Media Release: Chefs to give the Scottish larder a French twist (and vice versa)

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A GROUP of 12 French budding chefs are to visit Scotland and experience the Scottish larder from 12 to 14 March before hosting a pop-up restaurant at The Hub (Edinburgh) with mentors, Mark Greenaway and Fred Berkmiller, on Friday 15 March 2013.

Now in its third year, the Budding Chefs programme offers a chance for 12 students from the Lycée Hotelier in Dinard (in Brittany, France) to experience the Scottish larder and work alongside some of the best chefs in Edinburgh.

Their programme of visits is intense: on Tuesday 12 March, some of the students will take part in a pie-making session at the award-winning Scottish Artisan pie maker, Mr C’s, while another group will be out hunting with the Braco’s gamekeepers in Perthshire thanks to the Barley Bree team.

On Thursday 14 March, the Budding Chefs will be taking a tour of Carina and Victor Contini’s The Scottish Kitchen Garden five miles outside Edinburgh.

On Wednesday 13 March, the budding chefs will join the kitchens of high standard Edinburgh restaurants for a day of work. Participating restaurants are: Restaurant Mark Greenaway, The Kitchin, Castle Terrace, The Pompadour by Galvin and The Dogs.

The highlight event of the Budding Chefs stay in Scotland will be the pop-up restaurant at The Hub on Friday 15 March.

For this unique dining experience, their mentors, Mark Greenaway and Fred Berkmiller, have designed a four-course menu that puts a French twist on the best ingredients from the Scottish larder.

In the kitchen, the Budding Chefs will be working under the watchful eyes of Mark and Fred to deliver a dinner for 250 foodies.

As a ‘Good Food Would Choose Bordeaux’ event in association with Bordeaux Wines, the pop-up restaurant will offer diners a selection of quality Bordeaux wines to suit all tastes and all budgets.

Mark Greenaway commented: “This is a great chance for me to share my skills with young French chefs. I look forward to seeing what they have to offer as I know training in France can be more intense and I’m sure they’ll be putting their training to the test on the evening of the pop-up as creating a 4-course meal for 250 in a unfamiliar kitchen is no mean feat.”

Fred Berkmiller, chef patron of the Escargot restaurants said: “As a Frenchman, I am honoured to represent my country and its culinary past abroad.

“But as an adopted Scotsman, I can only recognise the chance we have to work in a country where so many excellent produce is available on our door step.

“Scotland has established itself on the international food scene and I am extremely fortunate to be part of this environment. It is my duty to share this experience with the youngsters and to help them to get to know the incredible Scottish natural larder and meet the best Scottish chefs.”

Fred Berkmiller continued: “I am proud to be part of the Budding Chefs programme again for the third time.

“Thanks to the strong involvement of the chefs and producers who are opening their doors to us, we are able once again to offer our Budding Chefs an extraordinaire experience that will hopefully take an important place in the build up of their future life as professional chefs!”

The Budding Chefs exchange programme is a two-ways project. Scottish Budding Chefs will be invited to France later in 2013 to discover the Gallic terroir and meet the chefs who are making the most of it everyday in their restaurants.


For further information, interviews, and images, please contact Vanessa Bismuth: 0131 2207751 or

Visits and work placements are taking place on 12, 13 and 14 March. To come to one or several of these events, please contact us.

Please go to for more details. Follow us on twitter: @BuddingChefs  #buddingchefs

Feel free to use the opening images: Logo Budding Chefs 2013 – The Budding Chefs Brigade 2012


The Pop-up Restaurant : Friday 15 March, 7.00 pm / The Hub, Edinburgh EH1 2NE / 4 course menu £40 (£38) – Drinks not included / advance purchase only: or 0131 225 5366.

Note to Editors

- The Pop-Up Restaurant opens at 7.00 pm. Refreshment drinks will be served on arrival. Dinner is served from 7.30 pm to 10.30 pm. Communal tables only. A vegetarian option is available upon request. Tickets must be purchased in advance. The ticket price goes directly to supporting the Budding Chefs programme and the students’ visit to Scotland (accommodation, travels, visits, etc). Wine and drinks are not included in the ticket price.

- Initiated by the Institut francais d’Ecosse and Fred Berkmiller, chef of the Escargot restaurants in Edinburgh the Budding Chefs programme aims at developing the gastronomic connections between Scottish and French budding chefs and showcasing the best of both larders. For its first edition in 2011 in Scotland, the Budding chefs were mentored by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack. 1,000 ‘Breton’ menus were cooked with Scottish sourced produce. In the second leg of the venture, in Dinard, 400 Scottish menus were served during the Dinard British Film Festival’s gala dinner. In 2012, Martin Wishart, Roy Brett and Craig Wood joined the adventure as mentors. The Pop-Up restaurant at The Hub gathered 220 diners.

- Fred Berkmiller is the chef-patron of L’Escargot Blanc and L’Escargot Bleu (two forks in the Michelin Guide 2013) restaurants in Edinburgh, Fred Berkmiller started his hôtellerie apprenticeship in his home town of Tours in the Loire Valley. Settled in Scotland since 1995 he is hugely committed to cooking the best of Scottish produce with a French twist in his restaurants. Because of his background, his knowledge of the Scottish larder and his genuine hospitality he was from the very beginning the main partner of the Budding Chefs’ series initiated by the Institut français d’Ecosse.

- Mark Greenaway reopened his restaurant in North Castle Street, Edinburgh in January 2013. With a passion for Scottish ingredients, Mark uses only the very best local, seasonal produce, transforming them with modern techniques. He received nationwide acclaim following the opening of his eponymous restaurant in Edinburgh in February 2011. The following January Mark was the only Scottish chef to be newly awarded three AA Rosettes for outstanding cuisine. In February 2013 Mark represented Scotland for the second time on BBC2’s Great British Menu. For press enquiries, please contact Lee MacGregor on +44 (0)131 7801 286005 or

- The Lycée hôtelier de Dinard has been involved in the Budding Chefs since its first edition in 2011. Located in one of the most touristic areas of France (Brittany), the Lycée hôtelier de Dinard, has a reputation for excellence. Offering a wide range of apprenticeships, the Lycée provides highly skilled and very dedicated young professionals to the catering industry.

- The Institut français is the agency of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs with responsibility for cultural activity outside France. In Scotland, the agency is represented by the Institut français d’Ecosse (Edinburgh) which promotes French language and culture by providing French courses and organising events (film screenings, talks, exhibitions, concerts, etc.). It also aims to encourage cross-cultural exchange between France and Scotland, in cooperation with Scottish Francophile institutions. Additional information is available on or follow us on Twitter @ifecosse.

Programme partners

Institut français d’Ecosse

L’Escargot Restaurants

Lycée hôtelier de Dinard

Funding partner

Région Bretagne

Bordeaux Wines

Campbells Prime Meat

Societé des Amis de l’Institut français d’Ecosse

L’Art du Vin

Fresh Direct

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Contact: Vanessa Bismuth
Phone: 01312207751