Michelin-star chef Martin Wishart to cook at homeless restaurant

Image source, Rory Weller
Image caption,
(L-R) Josh Littlejohn, Dean Gassabi, David Wither, Martin Wishart and Simon Littlejohn

Michelin-star chef Martin Wishart is to cook in a new restaurant set up to support the homeless in Edinburgh.

Home, is the latest venture by the team behind Social Bite - a chain of sandwich shops where customers can pay in advance for coffees and food for homeless people to pick up later.

Hollywood actor, George Clooney, visited one of the not-for-profit shops in Edinburgh last year.

Home opens on Queensferry Street in September serving French-Scottish food.

Mr Wishart, one of Scotland's top chefs, will create monthly specials and will guest chef in the kitchen himself once a quarter.

'Next evolution'

The restaurant, owned by the Social Bite charity, which is run by Josh Littlejohn, will be operated by Dean Gassabi of Maison Bleue restaurants.

Mr Wishart, David Wither of Montpelier Group and restaurateur Simon Littlejohn (Josh Littlejohn's father) will be on the board of Home.

Image source, Social Bite
Image caption,
George Clooney visited Social Bite in November 2015

As well as "a core of professional staff", Home will offer training and employment programmes for members of the Social Bite Academy, the charity's four-year, paid course for homeless people.

Mr Wishart will also be offering spaces at his cook school to members of the Social Bite Academy.

Every Monday from 15:00 to 17:00, the restaurant will open for a special service for the homeless.

'Fantastic dining experience'

Josh Littlejohn, of Social Bite, said: "I am grateful to these influential restaurateurs for supporting us to make this the best restaurant it can be.

"We see this restaurant as the next evolution of the Social Bite concept.

"It's a place where diners can come for an amazing dining experience but also support some of the most vulnerable people in our society at the same time.

"We will be inviting the homeless community into the restaurant every Monday 15:00 to 17:00 to eat with dignity - not to offer a hand out, but a hand up - to employment, stability and self-worth."

Dean Gassabi, of Maison Bleue, said: "We are thrilled to be partnering with Josh and the team at Social Bite on this exciting new venture.

"We will bring all of the ingredients that makes Maison Bleue successful - fresh produce, great value and excellent customer service - to create a fantastic dining experience.

"The idea of making a big difference in the community is something that was of big appeal to me and all of my team here, and we look forward to welcoming diners next month".

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