In the Spotlight with Adam Young, The Olive Branch Bistro

Those of you who know Edinburgh will agree that this “big” town is made up of lots of little villages. One of these “villages” is Broughton Street, which is a vibrant foodie haven, home to Artisan Roast (a must for those with a coffee addiction), The Bakehouse (ideal for those looking for good old fashioned homemade goodness) and L’Escargot Bleu (perfect for a fabulous French dining experience). At the foot of Broughton Street is The Olive Branch Bistro, which champions local and seasonal food with a Mediterranean twist. At the helm of this exciting family run bistro, which also serves delicious chocolate brownies and is the perfect locale to watch the world go past, is Adam Young.

Having spent time working in Australia’s culinary circles, Adam and his family took over the reins of the Olive Branch in November 2011, injecting a new lease of life into this relaxed bistro. This month we get up close and personal with Adam to find out what makes him tick in and out of the kitchen….

1. Name: Adam Young

2. Current position: Chef/Proprietor at the Olive Branch Bistro

3. What is your signature dinner party dish?  My signature party dish would usually be something that you can put out on the table and everyone can get stuck into, taking as much or as little as they want. On a nice summer’s evening it would be a big bowl of mussels with tomato, saffron, white wine and bacon, some crusty bread and a bowl of fresh salad. Something not too heavy so there is plenty of room for a few beers and wines after.

4. Who encouraged you to get into the kitchen? I always had a passion for cooking in any form from a very young age. Even at that time, I also had a keen interest in business. At the age of fourteen, I had a job washing dishes in a local hotel. When it came to earning a living, the natural choice was to get a job in the kitchen and train to be a chef. It just grew from there.

5. What store cupboard essentials could you not live without? Fresh chillis, saffron, anchovies and tabasco.

6. What five dishes should everyone be able to cook from scratch?  Everybody should be able to make a good soup. Once you know what flavours go with what you can make a huge variety without spending too much money. A decent and interesting salad like honey roast root veg, spinach and grilled hallumi and a sweet raspberry dressing, garnished with some chopped walnuts. A good simple pasta maybe a putanesca which is always popular in the restaurant. A smoked fish and veg pie with a creamy cheddar mash topping is always a favourite. For a pudding being able to put a spin on a traditional dish is always good. Instead of bread and butter pudding try using brioche, cinnamon and apricot, served with a light anglaise.

7. Which five famous people would you like to invite to your own home to cook for?  Kevin Bridges, Charlie Brooker, Peter Griffen, Biffy Clyro, Samuel L Jackson.

8. What do the contents of your own fridge at home say about you?  That I’m hardly there. A few beers, a bottle of wine, milk and eggs. Maybe some cooked chicken for a late night snack.

9. What do you to relax and unwind when you’re not cooking up a storm? I’m at the gym a lot or playing squash which I find a great stress reliever. Also I like to socialise as much as I can. On top of that thinking about what’s coming up next and if the business is as prepared as possible for that. Doing a bit of market research is always good to see what the competition is offering too.

10. What sort of legacy would you like to leave in the world of food? Good uncomplicated food that is interesting and that everybody can enjoy in relaxed comfortable surroundings. A really enjoyable experience.

The Olive Branch Bistro, 91 Broughton Street, Edinburgh 
To book call 01315578589 or email  


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