Compass Scotland sent out a box brimming with fantastic Scottish produce to cook with.
Compass Scotland sent out a box brimming with fantastic Scottish produce to cook with.

Compass Scotland launches with Tom Kitchin partnership

It’s not every day you share a kitchen with Tom Kitchin. (Virtually, of course. It’s 2020 after all).

And while the 1pm fridge raid serves its purpose when the daily hunger pangs strike, the promise of Chef’s venison burgers with celeriac velouté and fried quails eggs was unsurprisingly far more enticing than the usual work-from-home fare.

With a box brimming with beautiful Scottish produce at the ready, we logged into a live cooking demo with Chef Kitchin to celebrate the launch of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s new business – Compass Scotland.

Championing the use of the country’s magnificent larder and headed up by Managing Director David Hay, Compass Scotland seeks to provide high-quality, sustainable catering and support services across sectors including education, workplace catering, defence, sports and leisure, and the Aberdeen-based offshore business. Waiting in anticipation to hear from both Chef Kitchin and David Hay – and with spatulas, frying pans and pinnies at the ready – the afternoon’s cook-along was ready to begin.

Compass Scotland sent out a box brimming with fantastic Scottish produce to cook with.

Chef Kitchin kick-started proceedings by talking us through how to make his delicious celeriac velouté – made with vegetables supplied by Braehead Foods, a family business that has provided top quality local produce since 1989. Leaving the rest of us in his wake, Chef was soon frying off onions and throwing together his wild venison burgers, cooked with Mackintosh of Glendaveny Rapeseed Oil, all the while talking of his ‘From Nature To Plate’ ethos and the importance of educating future generations about local produce.

The Edinburgh chef and restauranteur will act as Compass Scotland’s Culinary Ambassador in their new apprenticeship scheme and will work closely with Scottish suppliers, colleges, and the hospitality industry to produce career pathways for aspiring youngsters. Chef Kitchin – who started off his career washing dishes and worked his way up the ranks to become a Michelin-starred chef – has a keen eye when it comes to looking for future culinary talents. He will contribute to the apprenticeship and training programme, working closely as a consultant for Compass Scotland and ensuring great food and drink continues to be at the heart of the business’ offering.

Tom Kitchin is the Culinary Ambassador for Compass Scotland [Marc Millar @Schnapps Photography]

The opportunities offered through our apprenticeship scheme will enable employees to change or enhance their careers and underlines how our business is committed to helping every colleague, partner and client realise their potential,’ says Managing Director, David Hays. ‘Having started my own career with Compass at the age of 19 as a hospitality waiter, this is something I feel incredibly passionate about. I very much look forward to seeing the next generation of this fantastic industry develop in Scotland through this exciting programme.

Chef Kitchin added: ‘I am really looking forward to working with Compass Scotland and the many exciting projects with the team, plus helping to bring through the next generation of Scottish hospitality.

As for our velouté and venison, it may not have looked as beautiful as Chef Kitchin’s own Michelin-starred dish, but frankly Monday lunch never tasted so good.

Our homemade attempt of Tom Kitchin’s celeriac velouté and venison burgers [Rosie Morton]

For more information about Compass Scotland, visit their website.