This interview was taken from Informed Edinburgh May 2013:

image (4)Spotlight On: Demian Hobby – Head Chef at Ten Hill

Place Hotel

Born in France and brought up in Australia, 27 year old Demian has spent the last 10 or so years travelling, chefing and learning how to cook.
He was first drawn to the kitchen by the pressure of having to work quickly and precisely within a team, but didn’t think about taking on the prospect of it as a career until being part of a four-strong award winning team at the Diggers Rest in Devon in 2005.Since then he’s worked and travelled sporadically, taking in the flavours and ideas of South-East Asia, South America, Europe and North America, before settling in Edinburgh and working at Ten Hill Place Hotel. He creates seasonal bistro style menus using French cooking techniques and prime Scottish ingredients.

You’ve travelled and worked in a wide range of places – what drew you to Edinburgh? And what got you to stay?

I only intended on staying here a week. I didn’t know anything about Edinburgh and when I got off the train I was completely awestruck by the architecture and the look of the place. It wasn’t so much of a choice – it’s just that once I arrived I didn’t want to leave again.

How do you think travelling has influenced your cooking?

Quite simply if I hadn’t started travelling I wouldn’t be a chef. The way food brings family and culture together in all countries – and the way it’s celebrated by all people is something very special – It’s a universal pleasure shared by all of us lucky enough to have it.

What are the main principles for your menu at Ten Hill Place?

Using Prime Scottish meats and sustainable fresh fish; combining seasonal vegetables when flavours are at their best; using traditional bistro methods of cooking such as braising to bring the best out of all cuts of meat; constantly challenging ourselves for each menu; and providing good quality inventive a la carte food at affordable prices.

Demian Hobby Food

What’s your favourite dish on the menu?

That’s a tough one, but certainly in terms of presentation and variety it would have to be the trio of rabbit. We use the loin Balmoral chicken style- stuffed with haggis and wrapped in bacon with a whisky cream sauce on turnip fondant. We do the leg confit on broad bean mash with orange and rosemary jus and then we make a Japanese style broth using the stock from the rabbit carcasses and add miso paste, spring onions and surf clams to order to form a light, clear broth.

What’s your favourite flavour combination?

It depends on the season but at the moment my favourite is lamb and rhubarb – the latter caramelised as a sticky sauce covering a nice bit of braised neck. Also great for cutlets.

Career highlight?

Being able to design my own kitchen last year  was definitely a highlight, that as well as building up the team to where we are now.

Quickfire Questions

Favourite place in Edinburgh? Top of the crags on bonfire night

Favourite restaurant in Edinburgh? The Outsider on George IV Bridge

Describe Edinburgh in 3 words: Small, old and beautiful