CEO, Scottish Chefs
What was your favourite subject at school?
School was not really a happy experience for me but if I was pushed I would say History but I was glad to leave at 15 years of age to go to catering college
What was your first job?
I worked on a dairy farm and then in the evenings delivered newspapers, ironically when I started my apprenticeship I had to take a wage cut
What is your favourite Restaurant/Hotel?
In Scotland I don’t really have a favourite restaurant or hotel as we have some fabulous establishments , but the most memorable hotel stay was a weekend at Glenapp Castle ,also you cannot beat sunset at Turnberry Hotel
How do you inspire your team?
I have been retired a few years now from formal employment however when I was working I always ensured that I never asked anybody to do anything that I was not prepared to do myself I have never been too proud to roll up my sleeves and get stuck in also to be approachable and a good listener.
Which person in Hospitality have you most admired /inspired you?
I have been fortunate throughout my career to be inspired by many people, in recent years however I had the privilege of getting to know Chef Albert Roux quite well and spent quite a bit of time in his company, he was an amazing man and I could have listened to him for hours , he leaves a great legacy and he is very much missed by all chefs in Scotland
How do you manage stress levels?
I play as much golf as I can at least twice a week in all weathers , I hate the garden but it can therapeutic since Covid I go for walks every day that I am not playing golf
Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and Why?
I am only on Facebook and have no desire to be active on the others I never get involved in any controversial discussion as much as I would like to challenge some of the rubbish that appears
If you had not gone in to Hospitality, where do you think you would be now?
My original plan was to join the Royal Navy and take up a catering career in the services but my mother put her foot down because at that time you had to do an initial minimum 9 years which she was not happy about , I got to sea eventually when I was a personal chef on a Luxury Yacht which hard work but a worthwhile experience
What did you do in your last days off?
Although I am retired I have never been so busy ,Scottish Chefs takes up quite a bit of my time and to add to that I am on the Board of World Chefs as the Continental Director for North Europe , pre Covid this involved a lot of travelling , Board Meetings can be anywhere in the World eg Cambodia is scheduled for the next meeting . At the moment however we have meetings on Zoom which have to be arranged around all the different time zones , every morning I spend time answering emails from all over the globe or there could be Whats App Conference calls ,it can be hectic
What do you do to relax, support your well being?
As I mentioned I like to play golf , since I retired my wife and I started cruising and try and do this twice a year , you cannot beat sitting on the balcony of the ship with a glass in your hand. Covid again has curtailed that for the moment but I still like to sit at home with a glass of wine or champagne ( I would never drink prosecco ).