Day in the Life: Edinburgh chef Barry Bryson shares his daily schedule, from walkies with Vera to hours of kitchen prep

Life has changed under lockdown for the Edinburgh chef

Barry Bryson
Barry Bryson


Even though I’ve been working late nights for most of my life, I’m still an early riser. Coffee is essential, then it’s straight out with my dog, Vera. I often think the walk is more for my benefit than for hers. We take a route up Calton Terrace, through London Road park, then home.


I start cooking after breakfast, which is usually porridge or eggs. I work alone much all of the time but with support from my husband, Robin, who does everything from peeling and chopping to my accounts. These days, I work on small project pop-ups, collaborations and food deliveries - anything the guidelines safely allow. I feel very lucky, as so many of my friends in the industry are in complete limbo.


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Mise en place is lengthy for me. Before my deliveries go out on Friday I will have done at least four 10 hour days of prep. I work straight through until 6.30pm every day, apart from Sunday. I like my little distractions though, such as the daily pop master quiz that I do with a coffee.


Barry Bryson plates

Social media has helped me connect with a direct market. I’ll often record a short video, photograph a dish or demo something for the page. I see it as my food diary. I’ll also answer emails and calls, talk to suppliers and chat to other chefs for advice. I don’t know when the hospitality events industry will be functional again but I feel more certain now that I want to continue to work in areas where I have the most to learn. I don’t know if I will go back to working the way I did before the pandemic.


The biggest change to my life is that I am home for dinner. Luckily Robin is a great cook. We’ll maybe watch a bit of Netflix. I have watched a fair bit of TV this year. I’ll have to wean myself off it a bit.


I take Vera for another short walk, and check on essentials like clean chef whites and last minute orders.


Bedtime. I am currently reading The Pie Room by Calum Franklin. I also quite like doing a crossword, though I usually fall asleep halfway through.

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