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Tom Kitchin, owner of The Kitchin in Edinburgh
Tom Kitchin, owner of The Kitchin in Edinburgh

Chef Profile: Tom Kitchin

Scot-born chef and TV presenter Tom Kitchin became the youngest chef-proprietor to win a Michelin star for his restaurant, The Kitchin, when he was just 29. Since then his career has soared, securing him a place next to some of the biggest names in the British culinary scene.

Growing up in Edinburgh, Tom Kitchin knew he wanted to be a chef from the young age of 13. After studying catering at Perth College, he secured a place in the apprenticeship program at the esteemed Gleneagles Hotel, situated near Perth and Kinross. After gaining more experience, Kitchin moved to London where he worked under the tutelage of the acclaimed three Michelin-starred chef, Pierre Koffmann. France was his next destination, where he learnt from Guy Savoy in Paris and Alain Ducasse in Monaco—both of whom have also been awarded with three Michelin stars. After years of practice and direction, Kitchin established a signature style. Inspired by his first mentor, Koffmann, he concentrated on cooking the food that he knew and loved best. His dishes incorporate French culinary techniques alongside fresh, Scottish ingredients. Kitchin makes a point of reviving underrated cuts of meat and championing his local suppliers.

In 2006, Kitchin returned to his city of birth and opened his first restaurant with his Swedish-born wife Michaela, called The Kitchin. After the business had been running for only six months, Kitchin was awarded his first Michelin star. Being aged 29, this set Kitchin as the youngest Michelin star recipient in the world. Afterwards, Kitchin earned himself the Chef of the Year award in 2007 at the Catering in Scotland Excellence Awards.

In 2009, Kitchin released his first cookbook: From Nature To Plate. This offers sumptuous recipes that take advantage of locally sourced ingredients and honour the traditions of his homeland. Meanwhile, the dishes inside embody a modern flair and extraordinary taste combinations that reveal Kitchin’s ingenuity. In 2010, Kitchin opened his second restaurant—Castle Terrace—with the help of Dominic Jack. Together, the pair ran the sister business with the philosophy of Kitchin’s first book in mind: using simple, quality ingredients was paramount. The restaurant is situated in a prime location near Edinburgh’s magnificent castle.

On several occasions Kitchin participated as a contestant in the hit TV show, Great British Menu—although he never made it into the final banquet. He has also appeared as a guest judge on the program, along with being appointed to critique the competitors on Masterchef. In 2013, he furthered his television career by appearing as a mentor on the series, The Chef’s Protégé. In June 2012, Kitchin received an honorary doctorate of arts degree from Edinburgh Napier University for his outstanding contribution to Scottish food culture.

Catch our exclusive interview with Tom Kitchin where he discusses the importance of seasonality and his new recipe book: Tom Kitchin’s Meat & Game.

If you have enjoyed our interview with Tom Kitchin, check out the digital edition of World Food Tour here where you’ll be able to find other interviews with well-known chefs as well as plenty of recipes.