Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin and his award-winning team have recently opened their fourth Edinburgh restaurant, Southside Scran, in the heart of Bruntsfield. But they’re also expanding east with the opening of The Bonnie Badger in Gullane. We caught up with Tom to ask him a few questions…
What is your greatest achievement?
As a father of four young boys, I’m obviously very proud of them and I will also always be really proud of what my wife and I have created in Edinburgh, in building our business up from nothing. We’ve really grown organically over the years and grown along the way.
Our first restaurant The Kitchin will always be special as it was our first restaurant in Edinburgh and we’re also very proud of Castle Terrace and The Scran & Scallie. With two new openings this year we’re really able to allow for growth within our team. Our new bistro Southside Scran is a really lovely neighbourhood restaurant with a real nod to my passion for French food. The hotel, The Bonnie Badger, our new gastro-pub with rooms in Gullane is set to open later this year and having loved the East Lothian area for years, we’re really excited about our new venture and getting to know the community.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self
To push on. It will get easier. Don’t give up. I’ve worked with some amazing great chefs over the years and my mentor has always been Pierre Koffmann. He taught me to believe in myself and my cooking, and cook from the heart. Something I always try to do, still to this day.
When was the last time you laughed out loud?
When I was reading ‘The Magical Adventures of Whoops the Wonder Dog’ for my boys. It’s written by my friend Glynn Purnell and my little ones found the toilet humour absolutely hilarious. Seeing them laugh hysterically at this was too funny and I had a really good laugh.
If my time allowed I would definitely spend more time reading books. I truly love a good read but I only ever manage to read cook books these days. I find it really relaxing to browse through cook books and there are many chefs in this country that I truly admirer. It would be hard to pick one!
Next I will be focusing on getting The Bonnie Badger in Gullane up and running. This is the first hotel venture for us and obviously very exciting for the entire team to venture out of Edinburgh. At the same time I am very particular about all our places in Edinburgh to ensure that we are continuing to push on and that each restaurant is the very best it can be. I am still incredibly passionate about my ‘From Nature to Plate’ philosophy and working with the very best suppliers introducing our guests to seasonality and new, exciting dishes.
Finally, staying in or going out?
Definitely in. What I love the most is spending time with my family at home. I love cooking a good meal for my family and friends, putting the fire on, relaxing and playing with the kids. My ideal Sunday.
The Bonnie Badger opens December 2018 | thekitchin.com