Scottish chef Derek Johnstone has always been hugely passionate about food and his love for cooking was easily recognisable at a very young age. It would be no surprise that his natural attachment to cooking would turn out to be his chosen profession.
After finishing his studies at Glasgow’s college of food technology Derek began working in some of Scotland’s finest country house hotels, where he quickly ascended to senior positions.
In 2008 at the age of 24, Derek became the BBC MasterChef the Professionals inaugural Champion, which was not only a major achievement for himself but also an earlier promise that he had made to his grandmother who had encouraged him to cook professionally.
After his triumph Derek accepted a Job offer at the 2 Michelin star, Mayfair restaurant Le Gavroche working under the guidance of Michel Roux Jnr. After an incredible year and a half of learning and developing, Derek was then offered the position of Sous chef by the 3 Michelin star chef Albert Roux in one of his London restaurants.
Derek spent 4 years working under the tutelage of Albert Roux, moving his way up to a head chef position back home in his native Scotland. Throughout his time spent with chef Albert he visited Europe gaining experience working in other Michelin star restaurants. He spent time at the 3 Michelin star restaurant De Karmeliet in Belgium and the 1 Michelin star restaurant DO near Milan.
In 2017 Derek accepted the position of Head chef at Borthwick Castle a luxury exclusive hire venue 12 miles from Edinburgh. Derek’s efforts at Borthwick Castle where recognised in 2018 when he was awarded the Scottish Event Chef of the Year award and achieved a spot on the podium, finishing 2nd in the National Chef of the Year competition.