By ERIKKA ASKELAND.
Published by: business.scotsman.com.
Date: Wednesday 9 May 2012.
Celebrity chef Nick Nairn is today due to launch an “urban-format” cook school in Aberdeen, creating 12 jobs and representing £400,000 investment.
The chef also has ambitions to take the format, which has already attracted bookings from oil corporates, beyond Scotland.
Based in the former St Nicholas Kirk Hall, a B-listed building on a busy thoroughfare linking Union Street to Schoolhill, the new school will specialise in two-hour sessions at its “quick cook bar” as well as offering more traditional full-day courses and a cook shop.
The Aberdeen location is the second for Nairn, who will continue to run his initial branded cook school on the Lake of Menteith which has been in business for 11 years.
Nairn said: “We have a lot of oil and gas execs coming through – for therapeutic reasons. There is also a large amount of corporate business we do up here.
“We have great relationships with the likes of BP, Shell, Total – they have all booked corporate classes already.
“That corporate part was a big part of our business at Lake of Menteith with financial services – but not any more. Oil and gas is incredibly buoyant up here.”
Nairn said his firm had to shut down its outside catering business as a result of the economic downturn, but that his consulting arm – which designs menus for golf clubs, care homes and garden centres – has grown at the same time.
He added that, while business at the cook school in Stirlingshire had “definitely slowed down”, it has now stabilised and has started to grow again.
“I am fairly certain the reason it is growing again is the way people regard learning how to cook and entertaining at home – eating in has become the new eating out.”