Edinburgh’s Kitchin Group has announced its first two University Excellence Award winners, as part of a new annual scholarship to help boost career prospects for students at Queen Margaret University (QMU).
MSc Gastronomy students, Noah Erhun from the USA and Sanna Dahllöf from Sweden, will now receive financial support to carry out independent research into sustainable food and the use of social media in the food industry.
The University’s MSc Gastronomy is the only course of its kind in the UK that takes a multidisciplinary look at food to examine its importance to culture, communication, systems and science and expose its complexity. The MSc Gastronomy course has fired the imagination of the country’s policy makers and legislators, as well as chefs, and those from a variety of food and drink related businesses. The course is currently recruiting with fees-paid places available to eligible applicants.
Over the next three years, Kitchin Group’s Annual Award for Excellence will also offer QMU’s international hospitality, tourism, and events management students the chance to apply for the scholarship to help support their studies.
The partnership will also offer QMU’s budding restauranteurs and hospitality professionals the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and potential employment within Kitchin Group which includes Michelin star restaurant, The Kitchin - led by internationally acclaimed Scottish chef Tom Kitchin, award-winning Castle Terrace Restaurant - one of Edinburgh’s most elegant dining destinations and gastropub, The Scran & Scallie which was recently awarded a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand. All three businesses are considered by the university as ‘Best Practices Businesses’ in terms of service, food and drink both within the city of Edinburgh and throughout the UK.
QMU 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.
Professor Monika Foster, Head of Division of Business, Enterprise and Management at QMU, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Kitchin Group for its investment and wish Noah and Sanna every success as they become the first QMU students to benefit from Kitchin Group’s Annual Award for Excellence.
“Our exciting partnership builds on QMU’s 140 years of experience in delivering hospitality and tourism education. QMU’s current hospitality and gastronomy lecturers consider themselves the custodians of the expertise passed down from the founders of the former Edinburgh School of Cookery. The University’s courses today are underpinned by some of the simple philosophies that were at the heart of the institution’s teaching over a century ago, whilst addressing current and future trends in both the food and drink industry and the way that food is thought about.”
Commenting on his award, Noah said: “I’m really grateful to the Kitchin Group for its financial support. This award is vital in allowing me to fully pursue my research, which I believe is complementary to the work and philosophy of the Kitchin Group itself.”
Sanna added: “Support from the Kitchin Group is highly valuable for my planned research. To get an insight into the organisation through my research is also a great opportunity for my personal development and my future career.
“Through my research I want to explore chefs' interpretations of sustainability in relation to fish, and how they put this understanding into practice, as well as which obstacles that they may encounter.”
Ron Kitchin, chairman of Kitchin Group, said: “As a business, we’re 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.”
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