As founder of the popular, non-profit-making foodie website, scottishfoodguide.com, and a leading contributor and campaigner on the Scottish culinary scene, Wendy has been a member of the CIS Excellence Awards Advisory Board since its inception back in 2003.
As a bona fide gastronome with an extensive repertoire of traditional cookery techniques and all things nutritional, she strikes the ideal balance between experience, knowledge and enthusiasm.
As former project manager and a co-founder of the Scottish Government’s healthyliving award programme, Claire played a key role in the drive to improve the health of Scotland’s population. A Medical Biochemistry and Human Nutrition graduate of Glasgow University, she later gained her PhD at the University of Strathclyde and went on to help establish the healthyliving award (HLA) for the catering trade in 2006.
In the following years, she and her team helped over 1,600 businesses to offer healthier options to their staff and customers. A member of the Awards Advisory Board since 2007, she brings with her expert, in-depth knowledge of the standards required to attain top level accolades such as the HLA and the CIS Excellence Healthier Scotland Award. Having left Glasgow and her post in 2013 to move with her family to Dumfriesshire, she is now a non-executive director of Scottish charity The Food Train and has recently launched Claire Brown Consulting.
Joining the Board in 2013, Matthew brings dual skill sets to the CIS Excellence judging table. A qualified chef, he worked for nearly a decade in various positions in Italy and England before changing vocations and joining the recruitment sector in 1998.
Taking up the post of manager for ASA’s dedicated Glasgow-based hospitality division in 2003, he has continued to focus on recruiting across the Scottish market for a range of positions and sectors, in addition to developing opportunities for new talent in the industry. These include building partnerships with colleges and clients, and helping students to make the transition from education to industry once they graduate.
With a hospitality career spanning four decades, Stephen is among the most seasoned and respected hoteliers in the UK. As general manager of the Edinburgh Caledonian (now a Waldorf Astoria Hotel) in the 1990s, he presided over one of the most successful periods in the iconic establishment’s century-long history. And as inaugural GM of the five-star Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa (now the Fairmont St Andrews) from its launch in 2001, he helped cement its place on the international tourism map, which culminated in its recognition as CIS Excellence Hotel of the Year 2005. Three years later, he moved to Cameron House Loch Lomond, which he subsequently steered through a £50m refurbishment programme to create a world-class resort with hotel, timeshare lodges, health spa and championship golf course. After a recent stint in his native Yorkshire he returned to Scotland in 2016 to take up the post of General Manager of the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa in St Andrews. A board member of VisitScotland and a previous recipient of the CIS Lifetime Excellence Award, Stephen served as chairman of the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland from 2001 – 2013 and was named Hotelier of the Year in 2011.
The winner of the CIS Lifetime Excellence Award in 2006, Fergus is a highly experienced operator with over three decades’ experience under his belt in a variety of roles and disciplines. Prior to leaving Glasgow City Council in 2009, his last full-time position as Managing Director of Direct & Care Services (now Cordia LLP) made him one of the most respected and recognisable figures in Scottish hospitality. Having presided over a vast organisation with over 9,000 staff, he has now settled into his new role within Buell, the UK-wide consulting and cross-marketing group founded by Roddy Watt in 2012.
The winner of numerous accolades during his 30-year career, Fergus was also a founding trustee of HIT Scotland and has been honorary secretary of the industry charity since its creation in 1994.
Beginning his hospitality career at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, David went on to work for Norfolk Capital Hotels at the Caledonian on Princes Street, later joining Gardner Merchant as a chef manager in 1990. Two years later, having progressed to district training coordinator, he left to work for the Hotel and Catering Training Company, and focused on youth training and unemployment projects. He then spent several years at Gleneagles as training manager, before taking up the position of Director of Springboard Scotland. In 2005, having scooped the HIT Scotland Industry Award the previous year for services to the Scottish hospitality industry, he was asked to join the charity on a full-time basis as Chief Executive. Over the last nine years, he has overseen the administration and presentation of more than 1,000 scholarships for the sector’s emerging talent, as well as spearheading the Kilimanjaro challenge in 2011. Awarded an honorary degree in International Hospitality Management from the Glion institute of higher education in Switzerland, David was also the recipient of the Education and Training Catey in 2012. He is a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and Strathclyde Business school.
Known for his experience and unrivalled knowledge, Ray has been an integral part of the CIS Excellence Awards Advisory Board since its formation in 2004.
In 2012, after 10 years as executive chef and culinary controller at Unilever Food Solutions, he moved back to Scotland to launch his own culinary consultancy.
The new venture – Catering At Your Convenience – assists chefs with recipe concepts and menu development, and aims to educate clients about healthier food.
An ardent fan of traditional apprenticeships – which he would love to see reintroduced – his ongoing ambition is to inspire and educate both trainee and qualified chefs to change their outlook on diet and nutrition. In addition to a stellar 45-year career Ray also holds a first class honours degree in international culinary arts and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
Having worked in the catering industry for more than 30 years, Kevin joins the CIS Kevin MacGillivrayExcellence Awards Advisory Board at a time when chefs’ skills are more important than ever. Known for his tenure as executive chef at Ballathie House Hotel in Perthshire, he consistently achieved high standards and sought to mentor young talent for the Scottish catering industry.A previous recipient of the Scottish Chef of the Year and Flavour of Scotland Awards, he joined the board of the Federation of Chefs Scotland in 1999, taking up the role of President a decade later. Well-versed in culinary contests, first as an integral member and now director of the Scottish culinary team, Kevin has also served as a judge of various competitions including ScotHot’s World Culinary Grand Prix and has just been appointed the only A-class judge in Scotland by World Chefs. As a director of VisitScotland’s former EatScotland quality scheme, he visited a broad spectrum of establishments around the country, assessing and advising on standards, helping each operator to make improvements withintheir business. A series of senior managerial and consultancy roles followed and he currently serves as catering and hospitality manager for Ayrshire and Arran at the National Trust for Scotland.
Bringing with him the experience of a banking career which started more than thirty years ago in Aberdeen, Stephen moved to Edinburgh in 1997 when he became Deputy Regional Business Manager for Clydesdale Bank. After 25 years’ service he left to join The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Commercial Banking team in 2007.
Since the beginning of 2012 he has looked after a dedicated leisure sector portfolio of clients for the bank’s commercial banking division, focusing on hotels, restaurants, bars, travel and tourism. A member of the Awards Advisory Board for the last three years, Stephen he also sits on the HIT Scotland Edinburgh Lunch Committee.
A highly motivated educator with over 15 years’ teaching and two decades’ competition experience, Gary’s ethos in culinary education is aimed at putting the learner first. Previously executive chef for two of Scotland’s largest restaurant companies, Gary has also worked in various demanding events with teams of students, including the British Open 2012-2014, the Scottish Chefs’ Conference 2011-2014 and Glasgow 2014. A past victor of the Brakes Student Challenge, Nestlé’s Toque d’Or and the Royal Canapé Competition at Buckingham palace, most recently he represented Scotland in the Nations’ Cup USA, helping to win it for the second time. A culinary arts coach with World Skills, he won Chef Lecturer of the Year at the Craft Guild Awards and is the current UK Masterchef: The Professionals champion.
A sustainable tourism certification expert with over two decades’ experience in the industry, Andrea is co-founder and managing director of the Green Tourism certification programme. Having spent 15 years as a chartered landscape architect designing environmental solutions for the leisure industry across the UK, Europe and Saudi Arabia, in 1997 she moved into sustainable tourism. In addition to developing the Enviro-Mark for the New Zealand tourist board and her role as lead consultant in the development of a sustainability programme for the Swedish Government, she has over the last 20 years built Green Tourism into the go-to standard for sustainable business, with over 2,500 members across the UK, Canada and Africa. An ardent supporter of local, responsibly sourced food and drink – particularly Scottish seafood – Andrea brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her role on the Advisory Board.
Heading up the company’s Scottish food and drink sourcing strategy, Katie’s role incorporates the buying, marketing, PR and sales development of their extensive range. With more than 500 product lines sourced from over 100 Scottish suppliers, Bidfood Scotland’s ‘Simply Scottish’ portfolio provides a broad spectrum of products for catering and hospitality clients throughout the country.
The ideal adviser to the CIS Excellence Awards, Katie also looks after strategic partnerships with organisations including Scotland Food and Drink, The Scottish Tourism Alliance and CateringScotland.com.
Widely considered Scotland’s best-known hotelier-restaurateur, James has developed and nurtured a stunning portfolio of hospitality businesses around Edinburgh over the last two decades. In addition to his legendary Tower and Witchery restaurants, the James Thomson Collection also includes the inimitable Prestonfield, which he acquired in 2003.
An active ambassador for Scottish tourism, he is actively involved in a range of industry, educational and charitable organisations, and in 2005 he received an OBE for services to hospitality and the Scottish tourism industry. And to underline the admiration and respect he instills in his friends and peers, in 2010 James received the CIS Lifetime Excellence Award from his colleagues on the Advisory Board.
As a graduate of Human Nutrition and Food Science, with an additional diploma in Health and Fitness, Yvonne’s career has seen her work with the catering sector for the past 12 years.
An original member of the healthyliving award team, she contributed to its development and has extensive experience of the assessment processes involved, as well as working with both the public and private sectors.
With the healthyliving award now part of NHS Health Scotland, Yvonne is responsible for its promotion and marketing, as well as raising awareness of the award’s presence and place within the Scottish catering sector.
With a career spanning two decades, Jeremy is arguably one of the most experienced managers in contract catering. Having worked in both sales and operations first with Gardner Merchant (now Sodexo) and latterly with BaxterStorey – he was part of the team that helped open the Scottish Parliament in 1999, and was instrumental in the mobilisation of the new Parliament building at Holyrood five years later.
Joining the UK’s largest independent caterer in 2008, he has since played a pivotal role in securing and retaining contracts in Scotland and the north of England.
With over 50 business-and-industry clients and several Historic Scotland sites including Stirling and Edinburgh Castles BaxterStorey recently strengthened its portfolio further with its first ever university campus contract.A member of the Advisory Board since 2011, Jeremy brings a unique blend of operational skills and experience to his judging role.