ONE of Scotland's leading chefs is helping rescued street children in India embark upon a career in cookery and fine-dining.
Marcello Tully, 44, has just spent 10 days working with a Delhi-based charity which searches for education and work opportunities for boys and girls it has saved from homelessness and abuse.
Mr Tully is the chef director at the internationally renowned Kinloch Lodge Hotel on Skye, which is run by well-known cook and food writer Lady Claire Macdonald.
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He gave cookery demonstrations to the children, who have been placed in schools, and spoke about his job and the restaurants he has worked in.
It is the second year he has travelled to India to support the Creative Services Support Group (CSSG) which was established in 2011 to help underprivileged children and young people acquire skills, training and mentoring opportunities within the creative sectors.
"There is a huge problem in India of young people from rural areas going to the big cities to find work. Some of the kids have run away from home because of abuse.
"They end up not finding any work and then end up homeless, spending most of the time around the train stations where they can find a bit of shelter," said the Brazilian-born Michelin-starred chef. "What CSSG does is get some of these children off the streets and into school and help them find jobs."
He added: "The charity is just in its third year but it has already found jobs in restaurants for seven young people and is planning to place 20 in this coming year. It cherry-picks the restaurants to make sure the young person will receive appropriate training and mentoring."
During his visit, Mr Tully visited three schools in Delhi, speaking to children aged between eight and seventeen. He also cooked for a banquet the charity held in the city to raise funds for its projects.
The CSSG's main focus lies in helping the children it rescues to find careers in India's creative sectors including art, theatre, music, dance and gastronomy. It emphasises the importance of the creative arts in reflecting and influencing positive social change.
Anand Kapoor, president of CSSG, said: "Each year, we aim to expand the boundaries of the charity and our fund raising efforts. Last year we had a three-day event; this year we extended it to 10 days and invited a larger contingency of chefs as well as including artists from Paris and opera singers from Glyndebourne. What this allowed us to do was reach out to a wider group of people creating awareness of what CSSG is doing. We also were able to provide wider net of inspiration to children from an underprivileged background."