WHEN it comes to cooking a gourmet dinner, there’s no shortage of help available these days. Whether it’s top tips from the TV chefs or the internet tutorials available at the click of a mouse, it’s never been easier to get hold of whatever recipe might take your fancy.
Of course, there’s a big difference between having a recipe and being able to cook it – so what better way to ensure perfection than to cut out the middle man and bring the chef directly to you?
That is the plan of Tony Singh, the award- winning chef who earlier this year sold up his top Capital eaterie Oloroso.
Having taken some time out to recharge his creative batteries he is now launching a service which would see him turn up, in person, at someone’s house to show them first-hand how to prepare a range of tasty dishes.
“I did this a few times for charity, with people bidding at auctions to have me come round and give them a cookery lesson or make them a meal, and I just thought it would be a nice idea,” he said.
“The problem with just following a recipe or a TV show is that most people’s kitchens are nothing like the ones in restaurants. Everyone’s kitchen is different, so the only way to really teach people properly is to go to their home.
“I’m sure quite a few people will be interested, and it could either be a one-on-one lesson or for a group of people – whatever works best. I’m quite excited about it, though.”
The chance of having one of Scotland’s top chefs helping out around the kitchen is sure to excite foodies across the Capital as well.
Brought up in Leith and trained at the Capital’s Telford College before he started his career working in kitchens around the city, Tony has gone on to becoem one fo the countries best-known chefs.
He worked on the Royal Scotsman train and at Greywalls Hotel in East Lothian, and at the age of just 28, became head chef on the Royal Yacht Britannia when it arrived in Edinburgh.
In 2001 he opened Oloroso on George street and it went on to gain sritical acclaim and pick up awards for its bar, restaurant and private dining.
Since closing the restaurant Tony he has been a lot more relaxed - hardly susprising given the sort of punsishing shifts he would put in running his restaunra. “It was 14 or 16 hour days most fo the time - that’s just what it takes to turn a kitchen like that, and while it’s very rewarding it is quite draining, so it has been nice to not have that pressure every day,” he says.
“There were pressure on the restaurant but I think it was better to go out on a high as we did, and now I’m looking for new challenges.”
While he might have stopped the daily grind for the time being however he’s not exactly been restuing on his laurels - although he has been banned from the kitchen.
“I’m not allowed to cook at home because I make too much of a mess,” he joked. “I’m used to having a team of guys cleaning up behind me as I go!”
He has still managed to cook up a few projects however, including the recently-announced work with one of the country’s leading catering companies, GH Event Catering to offer a new Asian wedding package.
“They were looking for someone to do modern Indian cuisine and it’s an intersting project which I think should prove very popular with couple,” he said.
No stranger to TV, Tony was named as ITV’s Chef of The Year in 2000, and has appeared on other television shows including Ready Steady Cook.
And while he can’t say much about it he has also been filming withthe BBC recently for a programme to be broadcast next year.
“That has been a lot of fun - it’s all just a change of pace and hopefully peopel will enjoy it.”
Of course all of that is a far cry from the running a restaurant, and Tony admits that he is looking for new venues in the Capital, and arranging more Tony’s Table pop-up style events in the coming months,.
“I’m just looking to do something a bit different with the pop-up restaurants, which are a lot of fun,” he says. “The difficulty is that you can’t publicise it too far in advance, so it can bea bit last minute, wbut wioth social media it’s easy to spread the word.
“I am looking at getting back into the restaurant scene but it is hard to find a vaneu. Even with the economic conditions at the moment there are lots of big players still trying to get into the Edinburgh market, so that adds to the difficulty.
“I’m not looking for a prime site though - I’m more interested now in creating somehere that people want to come to, and make a special occassdion of the meal, and that menas that location is not quite as much of an issue.
“It’s still early days though.”