Tom Kitchin, owner of Edinburgh’s Michelin-starred restaurant The Kitchen, is the subject of a new Lexus Journeys in Taste short film.
The film, produced in partnership with Condé Nast, is the latest instalment in the Lexus Journeys in Taste documentary series, which explores exceptional tastemakers and their craft.
The film shows Kitchin walking the Scottish Highlands, foraging for wild berries to accompany a freshly hunted grouse, then at the wheel of his Lexus RX 450h, driving to specialist suppliers, including a gamekeeper, a fly fisherman and a whisky producer. As he surveys the beauty of the Highlands, he says: “Every time I’m out in the countryside I’m finding something new, and it’s sparking ideas for dishes. It’s part of my journey to be out there and explore.”
The film can be viewed here: Lexus Journeys in Taste – Tom Kitchin
Kitchin is renowned for seasonal food that’s defined by its honesty and naturally harmonious flavours and he treats his Scottish homeland as his larder. In addition to The Kitchen, 42-year old Kitchin, and his wife and business partner Michaela, also oversee a gastropub in Stockbridge, in Hampshire, and The Bonnie Badger, a hotel and restaurant in East Lothian.
At The Kitchen, his waterfront restaurant in Edinburgh’s historic port of Leith, Kitchin serves up his modern vision of Scottish food. Just one month after opening in 2006, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star for its locally sourced and foraged menu, making Kitchin the youngest Scot yet to win this award.
Kitchin sees himself as the last of a generation of hardcore cooks who cut their teeth in the toughest culinary environments. In the Lexus film he describes his time as a 21‑year-old Scotsman in Paris, who didn’t speak a word of French, determined to develop his career. He compares the life of a top cook to that of an athlete: “Being a chef isn’t a job, it’s a complete way of life; it’s passion and obsession.” This spirit has led Kitchin to become a driving force in the reinvention of Scottish cooking, transcending stereotypes of haggis, neeps and tatties.
By training with top French chefs, including Pierre Koffmann at La Tante Claire in Chelsea, Guy Savoy in Paris and later, and Alain Ducasse at Louis XV in Monte Carlo, Kitchin learnt French techniques that he applies with creative flair to his own Scottish cuisine. He comments: “My love affair with France will never die, but it’s important to celebrate where I’m from.”