Apprentice teams dish up diplomatic calamity in Capital

Ricky Martin and Laura Hogg
Ricky Martin and Laura Hogg
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AS Alan Sugar’s would-be Apprentices hit the streets of the Capital in tonight’s episode of the BBC show, it seems the only thing that Team Phoenix has dragged from the ashes is a well-worn debate over Scottish cuisine – are we more deep-fried Mars bar or artisan smoked salmon?

The show sees the teams let loose on a mission to sell high-end street food in Edinburgh, with a warning from Lord Sugar not to serve any “junk” in Scotland’s “culinary Capital”. But Derbyshire-born project manager Adam Corbally is quick to revert to stereotype, telling his team-mates: “Scots generally eat deep-fried Mars bars and deep-fried food.”

Katie Wright

Katie Wright

The 32-year-old former market trader opts to make super-cheap pasta and meatballs packed out with corned beef to sell on at over-the-top prices.

But his rivals on Team Sterling, led by beauty salon owner Jenna Whittingham, 25, take a different tack, opting for high-quality ingredients for a Scottish hot pot.

Filming for the episode took place in the city in November at locations including Waverley Station, Hotel Missoni, The Balmoral, The Foodie Company, The New Town Cookery School and Princes Street.

Adam also pitched his team up outside Tynecastle Stadium in an effort to tempt matchday fans away from their usual fare.

But Jambos need not worry as his entrepreneurial efforts won’t be leading to a menu change any time soon.

A Hearts spokesman said: “Our fans are discerning diners and have given a huge thumbs-up to the pie and Bovril supplied by our caterers.”

Staff at the nearby Gorgie Fish Bar were just as dismissive, saying: “Who is going to eat pasta and meatballs on their way into a footy game?”

Sterling’s hot pot didn’t do much to entice city-centre punters, either.

One passing local, Lynsey Crerar, 26, from Marchmont, said: “The meal was in a dodgy-looking cardboard box and the people selling it seemed frantic.

“There wasn’t long to go and they were running around trying to get shoppers to buy these meat pastry things for about £5.”

Alison Ryndycz, of city catering company Galway Gourmet, said they would have had more success sticking with simple, quality ingredients.

“I’d have gone with some Ayrshire bacon or Aberdeen Angus beef. Simple but quality ingredients work best,” she said.

Lord Sugar will have the final say on which of the team’s approaches tickled most tastebuds, but the debate over the sophistication of the Scottish palate may rage on.