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Brenda Anderson

Director - Tasting Scotland Gourmet Journeys & Events

  • What was your favourite subject at school?

Home Economics

  • What was your first job?

Picking strawberries for 6 weeks every summer. Best earning days were picking for ‘Jam’ – anything red was good enough! Worst days were picking for Marks & Spencers – the berries had to be the very best in colour, size and even shape.

  • Which is your favourite restaurant /hotel?

Gleneagles. I was lucky enough to work there for 7 years. It’s a special place.

  • How do you inspire your team?

Lead by example. Every time.

  • Which person in hospitality have you most admired / inspired you?

Ruth Rodgers of the River Café in London. I was lucky enough to do a one week ‘stage’ there. She (and the late Rose Gray) epitomise for me the restaurant essentials of seeking out the very best seasonal ingredients, cooking them simply but with focused attention to detail, along with providing exceptional service in an informal and unpretentious way. The River Café has held a Michelin star since 1998, but humility oozes out of the place. Rose was working on one of their books but took the time to say hello. Ruth asked me if I would have time to join her for a coffee during the shift. I was only there for such a short space of time, she really didn’t need to do that, but she did. She provided a pep talk that I’ll never forget.

  • How do you manage your stress levels?

I meditate every day and try and fit in a walk. I repeat time-served slogans constantly throughout the day like ‘one day at a time’ and ‘first things first’ to get me through if I’m feeling a little over-whelmed in both my work and personal life.  Talking things through with someone else works for me too.

  • Instagram, Twitter or Facebook – and why?

One day I’d love to be able to say Instagram but I’ve yet to master it (sorry Giovanna! – poor Giovanna Eusebi spent an hour one night coming back from Edinburgh in her car trying to help me master it, but I still haven’t!). Twitter I love because it’s quick and with the old style limited character count it forced me to keep it short and simple, but Facebook is probably my comfortable social media zone.

  • If you had not gone into hospitality, where do you
    think you would be now?

I have no idea. Doing something sport related, preferably around women’s football.

  • What did you do on your last days off?

A day pulling out weeds (what’s new!) in my allotment and a day in Linlithgow visiting my oldest son with a picnic by the palace loch.

  • What do you do to relax, to support your wellbeing?

I love getting out for a good long walk with friends with a really good coffee stop along the way. Cooking, dining out and travelling as far as my stomach will take me are still high on my list. I love sport especially football and although I don’t play in a women’s team anymore I can still be found in the back garden getting beat by my football crazy 9-year old son.