SRUC’s Elmwood hospitality and professional cookery students are preparing to demonstrate their cooking and front of house skills for some their most demanding clients yet.

This week they will be  looking after MSPs and invited guests as they ‘pop up’ in the Scottish Parliament’s Members’ restaurant for one night only.

Guiding and supporting the 10 students will be the Scottish Parliament’s executive chef Liam MacDonough, who is handing over his kitchen and restaurant to the next generation from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) Elmwood Campus.

Preparation work started months ago with the students designing  their own menu to meet the Parliament’s high standards and within a set costing.

The menu will include a Scottish salmon and langoustine starter, followed by a slow cooked blade of Scotch beef and finished with a trio of deserts named ‘A taste of the autumn orchard’.

SRUC hospitality and professional cookery students are trained to also work front of house and serve and tend to their guests. On the night there will be five students working hard in the kitchen, and five out front serving the VIP guests – they expect to serve around 30 covers throughout the evening.

Also on hand  throughout the day will be SRUC’s chef lecturer Mark Barker and programme leader for hospitality Vicki Munro. Speaking ahead of the event at the Parliament, Vicki said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the students and for SRUC Elmwood, and I am very appreciative of Liam allowing us to take over service in his kitchen and restaurant.

“We will be showcasing our students’ talents in the kitchen and also front of house – we are honoured to be able to invite five VIP guests to the restaurant normally reserved for MSPs only.

This will add to the pressure and also the excitement, as they will also be cooking for and serving SRUC’s acting chief executive Janet Swadling!”

SRUC’s research and education activities operate from six campuses and eight farms and research centres across Scotland. Its consultancy arm, SAC Consulting, supports more than 12,000 farms and rural businesses across the UK from 25 consultancy offices and eight veterinary disease surveillance centres.

SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) was established in 2012 through the merger of Barony, Elmwood, Oatridge Colleges and the Scottish Agricultural College (SAC).

More information on the wide range of courses available at Scotland’s Rural College, including at the Elmwood Campus can be found at

Photograph: The Members’ restaurant team L-R: Euan Welsh, Elena Frizzo, Craig Trewern, Kelly King, Nicole Cumming, Paddy Cumming, Anne-Marshall, James Finlayson, Matthew Keith. (Lee Hall is absent)


Leave a Reply