The CIS Excellence Awards Advisory Board 2019

Andrea Nicholas

Chair: Andrea Nicholas, Co-founder and Managing Director, Green Tourism

Having spent 15 years as a chartered landscape architect, in 1997 Andrea 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 – she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to her new role as Chair of the Advisory Board.

Andrew Adam

Commercial Director
Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers

Responsible for the account executive team operating in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Galashiels and northeast Scotland, Andy’s four decades of experience make him an excellent fit for the CIS Excellence Awards Advisory Board. Having looked after all types of insurance during his career, he now focuses mainly on the hospitality sector, whisky industry, social housing and commercial arenas. Through his extensive experience and contacts, Andy is well placed to assist in appraising and judging nominations for the CIS Excellence Awards.
Wendy Barrie, Director, Scottish Food Guide
Wendy Barrie

Scottish Food Guide

As founder of 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. A bona fide gastronome with an extensive repertoire of traditional cookery techniques, she strikes the ideal balance between experience, knowledge and enthusiasm.

Dr Claire Brown

formerly Project Manager
The healthyliving award

A Medical Biochemistry and Human Nutrition graduate, Claire later gained her PhD and went on to help establish the healthyliving award (HLA) for the catering trade in 2006. A member of the CIS 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.

Matthew Brown

Regional Director
ASA Recruitment

A qualified chef, Matthew 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 hospitality division in 2003, he focuses on recruiting across the Scottish market for a range of positions and sectors, in addition to developing opportunities for new talent in the industry.

Stephen Carter OBE

With a hospitality career spanning four decades, Stephen is recognised among the most respected hoteliers in the UK. As general manager of Edinburgh’s Caledonian Hotel in the 1990s, he presided over one of the most successful periods in the establishment’s century-long history. Later, as inaugural GM of the Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa (now Fairmont St Andrews) from its launch in 2001, he helped cement its place on the tourism map. After steering Cameron House Hotel through a £50m refurbishment programme, his most recent post was as general manager of the Old Course Hotel in St Andrews. A board member of VisitScotland, he is also a previous recipient of the CIS Lifetime Excellence Award.

Fergus Chambers, F&B Director, The Buell Consultancy Group
Fergus Chambers

Braehead Foods Ltd

The winner of the CIS Lifetime Excellence Award in 2006, Fergus has over 30 years’ experience in a variety of roles and disciplines in catering and hospitality. 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 recognisable figures in Scottish hospitality. The winner of numerous accolades during his career, Fergus is a founding trustee of HIT Scotland.

David Cochrane

Chief Executive
HIT Scotland

Having spent several years as training manager at Gleneagles and as Director of Springboard Scotland, David was appointed chief executive of the industry charity in 2006 and has since overseen the administration and presentation of well over 1,000 scholarships for the sector’s emerging talent. Awarded an honorary degree in International Hospitality Management from the Glion institute of higher education in Switzerland, he has been a member of the CIS Excellence Awards Advisory Board since 2007.

Alison Gilbert

Group Human Resources Director, CH&CO Group

Spanning 20 years, Alison’s career includes stints at Sodexo, Compass and BaxterStorey. Now overseeing everything from HR and payroll to learning and development within CH&CO Group, she has been instrumental in the creation of its graduate programme and its chefs and front-of-house academies. The route panel chair for catering and hospitality for the Institute for Apprenticeships, she has been recognised with accolades including a place in the Women First Top 100 list of the most influential women in hospitality and tourism.

Sue Hitchen

The Foodies Festival

As Editor of Foodies magazine, Sue has spent much of her career choosing recipes and accepting invitations to review new restaurants and bars. In founding the festival in Edinburgh back in 2006, she wanted to start a fun, family-orientated event that celebrated local food and drink. Now in their 14th year, each of the UK-wide festivals works alongside top chefs, bakers, pâtisserie chefs, chocolatiers, restaurants, artisan producers, distillers and brewers to entertain and educate thousands of visitors each year.

Anne Lee

With a Behavioural Sciences degree and post-graduate qualifications in social science research and public health, Anne joined NHS Health Scotland in 2005. Having worked closely with the Scottish Government’s education department on developments including the Curriculum for Excellence and the Schools (Health Promotion and Nutrition) Scotland Act 2007, she is currently the organisational lead for both the healthyliving award and the Healthy Working Lives Award.

Ray Lorimer, Managing Director, At Your Convenience Ltd
Ray Lorimer

Managing Director
At Your Convenience Ltd

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. After 10 years as executive chef and culinary controller at Unilever Food Solutions, he moved back to Scotland in 2012 to launch his own culinary consultancy, Catering at Your Convenience, which assists chefs with recipe concepts and menu development, while helping to educate clients about healthier food. Equipped with a first class honours degree in international culinary arts, he is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Kevin MacGillivray

Scottish Culinary Team Director

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Kevin is known for mentoring 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 Scottish Chefs in 1999, taking up the role of President a decade later. Having served as a judge of various competitions including ScotHot’s World Culinary Grand Prix, he was appointed the only A-class judge in Scotland by World Chefs.

Gary MacLean

Senior Lecturer
City of Glasgow College

A highly motivated educator with over 15 years’ teaching and two decades’ competition experience, Gary is a past victor of the Brakes Student Chef Challenge, Nestlé’s Toque d’Or and the Royal Canapé Competition at Buckingham Palace. A culinary arts coach with World Skills, he was named 2016’s UK Masterchef: The Professionals champion and in 2017 was awarded the twin titles of CIS Excellence Hospitality Educator of the Year and Scotland’s National Chef.

Sandra Reid

Managing Director
Fare Consulting

Supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes to make the most of their hospitality offers, Sandra has been in the industry for over 30 years, with roles from chef-proprietor in her own restaurant to contract management for some of Scotland’s most prominent visitor attractions. Working with iconic locations including the V&A Dundee, Edinburgh Castle, Stirling Castle and Mount Stuart, she has also supported the catering offers of a number of social enterprises with training and mentoring. Currently a member of Scotland’s National Food Tourism Board, she is also a member of REHIS, the Institute of Hospitality and Women in Tourism.

James Thomson OBE, The Tower, The Witchery and Prestonfield
James Thomson OBE

Proprietor of The Tower
The Witchery and Prestonfield

Widely considered Scotland’s best-known hotelier-restaurateur, James has established and grown 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 Prestonfield House Hotel, which he acquired in 2003. An active ambassador for Scottish tourism, he is involved in a range of industry, educational and charitable organisations, and in 2005 was awarded the OBE for services to hospitality and the Scottish tourism industry.

Neil Thomson

Chief Executive
Scottish Chefs

A founding director of the CIS Excellence Awards, Neil has over 50 years’ experience in the hospitality and education sectors, having held several senior management positions before retiring in 2012. A founding member of the Federation of Chefs Scotland, he has been chief executive since 2007 and is also a director of the biennial Scottish Culinary Championships at ScotHot. Made an honorary life member of World Chefs in 2014, four years later he was appointed Continental Director for Northern Europe. In addition to this, he is a governor and master craftsman of the Craft Guild of Chefs.

Jeremy Wood, Managing Director, BaxterStorey Scotland
Jeremy Wood

Managing Director
BaxterStorey Scotland

With a career spanning two decades, Jeremy formed 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. A member of the Awards Advisory Board since 2011, he brings with him a unique blend of skills and experience in the catering sector.