Borthwick Castle chef to cook up a storm at Edinburgh Food Festival

Derek Johnstone, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle, near Gorebridge.
Derek Johnstone, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle, near Gorebridge.

One of Midlothian’s top chefs is gearing up to showcase his culinary flair at this year’s Edinburgh Food Festival, which is taking place in Assembly George Square Gardens July 19-28.

For the first time, the line-up of chef demonstrations will include former MasterChef: The Professionals winner, Derek Johnstone, Head Chef at Borthwick Castle, near Gorebridge.

Enjoying a panoramic view of George Square Gardens from a specially equipped treetop kitchen, Derek will be offering a rare one-hour insight into his own unique food style and inspiration, as well as sharing some of his top cooking tips.

Taking to the stage at 1pm on Sunday, July 28, Derek will be rediscovering some of Scotland’s lost ingredients and reinventing them in a modern and fresh way.

Derek, who is currently in the running to be named National Chef of the Year 2020, will create a dish of fermented asparagus spears with rapeseed mayonnaise, crispy lamb sweetbreads, buckwheat and woodruff.

Commenting on his debut at this year’s Edinburgh Food Festival, Derek said: “I’m looking forward to taking to the stage at Edinburgh Food Festival this year. I’ll be tapping into the history and heritage of Borthwick Castle by taking some of Scotland’s forgotten ingredients, and showing what can be achieved in the modern kitchen with a bit of time, attention and imagination.”

Derek will be joined in the new chef demonstration line-up by Scott Smith from Edinburgh Restaurant of the Year, Fhior; private events chef Barry Bryson from Cater Edinburgh; Jérôme Henry from Le Roi Fou; and Carina Contini of Edinburgh’s Contini George Street, Cannonball Restaurant & Bar on Castlehill and the Scottish Cafe at the Scottish National Gallery.

Entry to the chef demonstrations are free and non-ticketed but spaces are allocated on a first come, first served basis. The festival welcomes around 25,000 visitors of all ages to Edinburgh’s Assembly George Square Gardens each year.

Keep up to date with Edinburgh Food Festival 2019 at and on social media Facebook (, Instagram (@edfoodfest, #EdFoodFest19) and Twitter (@EdFoodFest, #EdFoodFest19).