Multi award winning Executive Chef at The Balmoral, Jeff Bland, studied City & Guilds (and was Student of the Year) at Bradford Technical College in the 1970s.
“I had a great time at College. It was where I saw
my first whole lamb and where I skinned my first
fish. I did my 147 and 151 exams, and passed
with flying colours by preparing a roast beef and
Yorkshire pudding that proved so popular I have
since given the recipe to hundreds of people over
the years. I also played 5 a side football at College
which was great fun. It was a time filled with new
experiences and it was really enjoyable meeting
other young cooks.”
Jeff spent time as chef to members of the Royal Family and has judged various culinary television programmes, including MasterChef. He became Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Manager at Cameron House Hotel and Country Club, Loch Lomond, where he was responsible for a team of 29 chefs spread over 3 kitchens. During this time, he was awarded his first Michelin Star.
He joined The Balmoral, Edinburgh, in June 1997 as Executive Chef. He is currently responsible for a team of 31 chefs, spread over four food and beverage outlets, including number one, now firmly established as one of Edinburgh’s top restaurants, and Hadrian’s as well as banqueting operations.
Jeff and the number one team retained their Michelin Star for the fifth year running, in January 2008 and received the “Fine Dining Experience” Award at the Scottish Restaurant Awards. Jeff is used to being number one, as he has been picking up awards for years – accolades include Drambuie Scottish Chef of the Year in 2003 and Icons of Scotland Award in 2004.
Jeff is dedicated to raising the standard of cuisine in Scotland and judges within key culinary competitions, including Springboard, an initiative to nurture young talent within the kitchen. He is also Chairman of the Scottish Academy of Culinary Arts, including the Adopt-a-School programme, designed to promote awareness of food, nutrition, hygiene and cooking in schools.
Jeff is an active Judge at the Annual Awards of Excellence – Scotland and an annual judge at the Scottish Food Scholarship which takes places at ScotHot each year.
Photograph supplied by The Balmoral Hotel