The Kilted Lobster

From cookery classes to meal banks,
a new social enterprise restaurant

The Kilted Lobster will serve up local produce while donating all of its profits towards its Cooking Up A Storm initiative.

The scheme will offer workplace and job training for those with barriers to work, cookery classes for single parent families who wish to learn how to cook healthy and nutritious food on a budget and classes for those diagnosed with food-related health conditions or allergies.

But that's not all. The owners also plan to set up a 'meal bank‘ that will give people facing financial hardship the chance to net a complimentary meal in the restaurant.

Owner and head chef Colin Hinds decided to open his own Edinburgh restaurant with a social twist after working as a chef for more than 20 years across the UK.

"Alongside the restaurant work, I've been involved in different projects over the years," Colin said.

I used to be a guest lecturer when I worked in England and we used to do courses helping single parent families and teach them how to cook nutritional healthy tasty food, but to a lot of people that’s quite confined to budgets so we’re trying to teach people how even on a smaller budget you can eat really healthy fruit and vegetables. I’ve also worked with people with barriers to work over the years, I’ve given lots of people chances to learn how to begin working in hospitality at various restaurants.

I really wanted to enforce it in my own restaurant as it’s something I’m really passionate about,” Colin explained.

“On top of that, I come from quite a poor background myself. I remember growing up on the outside of Glasgow lots of people not having any money.

"When I was growing up, if you went to a restaurant it had to be an extremely special occasion. I know people can go to food banks and pick up ambient foods and thought 'you know what would be really nice? I think it would be nice for people coming to a restaurant with their family having a really nice tasty meal and you don't have to do the dishes’. There’s no stigma attached to that, it’s a really nice thing to do."

Alongside the social enterprise aspect, the restaurant will offer diners fresh Scottish seafood with a seasonal twist, using local ingredients with a global blend.

The launch menu features seafood dishes including lobster arancini, alba skink and seared fillet of hake, while meat options include venison stovies and organic belly pork.

"I started off my career in Glasgow then travelled the world." Colin said.

"When I came back to Scotland a few years ago, I realised the restaurant scene had changed ever so slightly. There were a lot of breweries and branded restaurants had taken over the landscape for restaurants so what we wanted to do was create a really good Scottish seafood and meat restaurant using all the local produce and suppliers we could find to create really interesting exciting menus. It's Scottish ingredients, but we’re using all different flavours from the world. It’s not confined to one genre of cooking although the ingredients are Scottish. We’re basically showcasing Scottish ingredients in a world cuisine."

The Kilted Lobster will open from Tuesday, October 13th with a taster menu running at lunch and dinner from Thursday, October 22.

With the first project underway, Colin explained The Kilted Lobster is just the first stepping stone as they plan to open five social enterprise restaurants within the next seven years.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest menus and the social enterprise initiative via The Kilted Lobster Facebook page.

The above article by Claire White first published on in Oct, 2015.