Stirling born Nick, who became the youngest Scottish chef to win a Michelin Star in the early 1990s, had to close the school at Lake of Menteith during lockdown in accordance with government guidelines.
Nick who has cooked for the Queen and was a regular on Ready Steady Cook as well as Landward and The Great British Menu decided to visit the building which has been closed for a year just to check everything was in order.
It was a good job he did.
To his horror he found that the sizeable building was filled with four inches of dirty flood water.
Nick who had travelled to his cook school from Bridge of Allan with his wife Jools said they both had to get down and dirty to try and solve the damage.
He told the Daily Record : “Its been freezing and some pipes had frozen and we’d had the emergency heating turned right down cause building hasn’t been used for a year.
“I had a funny feeling I should go and check it and said to Jools lets just go. We’ve got a wee flat here and had dinner and went down in the morning and it was dark and suddenly I was splashing through water.”
“It was four inches deep. The pipes had been frozen and thawed over night like a hose running. We spent four hours bailing it out brushing it out. I sure do know how to give a gal a good time!”
Nick said the kitchen and teaching kitchen were both flooded with dishwashers and tumble dryers ‘knackered’ and further damage to the laundry room.
He said: “The stuff in it is knackered and the bottom of the door is warped. It would have bene a lot worse if we hadn’t been there and it kept running. Luckily we had an emergency plumber here within three hours. There were three separate burst pipes so it took a while to fix it.”
He added: ‘Luckily we put a marmoleum floor down. They are made in Kircaldy and when we put it down in 2004, we spent a bit extra and had the edges coved. It was covered up with four inches of water and it’s coming up like new. The laundry might be an insurance job though. Talk about a kick when you’re down.”
Nick and Jools have spent today stripping things out. He said: “When staff are furloughed there is no-one to do it for you so you roll sleeves up. Jools and I are a good team. Until we have a proper rake through we can’t see what else has been damaged. The water soaked through all the detergent in the laundry too.”
Nick can’t wait to get the cook school and his restaurant back up and running and says people can’t wait to see him back and serving delicious food.
He told friends on Twitter about his flood and received lots messages of support from fellow professionals including James Martin who sent him a private message and Scotland’s National chef Gary Maclean who said: “Nightmare chef. Crazy times.”
Tony Singh MBE added: “Ooft chef not good if you need a hand just give us a shout.”
And even Deacon Blue’s Dougie Vipond offered: “My bailing out pail and squeegee are at the ready.”
Nick replied: “A huge thanks to everyone for your kind messages re our flood! It could have been so much worse if we hadn’t found it so quickly!! Big clean up today. Cannot wait to get back to work, had enough now!!!