Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's head chef shortlisted for award

The head chef at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) who uses produce grown by gardeners on site in his food has been shortlisted for a UK-wide award.

Ben Harrison is renowned for using fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs and other plants grown on site in his creations in the Gateway Restaurant and Terrace Cafe at RBGE.

He has been shortlisted for the Sports and Leisure FSM award, an industry accolade recognising the UK’s top contract caterers.

Cafe general manager, Fraser Sharp, who put Harrison forward for the award and who won an award himself two years ago, said: "Over the past four years, Ben has built up a fantastic reputation at RBGE for his innovation and dedication. He is passionate about using fresh, local and sustainable produce to create menus and offers that are genuinely popular with customers.

"His work incorporating produce from our Edible Garden Project matches and reflects our increasing demand for ethical and green credentials."

Harrison started his career as a sous chef with Sodexo Prestige in 2003 and worked his way up to his current role.

He said: "I am passionate about using sustainable and fresh food in all my dishes when possible, so having the Edible Garden Project so close to our kitchen is brilliant.

"Whatever is fresh and in-season in the garden we can use in our dishes and it makes a real difference to the quality and taste of all our food."

The Edible Garden Project, run by RBGE gardeners with the help of volunteers aims to help people grow their own fruit and vegetables and offers visitors advice on how to start their own garden at home.

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