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andrew fairlie scholarship awards HIT scotland darren seggie rachel bremner
27th November 2023

Andrew Fairlie Scholarship Awards go to Darren Seggie and Rachel Bremner

Written by: David Foad
The Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland has unveiled the winners of the fourth annual Andrew Fairlie Scholarships. They are Darren Seggie, a lecturer in culinary arts at City of Glasgow College, and Rachel Bremner, a commis pastry chef at The Balmoral.

The Andrew Fairlie Scholarship, positioned as the pinnacle for aspiring chefs in Scotland, honours the legacy of Andrew Fairlie by nurturing culinary talent in the region.

Both winners faced a variety of challenges, including a skills test where they crafted a dish featuring potato as the star ingredient, incorporating Scottish dairy, and a surprise dish highlighting hand-dived scallops.

Darren Seggie wowed the judges with his creative potato-based dessert, while Rachel Bremner's Potato and Egg Yolk Ravioli, Crispy Potato Skins, and Potato Espuma left a lasting impression. The final skills test unfolded at Perth College UHI, with the announcement of the winners during a ceremony at Gleneagles.

The judging panel, led by Stephen McLaughlin, head chef at 2 Michelin-star Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, included top chefs Sat Bains, Lorna McNee, and Gary Maclean.

As part of their prize, the winners will embark on a two-day educational trip to France with Grande Cuisine as well as gaining hands-on experience at prestigious establishments such as Restaurant Andrew Fairlie and Core by Clare Smyth.

The scholarships, supported by HIT Scotland, Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Perth College UHI, and The Gleneagles Hotel, aim to provide a transformative learning experience over two years.

Stephen McLaughlin praised the high standard of competition, leading to the unprecedented decision to award two deserving winners. HIT Scotland chief executive David Cochrane commended Darren and Rachel for their exceptional skill, creativity, and dedication to their craft, predicting bright culinary futures for both.

Ype van der Schaaf, sector manager of hospitality and food studies at Perth College UHI, expressed pride in hosting the event, emphasising the importance of supporting HIT Scotland and continuing the legacy of their respected alumnus, Andrew Fairlie.

The finalists included Daniel Robb, Rachel Bremner, Darren Seggie, Spud Henderson, and Rita Varga, showcasing the depth of talent in the Scottish culinary scene.