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Old Course greenkeepers prepare for 144th Open with top Chef leading “roll” call

3.58pm 14th July 2015 - Course Development

Tom Kitchin
Tom Kitchin

The greenkeeping team at the Old Course, St Andrews Links, welcomed Michelin star chef Tom Kitchin to help the brigade prepare for the 144th Open Championship.

Tom, who is owner and head chef at award-winning The Kitchin, surprised Old Course Manager Gordon McKie and the 60-plus strong greenkeeping team as they returned for a breakfast break after another morning session of preparation on the Old Course.

He spoke to the greenkeepers at the world’s most famous Links as it prepares for the 29th staging of The Open at St Andrews, outlining some of his experiences in the world’s greatest kitchens and the importance of team work, planning, preparation and most importantly enjoying the moment.

The Old Course crew are starting work at 3.30 a.m. for morning preparation this week before returning for another shift later in the day with many staying onsite 24/7.

Tom said: “I’ve worked in kitchens around the world and been part of some big teams but it’s incredible to see the guys all together and when you look around you can start to appreciate the vast amount of work undertaken, not just every day this week but years prior with planning and preparation to get to this point. It’s a phenomenal effort from the guys.”

Course Manager Gordon McKie added: “It was a great thrill for everyone to see Tom standing at the kitchen pass when we arrived for breakfast today. There’s a huge sense of pride and honour in where we have the opportunity to work each day and Tom certainly echoed those views. He spoke about working as part of a crew in a kitchen and there are clearly some similarities with how we come together here.”

Tom, the youngest recipient of a prestigious Michelin star, got mixed in with the caterers who are delivering meals for the greenkeeping team all week, helping to prepare breakfast rolls for the team.

He joked: “I thought I worked long hours in the kitchen but what the team at the Old Course are doing this week is just unbelievable. They will all deserve a good rest after Sunday!”

Tom Kitchin is chef and owner of the award winning Kitchin in Leith, Edinburgh. He is a friend of Tom Morris, the heritage clothing brand established in St Andrews in 1848 and now operated by St Andrews Links.

St Andrews Links Trust

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