Michelin-star chef to cook up career in city

HIS best-known dishes have included ingredients such as Horlicks and Weetabix, and he once served a puree on a toothbrush next to a minty mouthwash.

And now Michelin-starred chef Paul Kitching says he is looking forward to bringing his inventive style of cooking to the Capital.

The chef – who has impressed the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White – is looking for a property in the New Town for the 2 million project, which he hopes to open before Christmas.

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Mr Kitching, who has held a Michelin star for 11 years for his style of cooking at Juniper, near Manchester, said he was attracted by the "open-mindedness" of Edinburgh's eating-out culture.

He said: "There's no city outside London that can match Edinburgh. We want to create another quality place like the Balmoral, Restaurant, Martin Wishart or the Kitchin. There's much more of a market here than in Manchester. There's an open-mindedness about Edinburgh, whereas in Manchester people's tastes are more classical."

He and his partner Katie O'Brien plan to move to Edinburgh with his second chef and head pastry chef, as well as other staff members after they close Juniper in April.

Mr Kitching's new venture will be called Hotel Angela, in memory of his late mother, and will have six or seven bedrooms and a restaurant which can seat 35 diners.

"We're looking at buildings in George Street, Charlotte Square and Elm Row," he said. "It's going to be a small restaurant and a boutique, Georgian house hotel.

"The idea is to go in all guns blazing. We want to get our Michelin star as soon as possible, and push on to a second star. This is the last move I'll ever make. We just wanted a bigger stage."

His style is classic French with an individual twist and he has won praise for dishes including roast lamb with Weetabix.

He said: "I like people to taste food they've never tasted before. I was quite a late starter. I only got semi-serious about cooking in my early 20s. I started washing pots in a restaurant and I totally fell into it. My mum couldn't boil an egg.

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"I think if you sit long enough, with enough champagne, the ideas will start flowing."

He takes a hands-on approach to cooking, and is in his kitchen almost every night.

Edinburgh restaurateur Martin Wishart, who has won a Michelin star for his Leith eatery, said: "I'll be one of the first to welcome Paul Kitching to Edinburgh. I know him well. He does a different style of food than more traditional restaurants . . . a welcome change.

"I'm delighted that the city I was born in is attracting such good chefs."