Edinburgh Restaurant Festival series: Q&A with Karen Szymik, Senior Sous Chef, The Forth Floor at Harvey Nichols Edinburgh

Find out about the chefs and outlets involved in the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival, which is on now

Published 14th Feb 2018
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

With the Edinburgh Restaurant Festival happening now, we chat to some of the chefs involved.

This week it is the turn of Karen Szymik, Senior Sous Chef, The Fourth Floor Harvey at Harvey Nichols.


Picture: Karen Szymik, Senior Sous Chef, Forth Floor Restaurant, Harvey Nichols Edinburgh

How did you get into cooking?

I grew up in a small tourist village in the Highlands and started working in hospitality by default.

After working at my friend’s parents’ restaurant, I fell in love with cooking and knew I’d found my passion, so packed my bags for Edinburgh to go to college.

What’s your favourite dish on the menu?

The new Bream dish on the winter dining menu, very simple but very tasty.

Any tips for amateur cooks?

Always heat the pan longer than you think necessary, and use plenty of salt and butter - don’t be afraid!

What’s in your fridge at home?

I don’t keep a lot in my fridge, but plenty of vegetables and fruit for juicing.

Do you have a favourite cookbook?

Any of the Ottolenghi books, they’re full of great ideas and exciting ingredients - the salads are amazing!

What is your idea of food heaven?

Lots of shellfish cooked in garlic butter with salad and mayonnaise – simple, but delicious.


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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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