A Rising Star
Hospitality student Sara-Jayne Strachan returned to Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) ten years after gaining an HNC in Professional Cookery.
Sara-Jayne, 30, who is also known as Salsa, is now graduating with an HND from SRUC’s Elmwood campus in Fife.
“I returned to college so that hopefully one day soon I can work with SRUC or another college and give back some of my knowledge,” she said.
In the years between studying, Sara-Jayne has worked in restaurants as far afield as the Channel Islands and London, to St Andrews and Shetland.
Having worked as a stagiaire – or unpaid intern – in Tom Kitchin’s eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant in Edinburgh, she has another opportunity lined up at Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flowers in Marlow in September, and also hopes to get work experience at the Peat Inn in Fife, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie.
“I believe this is a good way to learn your trade and look at it as a kind of chefs’ university,” she said. “The chef I look up to 100 per cent is Gordon Ramsay. He has inspired me from my beginnings as a chef and all the way throughout my career because of his drive for perfection.
“I think that his food is absolutely amazing and the amount of talented chefs that have emerged after working for and with him – such as Marcus Wareing, Angela Hartnett, Clare Smyth and Steven Ellis – shows that he is also a talented leader who gets the best out of his staff.
“It is my dream to work in as many of the best kitchens in this country as I can and then pass that knowledge onto the next generation of eager young chefs.”