TOP chef Tom Kitchin is planning to use a new pub as a training ground for new talent.
But the curly-haired cook won’t be calling time on his other business and television interests when he opens his new gourmet pub in Stockbridge this spring.
Kitchin, who became Scotland’s youngest Michelin-starred chef aged 29, will, however, be using it as a testing ground for his head chefs of the future.
He said: “Nothing beats a good pub – nothing!”
The establishment, whose name Kitchin said would be revealed “in good time”, will be situated in the San Marco restaurant on Mary’s Place.
He is opening it with wife Michaela, Dominic Jack of the Castle Terrace Restaurant and business partner Philippe Nublat.
Kitchin said: “It’s an exciting project and very much a joint effort. The food is obviously a vitally important aspect, but we believe a great atmosphere is crucial, too, and that’s what we’ll aim to provide by combining our menu with fantastic, unique ales from Scotland and beyond, plus good wine by the glass. We’re going to bring all that together in a place that’s family-friendly, affordable and in keeping with our ethos of seasonality.”
The chef said he was “honoured” to be setting up in the area, adding: “It’s such a great place, with a real community spirit and a lot of fantastic local traders, and it’s very accessible from the city centre on foot.”
However, those who are already big fans of the team’s existing restaurants needn’t worry about them being neglected.
Kitchin said: “I will be continuing with The Kitchin and Dominic will be carrying on with Castle Terrace Restaurant.
“We’re going to have a major influence on the menu at the new pub, and we’ll be using it to train up younger chefs and get them up to scratch.
“The kitchens in our other restaurants are extremely high pressure and this can get to be too much for those who are just starting out, so this way they’ll have more of a chance to find their feet. But I’ll still be there a lot for my Sunday roast!”
Refurbishment has already started at the site, with the previous owners saying they are pleased with their replacement.
Brothers Franco and Nino Alonzi have been in charge of the San Marco Restaurant for 30 years.
Franco said: “While the decision to close was not an easy one, we’re pleased to be handing over the property to another family-run business.”
After leaving Dollar Academy, Kitchin studied catering at Perth College before beginning an apprenticeship at Gleneagles Hotel. In January 2007, he was awarded his first Michelin star for The Kitchin, Leith.