Medical recruitment came to a temporary halt on Wednesday afternoon as the team at Head Medical ventured forth to Newliston for a day of culinary education, eating and drinking at the Edinburgh School of Food and Wine. Established in 1986, the School is Scotland’s oldest independent and most well respected cookery institution. Based in a converted 18th century former Coach House in the grounds of the spectacular Newliston House, the School is just a short 20 minute journey from the centre of Edinburgh.
Upon arrival we were provided with some welcome refreshment by Aneta, the Chef’s capable assistant who kept the event running smoothly behind the scenes. While we waited for the Chef to arrive and tell us our itinerary, we split into the teams that would battle it out for the coveted Best Team award that would be presented at the end of the day. Other awards up for grabs included the prestigious Best Chef (complete with bragging rights), and the not so prestigious ‘Don’t give up the day job’, an award usually given to the team exhibiting the least amount of cooking talent.
Our Chef for the day was Chris Stewart, a veteran of the food industry with over 20 years’ experience, including a long spell as Head Pasty Chef at the Caledonian Waldorf Astoria. After being shown what to do in a series of expert demonstrations, we were left to our own devices and each team set about creating their own interpretations of the dishes we had been shown. Over the course of the day we made ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach (complete with home-made pasta dough) for starters, chicken breast stuffed with pesto and mozzarella with herb risotto for the main course, then tiramisu for dessert.
6 hours flew by in a flurry of mascarpone folding, dough kneading, chicken stuffing and coffee-based biscuit soaking. Before we knew it the fruits of our labours had been consumed and it was time for the all-important award presentations. In a close contest, the highly talented Team Tiramisu (Annie, Caroline, Laura and Nicky M) were declared Best Team, and the equally talented Chloe Wilkinson was awarded Best Chef (due in no small part to her amazing onion chopping skills). After some herb-related pronunciation
issues and a highly disputed
disqualification, Team Manscaping were controversially awarded the Wooden Spoon and told not to give up their day jobs.
The day was a complete success and everyone had a lot of fun, returning home with full stomachs and heads full of new cooking knowledge. We would like to say a big thank you to the staff at the