Head Chef, Derek Johnstone, shortlisted for National Chef of The Year

Borthwick Castle, Scotland’s finest fifteenth century keep near Edinburgh, is delighted to today announce its chef Derek Johnstone has been shortlisted for The Craft Guild of Chefs - National Chef of the Year Awards.

As winner of the inaugural MasterChef the Professionals in 2008 Derek joined Michel Roux Jnr at Le Gavroche then continued with the Roux family dynasty in both London and Scotland. In 2014, as Chef Patron, Johnstone transformed the 1830s-built Golf Inn in Gullane, East Lothian, into a boutique restaurant-with-rooms.  

Johnstone joined Borthwick Castle in 2017 following its two-year restoration. His menus are classical based with contemporary presentation incorporating modern cooking techniques. Coupled with his passion for seasonal produce Derek is leading Borthwick Castle’s reputation as Scotland’s leading food connoisseurs private hire venue. In late 2017 Johnstone launched an exclusive seasonal Dining Club at Borthwick which celebrates bespoke experiential menus paired with fine wines.  

Speaking about today’s news Borthwick Castle said: “We are delighted for Derek and wish him well in the semi-finals. Derek’s food is a delicate and contemporary take on Scottish cuisine which supports Borthwick’s primary desire to remain authentic whilst offering modern luxury. His finesse is obvious; his courage is inspiring; his demeanour is engaging –during his interview at Borthwick Castle, Derek presented a soufflé for dessert, bravely whipped up in a kitchen he hadn’t used before; it was truly the piece de resistance!”  

Overseen by Gary Jones, executive head chef at Belmond Le Manoir as Chair of judges, David Mulcahy, Alyn Williams, Peter Joyner, Andrew Bennett, Russell Bateman, Phil Howard, Steve Scuffell, Sarah Hartnett, Gary Hunter and Willie Pike whittled the impressive list down to 40. At this stage, all judges scores are based on descriptions of dishes, cooking method and photographs of the completed menus.  

The Sheffield semi-final will take place on the morning of Tuesday, 12th June 2018.

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