For my 3rd year international placement, I had many different ideas in my head as to where I wanted to go and in what type of establishment I fancied working in. Over the course of the 2 years before leaving, my mind changed over and over. It went from California to Florida to Canada and eventually ended up finally deciding on moving to Edinburgh, Scotland, I know what a change!! Finding work in the places mentioned was tough and did turn me off moving halfway across the world. Without the guarantee of a permanent job, it seemed too risky. However, I began to use TripAdvisor to find the best restaurants in Edinburgh that fit into the category of establishment I was looking to work in. I emailed so many restaurants and eventually, I was delighted to get a response from a Restaurant called 'Dine' in Edinburgh. I had my research done and knew this particular establishment was run by Stuart Muir, a Michelin star chef. Stuart ran a Michelin restaurant for many years before branching out and opening up his own restaurant which has since won the Brasserie award here in Scotland. it is a fine dining, Brasserie styled restaurant which is exactly what I wanted to help further my experience as a chef. So after talking with both Stuart and Martyn (sous chef), I got the job and they were eager for me to start immediately. That meant a job was now ticked off the long list of things I needed to do to move over. Next up was accommodation, this was so tiring. I'm convinced I rang every letting agency in Edinburgh looking for accommodation for 5 months, but seeing as college students were also back at a similar time I was looking to move out it was hard to find somewhere for such a short letting period. Not to worry I knew something would show up, so I flew out a week early before starting work and stayed in the Travel lodge, once again hounding down every letting agency in sight! I was finally sorted, I found a lovely 2-bed apartment, 20-minute walk from work and super close to all the shops and the city center! It was ideal. So another student and I moved in together, it was also really close to where she worked so we were both pleased. The following Monday I started work, the nerves were riling up as i walked into the building, but the minute I walked into the kitchen met all the other chefs I knew I would fit in. Everyone from the front of house to the bar staff, the kitchen staff and owners were so friendly and welcoming, I knew I would enjoy it. So far I'm 5 weeks in and couldn't be happier! I am trying out all sections in the kitchen, learning new methods of cooking and learning some new skills. Besides working I also get to explore Edinburgh on my days off. I typically have 2-3 days off a week and work a split shift for the other days. Edinburgh is a gorgeous city and leaving here in January for college placement will be tough but moving out to Miami will make it a little easier. As I stated earlier I had a long list of jobs still to finish. They included opening a bank account, getting a National Insurance Number (similar to a PPS number in Ireland) and of course settling into the new home. All of this was a lot easier having a friend in the same situation as you and both of you pulling each other along.
I have attached a link to the restaurant's page if anyone would like to check it out, we're currently changing our menus. They tend to change 5 times over the course of the year, updating new ingredients all in-season produce and also what is in the market. Being a part of this menu change is so much fun and getting to add your own ideas to the menu and help with the plating aspect is so cool.
Overall, I am delighted to be in Edinburgh, working in the establishment I am in and to have other students living in Edinburgh with me is great as you always have someone close by.