A TOP Scottish chef has teamed up with Musselburgh-based Queen Margaret University to serve up a new annual scholarship and help boost career prospects for students.

Tom Kitchin, with a trio of award-winning restaurants in Edinburgh, is giving budding restaurateurs and hospitality professionals the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and potential employment within Kitchin Group.

Restaurants include The Kitchin – a Michelin star restaurant – the Castle Terrace Restaurant and The Scran & Scallie, which was recently awarded a Bib Gourmand.

All three are considered by the university as ‘Best Practices Businesses’ in terms of service and food and drink.

Kitchin Group’s Annual Award for Excellence will offer QMU’s international hospitality, tourism, events management or gastronomy students the chance to apply for the scholarship each year over the next three years to financially support their studies.

Professor Monika Foster, head of division of business, enterprise and management at the university, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Kitchin Group for its investment in student learning that will help us identify, nurture and develop talented, willing and enthusiastic students to ensure a professional supply of exceptional personnel for businesses such as Kitchin Group to inspire each guest with true and professional Scottish hospitality.

“The combination of talented students who have both solid work experience with a leading hospitality organisation and excellent academic knowledge will help to create future managers who can raise industry standards.”

Ron Kitchin, chairman of Kitchin Group, added: “As a business we are passionate about fostering talent and supporting young people who are interested in a career in the industry. The Excellence Award will not only offer students financial and practical support with their studies but will give them an unparalleled insight into the world of a busy, successful and diverse hospitality business and the opportunity of hands on work-experience within Kitchin Group.”

The university’s MSc Gastronomy course has also fired the imagination of the country’s top chefs, restaurateurs, legislators and those from a variety of food and drink-related businesses.

The university is also home to the Scottish Centre for Food Development and Innovation. Food scientists in this dedicated commercial facility are continuing to enhance Scotland’s position in the food innovation arena and support food and drink companies to develop, and market healthier products.