What’s cooking at 21212? Quickfire Q&A with chef Paul Kitching

Paul Kitching at 21212 in EdinburghHere at Smith HQ, when we’re not living, breathing and loving boutique hotels, we’re drooling over delectable dinners in London, long lunches in Languedoc, superior coffee in the capital and wine-tasting events – even wedding cakes made of cheese. (We take our ‘tastemaker’ title quite seriously, you see.) Typing is mainly practised one-handed, to enable a non-stop snack stream to pass unhindered into our greedy (but still oh-so-selective) bellies.

In short, we’ve decided to put more foodie posts on the blog menu, and resurrect our series of interviews with the food world’s Michelin-starred great and good (see our previous interviews with the awesome Alain Ducasse and mighty Michael Caines).

Since we’ve been knocking around in Edinburgh recently to update you on this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, we thought we’d make our first port of call 21212, to check up on maverick chef Paul Kitching (above right).

Inside Edinburgh: mind-reading Fringe fixture Chris Cox predicts your favourite acts

Edinburgh Festival FringeWe know what you’re thinking: how on earth do I pick out the cream of the comedy and avoid the am-dram dullards at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

How do we know this? Because entertainer, comedian and all-round showmanship-wonder Chris Cox has been peering into his murky toughened glass ball, and he told us. Not via high-energy brainwaves and mind-bending telepathy, but via high-energy thumb and mobile telephony.

Chris Cox – comedian, mind-reader, entertainerChris has performed sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival, in London’s West End and at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival, won numerous awards and plaudits from critics and colleagues (Ricky Gervais said he was ‘brilliant’).

Using, as he puts it, ‘a mongrel hybrid mix of witty chit chat, magic, psychology, body language, influencing, devilish good looks… and lying’, he has provided us with the insider’s insider guide to surviving (and enjoying) the Edinburgh Fringe (including such gems as, how to make a giant ball out of flyers, where to fill your face-hole, and the tip-top acts to catch).


In the diary: Edinburgh Festival Fringe



When? 6–31 August
Edinburgh, Scotland
A million people throng the steep streets of Edinburgh to celebrate music, theatre and comedy at the world’s biggest arts festival.

Style Before they were famous
Setting Athens of the north

Event highlights These are always unpredictable, but some locations, such as the Speigeltent, are always a good bet. See www.festivalhighlights.com for other likely gems.




Head count Around a million people attend the Fringe over the course of August.

Packing tips Anything goes, so if you have an outlandish outfit that needs an airing, this is the place for it. Otherwise, take sensible shoes (for the cobbles) and a map to help you keep track of the 250-plus venues.

Bar chat If you were to watch every single performance at the festival back to back, it would take around five years, 11 months and 16 days.

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