Head Chef at The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale
Scott Fairweather, aged 28, is the Head Chef of The Black Swan, in Ravenstonedale, nestled in the heart of the Eden Valley, Cumbria. Beginning kitchen life at the age of 15, he has progressed quickly through working in some of the country's top kitchens, entering competitions and showing dedication to all things food and drink.
He was introduced into Cumbria's dining scene at the age of 21 and since then has become recognised across the county as one of the leading pub chefs, known for creative and flavourful food that is inspired by the pubs surroundings and driven by local, seasonal ingredients.
With a wealth of experience at such a young age, achievements to date include holding 2 AA Rosette Awards for Culinary Excellence for the past 6 years in 2 different kitchens, previously being named Cumbria Life 'young chef of the year' and also a 'national pub chef' finalist in 2014 and 2015. In his previous role, he held Cumbria's 'Dining pub of the year' title for 4 years.
Moving to the Black Swan in October 2016, Scott's goals remained the same as they always have been. To cook and serve consistent, attractive pub food with a creative slant, that is full of flavour & shows off his individual personality.
Here's Scott's own words on why he chose to study hospitality and catering at LMC and all the things he's experienced since...
I chose Lancaster & Morecambe College because it was local to me as I was working within the Lancaster area. I had already completed my GCSEs and A-Levels whilst working part-time as a chef on evenings and weekends. I had decided on my career choice from a really young age; I love to eat and drink, I enjoy cooking, I like having the chance to be creative with art and design, I’m interested in business management and mathematics… so, why not get paid for the chance to do everything I enjoy!? I was lucky that my choice was easy, I wanted to gain some official qualifications in cookery to back up my work based knowledge and LMC provided this for me.
I enjoyed the chance to cook in a different environment, even if it was just one day per week, and my manager at the time gave me full support in helping me to pick the right course and gave me the opportunity to become an apprentice.
The best part of the course was meeting new people who have different experiences and backgrounds, also the chance to test your knowledge or ideas alongside people of similar age and ability. It was the first time I had spoken to a professional about my food, outside of my working environment, and the course tutors really helped me to develop my own style of presentation, flavour and cooking techniques that I still refer back to today.
Lancaster & Morecambe College helped me to increase confidence in myself, not just teaching me the basics of classical cookery, but enabling me to achieve as much as I want to achieve. It was there that I realised you can get as much out of your chosen career as you put in, it’s all about having the motivation, a good group of people around you, and the ethic to work, work, work! I was awarded ‘Apprentice of the Year 2011’ which I was extremely grateful for and really topped off my time here.
For anybody thinking about doing a Hospitality course at LMC I would say; the course is great because it gives you the vital ground knowledge which I feel is essential to any chef’s career. I am very passionate about this foundation of learning and I have progressed seven of my own chefs through the NVQ Level 2 and 3, two of which went on to do an advanced pastry course in their own time.
Throughout my roles as Head Chef at The Punch Bowl, Crosthwaite and my current role as Head Chef at The Black Swan, I have had the opportunity to do some great things and meet some amazing people. Over the last three years I have been asked to do demonstrations across the county such as the Westmorland County Show, Taste Cumbria and Country Fest, alongside people such as The Hairy Bikers, James Martin, Paul Rankin, Aldo Zilli, Peter Sidwell and the Lake District’s top chefs like Simon Rogan. From this I was asked to teach Jamie Oliver’s fifteen organization, London in 2012 and have returned each year for a day of demonstrations and fun with the new intake of students. I have appeared in countless magazines locally and nationally, including ‘Good Food’ and ‘Olive’ as well as having my own recipe column in the Lancaster Guardian for a number of years. I have also been lucky enough to eat at some of the country’s top restaurants through my working relationships, including Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley Hotel, Le Gavroche, Gordon Ramsay’s Maze Grill Royal Hospital Road and Tom Kerridge’s The Hand and Flowers. The only thing missing now is my own Michelin starred restaurant, watch this space…!
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