Andrew Fairlie Scholarship 2021 winners announced

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

22 year-old Amy Stephenson, junior sous-chef at The Torridon and 25 year-old Josh Wilkinson,  senior chef de partie at the Isle of Eriska Hotel are the two recipients of the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship 2021.

The finals took place at Perth College UHI yesterday and both chefs were crowned winners today at The Gleneagles Hotel.

The Andrew Fairlie Scholarship, established by HIT Scotland with support from the Scottish government and The Gleneagles Hotel, was first held launched in February 2019 in honour of chef Andrew Fairlie, celebrating his significant and lasting contribution to the hospitality industry.


It is awarded annually to one female and one male chef, championing diversity as the late chef did throughout his career.

The six finalists, including Amy, Josh, as well as Spud Henderson, 31, chef de partie at Craig Millar @ 16 West End; Ryan McCutcheon, 28, now chef patron at Achray House Hotel; Peter Meechan, 24, junior sous-chef at The Strathearn at Gleneagles and Zdenka Tomova  28, first commis at Streathern at Gleneagles; were tasked with recreating a classic Andrew Fairlie dish, as well as two additional elements to complement it.

The judges included Michelin-starred chefs Stephen McLaughlin, Tom Kerridge, Sat Bains and Lorna McNee, as well as Scotland’s National chef and MasterChef: The Professionals champion, Gary Maclean.

Stephen McLaughlin, lead judge and head chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, said: “What a thrill it has been for us all to get back together for finals day of our second Andrew Fairlie Scholarship. It has been especially exciting this year to have been able do in it in our brand-new host venue, Perth College UHI, for the cook off.

“Full credit goes to all our finalists, who have maintained their match fitness in the run up to the final. We asked the finalists to cook a classic dish from Chef Andrew’s repertoire, while showcasing their own technical abilities in creating inspiring garnishes along with an intelligent, well thought out sauce.

“Every one of the finalists showed great desire and passion to become one of the next Andrew Fairlie Scholars, and many congratulations to Amy and Josh who came out on top and will now receive some inspirational and educational experiences to help build their careers.”

David Cochrane, HIT Scotland Chief Executive, added: “After the challenges of the last couple of years, it was truly inspiring to see this group of talented chefs in action, showing off their creativity, hard work and dedication to their craft. Huge congratulations to Amy and Josh, who will now get to experience some fantastic opportunities as Andrew Fairlie Scholars!”

Conor O’Leary, Managing Director of Gleneagles, said: “The flair, creativity and passion displayed by all the finalists echoes the culture of excellence that Andrew established and is testament to the extraordinary pool of culinary talent we have here in Scotland. We're thrilled for the winning recipients and look forward to following their careers and supporting them as they develop as chefs."

Ype van der Schaaf, Sector Manager of Hospitality and Food Studies at Perth College UHI said: “Hosting the Andrew Fairlie Scholarship final within our kitchens and facilities was a great opportunity to support HIT Scotland, and our students welcomed the chance to be involved. Many congratulations to the well-deserved winners, we enjoyed watching all of them work and create their fantastic dishes.”

The winners will gain industry-wide recognition as Andrew Fairlie Scholars and experience educational and inspirational opportunities, such as a practical stage in an international kitchen and at two Michelin star Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles and three Michelin star restaurant Core by Clare Smyth.

The first Andrew Fairlie Scholarships were awarded in 2019, with the competition having been postponed last year due to the pandemic. The inaugural winners were Emma-Rose Milligan and Joseph Harte.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 17th November 2021

Andrew Fairlie Scholarship 2021 winners announced