Michelin-Starred Chef Tom Kitchin
Kitchin Confidential (Hello! Canada)
During chef Tom Kitchin’s early years of training, there were many times he wanted to give up. Though he’s now a Michelin-starred chef, in his youth Tom worked gruelling 17-hour days in high-stress kitchens for low pay – and he often wondered if it was worth it. “I used to get shouted at every day,” Tom, now 33, recalls. “Other chefs left all the time. But every time one left, it would make me a little stronger. It gave me a gritty determination to succeed.”
And succeed he did. Seventeen years after he dropped out of high school to pursue his dream of becoming a world-class chef, he returned to Scotland from abroad to open his own restaurant, aptly named the Kitchin, on Edinburgh’s waterfront. The area was once so seedy it served as the setting for Trainspotting, but now diners flock there to enjoy Tom’s French-inspired Scottish fare. And as Tom tells Hello! Canada, this popularity makes for a hectic home life.
“My morning starts at six with my two-year-old son, Kasper,” Tom reveals. “And I’m in the kitchen [at work] just after seven. It’s full-on!” Tom shares this fast-paced lifestyle with his “best friend” Michaela, his wife and business partner. The Swedish beauty – initially Tom’s close friend, and later his roommate in London – trained in hotel management in the Middle East, while Tom learned from master chefs in Europe.
Michaela and Tom confessed their love for each other during a magical dinner in Dubai, seven years after they first met, and embarked on a romance. Together, the food-loving couple opened the Kitchin in June 2006, and were married two months later. Michaela takes care of public relations and manages the staff. Tom, meanwhile, focuses 100 per cent of his energy on the food. “She’s got such respect among the staff and myself, but the main thing is she avoids coming into the kitchen when we’re in service,” he says with a laugh. “She allows me to do the cooking, which is really what I’m good at – and what I really want to do.”
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