Chef Watch – Phil White of LeftField, Edinburgh

Chef Watch

Featuring Phil White of LeftField, Edinburgh

How long have you been a chef?

Very long time, Tom. I started when I was 16 at the National Exhibition Centre. It was great. We cooked from 4 people up to 2000. We also got to sneak into the gigs at the arena afterwards.

Why did you become a chef?

School never appealed to me so I didn’t do so well with grades. It was either cooking or join the Navy. My mum didn’t let me join the Navy, so cooking it was.

Favourite ingredient

Wow! It’s like asking who is your favourite child. At the moment I’m playing around with koji from our good friend Robin Sherriff from Koji kitchen. We’ve got some cool things planned for 2022.

Favourite or signature dish

Crispy squid has been a firm favourite on the menu, also the slow cooked beef brisket, truffle and parmesan.

Favourite kitchen tool or equipment (apart from sharp knives)

I have a long grabber thing that I got ridiculed for buying but now everyone uses it, also I love a spoonula, like a spatula but spoon shape.

Food hero(es)

As we are more seafood based it’ll have to be the great guys who bring us our seafood. Very hard and dangerous job. I have been offered to go out on the boats but I would not last 5 mins.

Any food you can’t/won’t eat

I’ll eat just about anything.

Comfort food/guilty secret

Hobnobs, always have a packet in my cupboard.

Stupidest customer or kitchen experience

I burnt my armpit once. Really stupid and sore.

After his initial training at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Phil worked in various London hotels before arriving in Edinburgh in 1991. He had spells at The Atrium, Café St Honoré and Fishers in Leith before opening LeftField in Bruntsfield with his partner Rachel in March 2017. I’ve read articles in which he describes his cooking as simple. Trust me, it’s not – but it is fabulous. Click here for the recent review, which scored a whopping 21.5.


LeftField, 12 Barclay Terrace, Edinburgh, EH10 4HP


Chef Watch will return in the new year





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