaurant with Craig Sandle

5 course menu
Designed by Craig Sandle and Fred Berkmiller
Prepared for you by the Budding Chefs Brigade

– Drink on arrival –

– Amuse bouche –
Barley and Winkle Risotto

– Starters –
Pollock Fish Quenelle, Squat Lobster à l’Armoricaine
Whelks Mayonnaise
Rillettes of Hot Smoked and Cured Salmon
Julienne of Seasonal Roots Vegetables, Vinaigrette
Beef Cheeks and Tongue Pot-au-Feu en Salade
Green Lettuce Salad

– Main course –
Lamb Selection Slow Cooked au naturel, Lamb Jus
Seasonal Roasted Vegetables

– Cheese –
Selection of Cheese by Hervé Mons
Camembert, Roquefort, Selles-sur-Cher

– Dessert –
Gateau Opéra

– Coffee / Tea –

Here is how it works: the budding chefs will be working under the watchful eyes of their mentors Craig Sandle and Fred Berkmiller to cook a 5 course set menu specially designed by the chefs to showcase the best of the Scottish larder. Look out for the budding waiters who will be serving you in the restaurant room.

The Pop-up Restaurant opens at 7.00 pm. A drink will be served on arrival. While sipping yours, why not having a look at the wine list and pre-order your wine? Dinner is served from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm.

The Pop-up restaurant has communal tables so come prepared to mix with others!

A vegetarian option is available. Make sure you ask for it when booking.

Tickets must be purchased in advance (online, over the phone 0131 226 5366 or in person at the Institut français). There will be no tickets sold at the door. Strictly non-refundable. Drinks are not included in the ticket price.

The ticket price goes directly to supporting the Budding Chefs Exchange Programme and the students’ visit to Scotland (accommodation, travels, visits, etc).


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