Age: 27

From Portpatrick to New York and back again, Rory Campbell knows quality sea food.

Growing up in a small fishing village, Rory was brought up helping in his family’s restaurant and on his father’s fishing boat.

“I’ve worked in just about every job in the restaurant. I started off washing pots and pans when I was 12 and I go out with my dad on my his fishing boat occasionally to help catch the crabs and lobsters that are served in the restaurant.”

As Rory got older, he found himself becoming more passionate about Scottish food, leaving his course in sports science to pursue a career in food and drink.

“I knew pretty quickly that sports science wasn’t for me. I swapped courses to start getting the right qualifications to work as a chef. After completing my course I was lucky enough to get to move to New York for six months where I interned with some of the most passionate and mindful chefs I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.”

Between working in the incredibly fast-paced kitchen of the exclusive NoMad Hotel in Manhattan and tasting his way around the incredible culinary scene in New York, Rory able to see the perception of Scottish food.

“Seeing the likes of Angus beef and Scottish salmon and langoustines on the menus of some of the top restaurants in New York was really inspiring and made me realise just how highly regarded our produce is overseas.

“I was also able to see first-hand the difference in the taste and texture working with non-Scottish seafood and it made me realise that we take the superior quality of our seafood for granted. Diners in Manhattan knew that the word ‘Scottish’ on the menu meant quality whereas we don’t really think anything of it here.”

Since working in New York, Rory’s been continuing to perfect his craft working as a chef in his family’s restaurant in Portpatrick with a particular focus on seafood.

“Staying in a rural village, I like to keep up-to-date with what’s going on in the food scene, particulary in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Both cities have amazing restaurants, cafes and pop-ups with chefs that like to do things a little differently.”

“I follow a lot of restaurants, chefs and food bloggers from all over the UK on Instagram. There’s one chef from Cornwall who shares a lot of his seafood ideas and he’s someone who I take a lot of inspiration from. Instagram has really helped revolutionise how we view food and follow food trends which is amazing. It’s really made the food scene accessible to young people.”

“The hospitality industry has a reputation for long hours which puts a lot of people off, but I want to help the change this perception. It’s a great industry to work in with so much variety which means that there’s something to suit every skillset, whether your niche is seafood, burgers, coffee, doughnuts or fine-dining and the list goes on. There’s been so much growth over the last few years, but I think that this is only the beginning.”

“Working in my family’s restaurant I’ve seen how hard it can be recruiting and retaining staff, but I don’t think people realise how amazing a career in food and drink can be for a lot of people. There are so many more training opportunities available now and there are so many people who have the knowledge and the skillset and the passion to share it with the next generation.”

For Rory’s #ScotFoodGoals he wants to see the industry continuing to grow. He wants to help people realise that we’re lucky enough to have some of the best quality produce (especially seafood) on our doorstep.

For his own personal goals, Rory knows that seafood and nutrition will always be his passion and he’s looking forward to continuing to learn and cooking. Rory’s planning on travelling more to see what people around the world are doing in the world of food and will be sharing his journey on his Instagram.

Watch Rory’s #ScotFoodGoals video