A PROFESSIONAL cookery graduate of Ayrshire College has received the inaugural Andrew Fairlie Scholarship.

Emma-Rose Milligan, originally from Kilmarnock, is a demi chef de partie at Roux at Inverlochy Castle and was inspired to apply for the scholarship after returning from work in France.

Her time in France was part of a three-year training programme with one of the world’s most famous chefs, Albert Roux OBE.

Having also worked at Braehead Foods in Kilmarnock and The Three Chimneys in Skye, Emma-Rose has experienced so much in the hospitality world since leaving college in 2016.

The 24-year-old said: “I’m overwhelmed. I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. I was shocked that I won, but I’m so grateful to be recognised with this opportunity. I’m really looking forward to it.

“I looked up to Andrew Fairlie. I briefly met him when I first met Mr Roux, and he was a lovely man. You could see he was humble in everything he did and that despite being a world-class chef, none of the recognition went to his head.”

By winning the scholarship, Emma-Rose is an invited guest of the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland at the prestigious HIT Edinburgh lunch on November 22. Here she will meet Mark Flanagan, the Queen’s personal chef and head chef to the Royal household.

She added: “I’m looking forward to it. I’ll be answering a few questions about my career to date, and it’ll be great to meet Mark Flanagan and network with other talented chefs.

“There are so many people that have pushed me and helped me throughout the years, giving me the confidence and the knowledge to progress so far.

“I wouldn’t be here today without them, particularly the Ayrshire College lecturer Claire Anderson.”