Gleneagles chef set to tuck into Kilimanjaro challenge

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By Michael MacLeod

CANCER-conquering chef Andrew Fairlie is planning his next challenge to summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

And as Scotland’s top hotel chef, he wants to serve up haggis, neeps and tatties when his trek team reaches the top.

He told a weekend interview that he plans to climb a mountain a month in preparation for the 2011 adventure.

The 45 year-old Gleneagles Hotel restaurant boss recently cooked for world leaders of the G8 summit.

But he says reaching the summit of Africa’s highest mountain is “a walk in the park” compared to conquering cancer, so he’s raising money for the charities that helped save his life.

He said: “It’s certainly going to be an adventure.

“I’m hugely excited about getting to Tanzania though I feel a bit nervous about getting in shape.

“I want to make sure I’m as fit as possible, so my New Year’s resolution for 2010 is to climb a mountain a month.

“Hopefully after a while it’ll feel like a walk in the park.”

Brain tumour

The dad of two was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2005 after a seizure on holiday in the Middle East.

After life-saving surgery, Fairlie rebalanced his stressful work pattern by cutting back on 14-hour shifts in the plush hotel.

Now he’s gearing up for a new challenge, and hope to dish out a Burns Supper at the peak of Kilimanjaro.

Having previously supported the Maggie’s Centres cancer charity, the chef is again dedicating his spare time to others.

“Fantastic cause”

He is teaming up with 15 walkers raising money for the Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland, which offers a helping hand to struggling young chefs.

Fairlie said: “I’ve always tried to give something back.

“After I had my operation I was more determined to work closely with Maggie’s and others who are ill.

“HIT Scotland is another fantastic cause, offering a leg-up to young chefs struggling to get their career started.”

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