Tom Kitchin

Last updated

Tom Kitchin
Tom Kitchin.jpg
Kitchin in 2012
Born1977 (age 4546)
Edinburgh, Scotland
SpouseMichaela Berselius
Culinary career
Cooking style French cuisine
Current restaurant(s)
    • The Kitchin Etoile Michelin-1.svg
    • Castle Terrace
    • Scran & Scallie
    • Southside Scran
    • The Bonnie Badger
    • KORA

Thomas William Kitchin [1] is a Scottish chef and owner of The Kitchin, where he became Scotland's youngest winner of a Michelin star.


Kitchin and his wife Michaela opened The Kitchin in 2006 on Leith’s waterfront. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin Star in 2007, just six months after opening, making Kitchin Scotland’s youngest Michelin star chef proprietor at just 29 years old. The restaurant has retained its Michelin star every year since and has been recognised with numerous leading awards and accolades. In 2015, The Kitchin became Scotland’s only restaurant to hold 5 AA Rosettes.

Kitchin trained in some of Europe's leading kitchens, including La Tante Claire in London under Pierre Koffmann, and Guy Savoy in Paris, as well as Le Louis XV in Monaco, led by Alain Ducasse.


Born in Edinburgh, Kitchin attended Dollar Academy, a school in Dollar, Clackmannanshire. [2] After leaving school, he studied catering at Perth College before beginning an apprenticeship at the Gleneagles Hotel, near Auchterarder, Perth and Kinross. [2] [3] He has worked with Pierre Koffmann, Alain Ducasse, and Guy Savoy, all of whom have been awarded three Michelin stars. [4]

At the age of 29, he was awarded his first Michelin star, after The Kitchin had been in business for six months. [2] This made Kitchin the youngest Michelin star recipient in the world. [3] Albert Roux is reported to have said that Tom is the chef in Scotland most likely to win three Michelin stars. [2] His cooking style is to combine French techniques with seasonal Scottish ingredients, a style discussed in depth in his 2010 book From Nature to Plate. [5]

In July 2010, Kitchin opened a second restaurant, Castle Terrace, near Edinburgh Castle with chef Dominic Jack. Jack co-owned and ran the restaurant as a sister restaurant to The Kitchin, using the same style and "From Nature to plate" philosophy. [6] The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in 2011. The restaurant had to close in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. [7]

In 2010 he was voted Observer Food Monthly Cook of the Year. [5]

In June 2012, Kitchin received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree from Edinburgh Napier University for his significant contribution to Scottish food culture. [8]

In 2013, Kitchin and Jack opened Gastro-pub The Scran & Scallie in the Stockbridge area of the city. [9]


Kitchin has released four cookbooks to date. ·From Nature to Plate: Seasonal Recipes from The Kitchin, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, August 2009 From Nature to Plate was Kitchin’s debut book which launched at The Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2009. The book offers a fresh seasonal outlook with 100 of the chef’s favourite recipes, and follows his incredible journey from a young, ambitious trainee in his local country pub, to his exceptional success as Scotland’s youngest Michelin starred chef proprietor, achieving a star, aged only 29.

· Kitchin Suppers, Tom Kitchin, Quadrille Publishing, January 2012

· Tom Kitchin’s Meat & Game, Absolute Press, August 2017

· Tom Kitchin’s Fish & Shellfish, Absolute Press, August 2018

Media appearances

Kitchin has appeared as a guest presenter BBC’s The One Show as well as having appeared numerous times on Saturday Kitchen Live and MasterChef , [3] [10] and a brief appearance on Channel 4's Come Dine With Me on the 5th of December 2016 as a friend of contestant Larah Bross.

In 2019, The Kitchin was featured in the BBC2 series Most Remarkable Places to Eat. [11] He's also competed on the Great British Menu . [2] and hosted 2010 MasterChef winner Dhruv Baker for work experience at The Kitchin. [12]


In 2007, The Kitchin was awarded a Michelin-star and in 2015 it became Scotland’s only restaurant to hold 5 AA Rosettes, both of which the restaurant has held onto every year since. The Kitchin's other awards include:

• The Kitchin, 1 star in the MICHELIN Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2021

• The Kitchin, 5 AA Rosettes, AA Best Restaurants 2021

• The Kitchin, Best Restaurant Outside of London, Food & Travel Awards, 2021

• The Kitchin, Best Fine Dining Restaurant, No 2, UK, Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2021

• The Kitchin, Best Fine Dining Restaurant, No 10, Europe, Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards 2021

• Tom Kitchin, Chef Award, The Cateys, 2020

• Tom & Michaela Kitchin, Restaurateur of the Year, The National Restaurant Awards, 2019

• Tom Kitchin, Winner of Best Chef Regularly Cooking Game, Eat Game Awards, 2019

Personal life

Kitchin is married to Michaela, and they have four children. [13] Michaela is co-founder and executive director of Kitchin Group. She previously worked with the Savoy Group, [2] and spent nearly three years at the seven-star Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai. [14]

Michaela has been instrumental in the design of each restaurant within Kitchin Group, including the group's second restaurant Castle Terrace. [15]

Community support

Since Christmas 2015, Kitchin has been a celebrity supporter of global international development charity, Mary's Meals, which has its headquarters in Scotland, by supporting its annual "One More For Christmas" campaign. [16] As part of this campaign Tom featured in a video [17] showing viewers how to make "The Most Amazing Christmas Dinner", where he demonstrates how to set a place at the virtual dinner table, which provides a year's worth of meals for a child, at a cost of just £12.20 ($19.50 / €14.50). [18] As of December 2016, Mary's Meals provides daily meals in school for 1,187,104 children [19] in 12 developing countries. [20]


In January 2020, three of Kitchin's restaurants were failed by hygiene inspectors in less than a year. [21] [22]

In July 2021, Kitchin was accused of taking thousands of pounds of staff tips. [23]

Also in July 2021, multiple ex-employees of Kitchins's restaurants have accused Kitchin of emotional and physical abuse. Including punching and kicking his staff for making mistakes, mocking them for their hairstyle or perceived weakness at being a chef. [24]

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  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Devine, Cate (12 July 2010). "I'm ambitious, but I'm also very conscious that our fantastic life could change just like that". Herald Scotland.
  3. 1 2 3 Coventry, Laura (2 March 2011). "Masterchef guru Tom Kitchin reveals the gritty reality of life behind the range". The Daily Record.
  4. Blythman, Joanna (12 August 2006). "Restaurant Review: The Kitchin, 78 Commercial Quay, Leith, Edinburgh". The Guardian.
  5. 1 2 "Tom Kitchin Voted Observer Food Monthly's Cook of the Year". Orion Publishing Group. 18 October 2010.
  6. Paskin, Becky (14 May 2010). "Tom Kitchin to open second Edinburgh restaurant". Big Hospitality.
  7. Price, Katherine (30 June 2020). "Dominic Jack and Tom Kitchin confirm closure of Castle Terrace". The Caterer. Retrieved 30 June 2020.
  8. Daily, Record (20 June 2012). "Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin among those receiving honours from Edinburgh Napier". The Daily Record. Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  9. "Tom Kitchin & Dominic Jack on Michelin stars, the rise of Edinburgh and running a 'gastropub'". 20 August 2013.
  10. Judges: Gregg Wallace, John Torode; Narrator: India Fisher; Director: Dave Crerar (8 April 2020). "MasterChef: Series 16 Episode 20 of 24". MasterChef. BBC. BBC One . Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  11. Dewar, Caitlyn. "The Kitchin to make appearance on BBC 2 show Remarkable Places to Eat". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  12. Waters, Debra. "Minutes with Tom Kitchin". Delicious. Archived from the original on 23 August 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2011.
  13. Gerrard, Neil (3 April 2015). "Chef profile: Tom Kitchin". The Caterer. Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  14. Newlands, Emma. "The Big Interview: Michaela Kitchin, co-founder and executive director at Kitchin Group". The Scotsman. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  15. "Dream Kitchin as Michelin-starred chef serves up plans to rival Parisian scene". Fife Today. 12 July 2010.
  16. "Chef Tom Kitchin's ultimate Christmas dinner - Mary's Meals". Mary's Meals.
  17. Mary's Meals (13 December 2016). "The Most Amazing Christmas Dinner In The World with Tom Kitchin". Archived from the original on 20 December 2021 via YouTube.
  18. "Donate - Mary's Meals - Mary's Meals". Mary's Meals.
  19. "Who We Are - Mary's Meals". Mary's Meals.
  20. "Where We Work - Mary's Meals". Mary's Meals. 14 June 2022.
  21. Glover, John (20 December 2019). "Celebrity chef Tom Kitchin hit by fourth food hygiene fail in nine months". dailyrecord.
  22. McNulty, Tim (23 January 2020). "Tom Kitchin's Edinburgh eaterie failed by hygiene inspectors on 18 counts". edinburghlive.
  23. Bennett, Gabriella. "Top chef Tom Kitchin and wife accused of taking thousands from staff tips".
  24. "Tom Kitchin staff suspended amid bullying claims". 3 July 2021.