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2023 Andrew Fairlie Scholarship Winners Crowned By All-Star Chef Panel

The Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland has announced two worthy recipients of the fourth annual Andrew Fairlie Scholarship.

Darren Seggie, 35, Lecturer of Culinary Arts at City of Glasgow College and Rachel Bremner, 34, Commis Pastry Chef at The Balmoral, were the talented chefs who most impressed the expert industry judges.

Positioned as the ultimate scholarship any aspiring chef could receive, the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship is awarded annually to a chef working in Scotland, carrying on the legacy of Andrew Fairlie’s commitment to nurturing culinary talent in Scotland.

The judging panel included some of the country’s finest chefs, all of whom knew Andrew Fairlie well. The panel was headed up by Stephen McLaughlin, Head Chef at 2 Michelin-starred Restaurant Andrew Fairlie; alongside fellow 2 Michelin-starred chef Sat Bains; 1 Michelin-star Head Chef at Cail Bruich and winner of Great British Menu, Lorna McNee; and Masterchef The Professionals winner and National Chef of Scotland, Gary Maclean.

Stephen McLaughlin, lead judge and head chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, said: “Our five finalists have competed fiercely and fairly today and they have all given it everything to win this year’s Andrew Fairlie Scholarship. Everyone competed with great character and commitment and showed a real respect for one another this afternoon.

“The chefs should all be extremely proud of themselves for getting to the final but must also take great pride in how they handled the pressures of the day and in the fabulous dishes that they all produced. This was a tough one to find just one winner today as everyone cooked so well and all had showed great application in getting this far.

“We had no choice but to award two deserving winners… This year’s winners not only submitted immaculate application packs but followed this through and showcased themselves clearly as the best on the day with clean, precise and creative cookery”.

Ype van der Schaaf, Sector Manager of Hospitality and Food Studies at Perth College UHI said: “Offering our kitchens and facilities to support HIT Scotland and being part of the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship is very important to us, as he was our well-respected alumnus.

“Hosting for the third time, we have really enjoyed watching the finalists create their fantastic dishes, they’re at the top of their game and their efforts demonstrate to our students the very top of industry standards. Huge congratulations to the two winners!”

The 2023 finalists were:

  • Daniel Robb, 27, Chef de Partie at Gleneagles
  • Rachel Bremner, 34, Commis Pastry Chef at the Balmoral
  • Darren Seggie, 35, Lecturer of Culinary Arts at City of Glasgow College
  • Spud Henderson, 34, Sous Chef at Craig Millar @ 16 West End
  • Rita Varga, 31, Chef de Partie and kitchen departmental trainer at Voco Grand Central Hotel.