Serving up a treat at Auchrannie

The kitchen gang get their instructions from head chef Colin Miller (left) and chef James Knowles (right).

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Arran Youth Foundations raised an amazing £1,005 by hosting their 6th annual cooking night at Auchrannie’s 1869 restaurant.

The event, held on Tuesday January 21 , was a huge success, with 40 guests sampling a three course menu.

For starters, the young people cooked and served tomato and basil soup, and haggis Scotch egg. Main course options were: corn-fed chicken breast, fondant potato, sticky shallot, crispy kale and pan jus; pan-seared salmon, crushed new potatoes and salsa verde; and five bean stew served with rice. Last, but not least, desserts were Oreo cheesecake, and ice cream sundae.

All of this was prepared by just seven young people, with some as young as 11.

AYF’s youth work project manager, Graeme Johnston, said: ‘We are so pleased with how the night went. The feedback we have had from guests has been excellent, with many saying the standard of food was what they would expect from a high class restaurant, far less from a group of young, novice school pupils.

‘We are very proud of the young folk, not only for their work in the kitchen, but for how well they ran front of house too.

‘I would like to say a huge thanks to many of our supporters, without whom the night wouldn’t have been possible: firstly, to the guests who came on the night, brought raffle prizes, and gave so generously with their donations; to Grant Coyne, and to his brother Duncan, who came down at very short notice after his work to help the young people in the kitchen (he is a veteran of the previous five restaurant nights after all!); and to Arran Dairies for their kind donation of ice cream.

‘The biggest thanks must go to the team at the Auchrannie – Richard Small for giving us the opportunity, Sheila Bannatyne, James Knowles, Garrie Ross, Craig Beedie, Alisha, and head chef Colin Miller. We really appreciate their efforts.’

Meanwhile,  Arran Youth Foundations are seeking enthusiastic sessional youth workers to join the team in 2020. Following a successful round of recruitment at the end of 2018, they are now looking to further add to their youth work team.

AYF delivers up to 16 weekly sessions, including cooking, guitar tuition, art psychotherapy, running and one-to-one mentoring. We also provide activities and trips through school holidays, including Alton Towers, outdoor education, and a range of other opportunities.

To apply, please email a CV and a paragraph or two on why you are applying for this post to