Forth Valley apprentice chefs handed control of takeaway menu at restaurant

A Linlithgow chef has used lockdown to train a trio of apprentices.

Friday, 9th April 2021, 9:06 am

Linsey Scott, proprietor of Mason Belles Kitchen, which also has a base in Dunblane, put them in charge of the takeaway menu for a week at a time.

Jamie Thomson (21) from Falkirk, Lara Aitken (20) from Addiwell, and Marianne McKie (27) from Denny, were given free rein to design and create their own takeaway menus.

First launched last November, it offers everything from afternoon teas, to a wide choice of starters, mains and desserts.

Jamie Thomson from Falkirk

The takeaway service was created during lockdown and has enjoyed good local support.

Linsey said: “It was a real shame that my young chefs literally had to stop learning through lockdown, so I came up with the idea of giving them free rein to design and create their own takeaway menus.”

“It wasn’t just a case of designing the menus - they had to keep a close eye on costings, on staffing, and bear in mind that several dishes had to be able to be reheated at home, without any compromise of flavour, texture, or taste.

“A project like this was certainly something that, as a young chef, I would have dearly welcomed.”

Jamie came up with dishes such as Pesto Butternut Squash Noodles and Prawn and Salmon Fritters in a Yuzu Lin Gin Batter.

Marianne choose to hero Roast Lamb Rump and Pork Fillet, also creating a Biscoff Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Lara’s menu offered a delicious Blackened Cauliflower Steak, alongside Bang Bang Chicken and a Pavlova dessert.

The valuable on the job training enabled the trio to finish important milestones within their level 2 professional SVQ cookery course, with Linsey arranging for assessors to come on site to the restaurant to evaluate them in a Covid safe environment.

Linsey added: “Everyone pitched in for Mother’s Day weekend to create an amazing afternoon tea and brunch menu, with 200 covers going out the door, which was a fantastic achievement.”

She added: ““Putting time and effort into the training of our young chefs is investing in the future of our business as we come out of this pandemic.”

Mason Belles Kitchen Linlithgow will reopen on April 28.

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