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Andrew Fairlie Scholarship 2019

Meet the Judges - Keith Podmore

With the launch of the inaugural Andrew Fairlie Scholarship, get to know the judges that make up the expert judging panel.

Keith Podmore

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Keith Podmore was chef de cuisine at the exclusive Boodle’s club in London, and also mentored Andrew Fairlie as he set out on his own culinary career aged just 15. Andrew followed Keith from job to job for the first six years of his career, learning all he could about cooking techniques and skills.

Here, Keith tells us about his own career history, what values he is looking for in an Andrew Fairlie scholar and why chefs have nothing to lose by applying to the scholarship.

Could you tell us a bit about your career background?

“After a five-year apprenticeship with British Transport Hotels I spent periods in Switzerland and the south of France and in hotels in England and Scotland. Finally, I spent 23 years as chef de cuisine at Boodle’s. I am a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts and have an honorary Doctorate from University of West London. I have now been retired for 13 years.”

Can you remember the first menu you designed?

The first important menu I remember was matching seasonal food to different vintages of a single fine wine.”

What was your favourite thing about working in hospitality?

I enjoyed training, the creative side, the camaraderie and the buzz of service.”

What are the biggest challenges facing aspiring chefs today?

Developing the skills and confidence to respond to an ever-evolving culinary world.”

What impact do you think the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship will have on Scotland’s hospitality sector?

Scotland has the finest world-class produce ready for world-class culinary skills to take advantage of.”

What three words would you use to describe a potential Andrew Fairlie scholar?

“Competence, confidence and modesty.”

Do you have any advice for applicants to the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship?

“If you do not try you will not know, and even if you do not win you will have experienced a valuable learning curve.”

The Andrew Fairlie Scholarship is an incredible opportunity for aspiring chefs – you can find more details and apply for the scholarship here.