Scotland’s been my surrogate home for the last year. But how did I get here?
It all started with a Steak.
I’d been working as a Chef in Cornwall for the best part of a year.
My first job out of Culinary school, I was eager to do well but at the same time a little queasy at the thought of beginning my professional career. Working in the food industry, it can seem a daunting task starting at the bottom.
After training in London, the beating heart of the UK food scene, I elected to return to the South West. Although I loved the fast pace nature of the city and the opportunities were a lot more attractive there, I missed my family, the village life and the sound of the sea!
Steak houses get a bad rep. One of the many American staples that has found it’s way onto our shores, they can often be looked down on by some food professionals because of the nature of cooking steaks. The man off the street might well shrug when asked how to cook a Sirloin rare, but in Culinary School, preparing and cooking a steak is one of the first things we learn.
Dry pan. High heat. 2 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other. Press the steak, remove from the heat and rest. Simple.
Of course there are plenty of other things that go along with the steak, sides and sauces, but each meal I prepared there was built around the cooking of that one sacred ingredient. After getting experience in Michelin starred restaurants, preparing cuisine from all around the world, I’d wondered whether I’d soon get bored cooking steaks all day.
I was right.
After 10 months of 50-hour working weeks in a busy kitchen, I was no longer satisfied with my lot in life. The freedom and excitement of working with food, that I had nourished during my year at Culinary school, was starting to bleed out of me and I needed to do something about it. The walls were slowly moving in and I felt like I needed to make a change.
At the start of a shift in December, I was taking a stock count in the walk-in. Counting the steaks for the night’s service, I noticed something about their origin. Although our restaurant tried to source as many ingredients locally possible, we all knew that the best beef was bred in Scotland. Although I’d cooked hundred of steaks by this point, I hadn’t considered where they’d been coming from.
I knew I needed to regain my passion for food. I had money in the bank and a van ready to drive, so I handed in my notice and began my journey to Scotland.
A year later and I’m still up here!
What started out as a simple road trip to the source of the best beef, became a full blown foodie odyssey. I started this blog to record my adventures and escapades with food in Scotland, I don’t know where this road will end, but I’m going to enjoy it whilst I can!