Linlithgow chef cooks up a storm at contest

Craig Palmer came first in the lamb and second in the fish dish category at the North East of Scotland Chef and Restaurant of the Year 2016 contest.
Craig Palmer came first in the lamb and second in the fish dish category at the North East of Scotland Chef and Restaurant of the Year 2016 contest.

A Linlithgow chef proved he was a chop above the rest as he was crowned North East Lamb Chef 2016.

Craig Palmer (23) left Linlithgow for Aberdeen after learning his trade at Glasgow Metropolitan College and has managed to scoop one of the top awards at the North East of Scotland Chef and Restaurant of the Year contest.

The former Linlithgow Academy pupil had previously worked at Beecraigs restaurant during his school days and at the Boat House in South Queensferry during his three years at college studying professional cookery.

He said: “Working as a chef in both restaurants really helped improve my skills. Beecraigs was more pub grub where as the Boat House was a bit more refined cuisine so I really learnt a lot from my time there.”

Once Craig had completed his course he moved on to a job at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and the young chef was excited to be working in such a prestigious kitchen.

He said: “I spent roughly a year working in the pastry kitchen before spending some time working in the Michelin Star restaurant.

“It was another massive step up for me but one I really enjoyed and it showed me the hard work and dedication that is needed to have and keep a Michelin Star.”

Craig then relocated to Aberdeen and began working at the five-star Chester Hotel.

He entered the North East of Scotland Chef and Restaurant of the Year 2016 contest and this month Craig and the other finalists made their way to Aberdeen College for the final cook-off.

The judges taste the meal and award it a score out of 100. Gold awards are above 90, silver 80 to 90 and bronze is below 80. Not only was Craig crowned Lamb Chef of the year, with his dish being awarded gold, he was also second place in the fish dish category.

He said: “It was fantastic to win and was an amazing experience.”

Craig is now looking forward to the Culinary Olympics in Germany in October where he and the rest of the top chefs in Scotland will go up against the cream of the crop from around the world in cooking.

Craig said: “We will be aiming to bring home gold for Scotland.”