The fab five chefs (from left) Scott Smith, Barry Bryson, Derek Johnstone, Carina Contini and Jérôme Henry
The fab five chefs (from left) Scott Smith, Barry Bryson, Derek Johnstone, Carina Contini and Jérôme Henry

Chefs to cook up a storm at food festival

Five of Edinburgh’s top chefs are gearing up to showcase their culinary flair at this year’s Edinburgh Food Festival.

The event is taking place in Assembly George Square Gardens over 10 days, from 19-28 July.

The exciting line-up of free, non-ticketed chef demonstrations will include Scott Smith from Edinburgh restaurant of the Year, Fhior; private events chef Barry Bryson from Cater Edinburgh; Jérôme Henry from Le Roi Fou; Carina Contini; and former MasterChef Professionals winner, Derek Johnstone from Borthwick Castle.

Enjoying a panoramic view of George Square Gardens from a specially equipped treetop kitchen, each chef will be offering a rare one-hour insight into their own unique food style and inspiration, as well as sharing some of their top cooking tips.

Kicking off the new chef demonstration line-up will be Cater Edinburgh’s Barry Bryson on Friday 26 July from 6pm. Barry will be creating a 30-minute recipe in real time using local and seasonal ingredients – the perfect mid-week meal to make at home. Barry is motivated and inspired by Scotland’s natural larder, creating seasonal menus that combine traditional and contemporary cooking techniques. He skilfully takes restaurant concepts and fine dining to the events platform, showcasing his modern Scottish food in a variety of unique venues and events spaces across Scotland and beyond. His enviable client portfolio includes some of the world’s most iconic luxury brands.

On Saturday 27 July at 1pm, Carina Contini of Edinburgh’s Contini George Street, Cannonball Restaurant & Bar on Castlehill and the Scottish Cafe at the Scottish National Gallery will be adding some Contini sunshine to the menu with authentic Italian-inspired alfresco recipes. Third generation Italian Scots, Carina and her husband Victor, run one of the few remaining independent family businesses that have benefitted from a century of experience running successful restaurants in Scotland.

The fab five chefs (from left) Scott Smith, Barry Bryson, Derek Johnstone, Carina Contini and Jérôme Henry

From 2pm on Saturday 27 July, Scott Smith from Fhior on Broughton Street will be championing sustainable Scottish fish and offering his top tips on the best ways to barbeque fish outdoors this summer alongside Lewis Lowrie of Lowrie Fish Merchants. Since opening in 2018, Fhior has been recognised with a string of award wins including taking the title of Restaurant of the Year at the Edinburgh Restaurant Awards in May.

Next up, at 1pm on Sunday 28 July, is Derek Johnstone, head chef at Borthwick Castle at Gorebridge, Midlothian. Derek will be rediscovering some of Scotland’s lost ingredients and reinventing them in a modern and fresh way.

Rounding off the line-up at 2pm on Sunday 28 July is Jérôme Henry, chef proprietor of the award-winning Le Roi Fou on Forth Street, who will be joining Barry Bryson in a second one-hour cooking demonstration. Festival-goers will get a glimpse into their social kitchen, whilst they create a fresh summer menu in real time with a hyper-local flavour.

Alex Fitzhowle, Edinburgh Food Festival producer, said: ‘We wanted to mark the fifth anniversary of Edinburgh’s only city centre food festival with a bigger, better and more mouth-watering line-up of activities, so we’re really excited to be welcoming some of Edinburgh’s top chefs to wow visitors at Assembly George Square Gardens.

‘As well as new chef demonstrations, our bumper line-up will include a series of meet the local producer events, plus over 20 local producers and street food stallholders serving up some of Scotland’s best contemporary food and drink.

‘Festivalgoers can find out more about this year’s line-up at and by following us on social media using hashtag #EdFoodFest2019.’

Entry to the chef demonstrations are free and non-ticketed but spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis. The Festival welcomes around 25,000 visitors of all ages to Edinburgh’s Assembly George Square Gardens each year.