CATERING SCOTLAND (CIS) EXCELLENCE AWARDS 2019 – FULL RESULTS

Employee of the Year Award sponsored by Fresh Food Company Stephen King, Uisge Bar and Restaurant, Murthly, Perthshire Runners-up: Rory MacAleece, Ibis Styles Glasgow and Glasgow West (Maven Capital Partners) Terry McBeth, Doubletree by Hilton, Glasgow The Sustainable Business Award sponsored by Green Tourism and Keenan Recycling BaxterStorey in partnership with City of Glasgow College Fairmont St Andrews Runner-up: BaxterStorey Scotland in conjunction with Royal Bank of Scotland The Healthier Scotland Award sponsored by the healthylivingaward in association with NHS Health Scotland The Usual Place, Dumfries Runners-up: Aramark – Scotland Team BaxterStorey at City of Glasgow College The Training and Employee Retention Award sponsored by caterer.com City of Glasgow College and Caledonian MacBrayne Runners-up: Fazenda Rodizio Bar and Grill, Edinburgh Sonas Hospitality, Isle of Skye The Pub Excellence Award sponsored by KraftHeinz Foodservice Lord of the Isles, Craobh Haven, Argyll Runners-up: The Crinan Hotel by Lochgilphead The Crown and Kitchen, East Linton, East Lothian The Horseshoe Inn, Eddleston The Banqueting and Events Chef Award sponsored by ASA Recruitment and Tilda Alan Boslem, Big Bite Catering, Airdrie Runners-up: Scott Brodowski, Hickory, Edinburgh James Burton, Ginger Snap & Food Design, Edinburgh The Restaurant Newcomer Award sponsored by Kafoodle and Sodexo Edinbane Lodge, Isle of Skye Runners-up: The Little Chartroom, Edinburgh The Lookout by Gardener’s Cottage, Edinburgh North Harbour Bistro, Isle of Harris The Food Tourism Award sponsored by Seafood Scotland Cannonball Restaurant and Bar, Edinburgh Runners-up: Aberdeen International Airport Rufflets Hotel, St Andrews The Hospitality Educator of the Year Award sponsored by…

First Andrew Fairlie memorial award won by Prince Charles’ country house

The first award for hospitality excellence created in honour of legendary Scottish chef Andrew Fairlie has been won by Dumfries House, the 18th-Century Ayrshire country mansion and estate rescued and redeveloped by Prince Charles. Fairlie (pictured), who died in January after a long battle with a brain tumour, was Scotland’s only double Michelin Star holder for his eponymous hotel at the five-star Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire. The Catering Scotland Excellence (CIS) Awards, the country’s most prestigious annual competition for the hospitality industry, set up the award in his memory this year. It was presented by Andrew Fairlie’s widow Kate at a dinner attended by 500 guests in Glasgow last night (Thursday). Chair of the Advisory Board, Andrea Nicholas, said: “Andrew was unequivocal about using the word ‘excellence’ in the CIS Awards’ name and only accepting and judging entries which lived up to the term. Dumfries House encapsulates all that. It has become a symbol of excellence in hospitality, hosting hundreds of events, as well as in education, training and restoration, and inspiring a new generation to enjoy hospitality and the outdoors.” Prince Charles led a consortium of organisations and individuals which bought Dumfries House, set in 2,000 acres near Cumnock, together with its unrivalled collection of Chippendale furniture, for £45m back in 2007. Fairlie, the inaugural winner of the Roux Scholarship in 1983 and described by this year’s judges as a visionary genius, was himself presented with the CIS Awards’ Lifetime Excellence Award in 2017 (pictured). This year, the same…

Scotland’s Gold Hospitality Awards Go Green

   The Catering Scotland Excellence (CIS) Awards – the country’s most prestigious annual competition for the catering, hospitality and tourism sectors – has appointed Andrea Nicholas (pictured), co-founder and Managing Director of Green Tourism, as the new Chair of its Advisory Board. Perth-based Green Tourism has more than 2,500 members across the UK, Canada and Africa. A sustainable tourism certification expert with more than two decades’ experience in the industry, Andrea has been a judge of the CIS Awards for two years and has also served on the judging panels of the UK Cateys and VisitLondon Awards. She has developed environmental management systems for the New Zealand Tourist Board and Swedish Government. The CIS Excellence Awards are widely accepted as the ultimate accolade for Scotland’s chefs, hotels, restaurants, gastro pubs and educational institutions. Andrea commented: ‘This year we have updated and revised the criteria to make the application process simpler and more transparent, and I’m looking forward to working with the board to recognise and celebrate the leading companies and individuals working within the Scottish hospitality sector’. Several women have been added to the judging panel to lend their skills to the judging process while helping to promote a more representative gender mix. Anne Lee from NHS Health Scotland’s Health and Work Award Programmes, foodservice consultant Sandra Reid and the editor of Foodies magazine, Sue Hitchen, have all joined the board in 2019. Other judges include: Stephen Carter OBE, General Manager of the Old Course Hotel at St Andrews; James…

It’s Skye high at nation’s top hospitality awards

Double triumph for island hotel and restaurant The Isle of Skye, often voted one of the world’s most popular islands, has sailed away with two of the top honours at Scotland’s most prestigious awards ceremony for hospitality, tourism and catering. The Three Chimneys on the edge of Loch Dunvegan took the title of Best Restaurant in the 15th year of the Catering Scotland (CIS) Excellence Awards while Skeabost House, described by the judges as a ‘Cinderella fairy tale,’ won the Group Hotel category. In further evidence of the growing attractions of Scotland’s West coast islands, the Douglas Hotel on Arran was named Best Independent Hotel at a packed gala dinner in Glasgow on Thursday night attended by more than 500 of the country’s leading hoteliers, caterers, chefs, colleges and suppliers. Judges said Shirley Spear’s Three Chimneys, at Colbost in the north-west of the island, ’has consistently delivered world-class standards over many years… its chefs have wowed guests with a delicate and skilful touch that has showcased the highest standards to a global clientele.’ Last Autumn, Three Chimneys, whose head chef is Scott Davies, was named the UK Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of 2018.   Other finalists in the category included Glasgow’s seafood specialist, Gamba, and L’Escargot Blanc in Edinburgh. Skeabost, the most recently acquired member of the Sonas group of three boutique hotels on Skye, ‘is a real Cinderella, rags-to-riches story,’ the judges commented. Anne Gracie Gunn and her late husband, Ken, ‘took a tired, unloved hotel and transformed and…

‘Grandest ever’ Indian food festival set for Glasgow in July

The biggest Indian food festival ever held in Scotland will take place in Glasgow on Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15 July, the organisers announced. In addition to food stalls serving dishes from all of India’s regions the spectacular event will feature cookery demonstrations, live music, films, dance, holistic therapies, competitions and children’s activities. The ‘Indian Food Bazaar – a Culinary Journey’ will be staged in the heart of Glasgow at the historic Briggait Centre (formerly the city’s fishmarket), transformed into Indian street and rural scenes. “Nothing on this scale has ever been presented before, certainly in Scotland,” said organisers’ spokesman Nav Basi. “It will not only showcase the flavours of the culinary diverse regions of the world’s second most populous country but also highlight its culture and traditions, and seek to educate as well as entertain.” Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @indianfoodbzr

Snails set the pace in Scotland’s top hospitality awards

Fred Berkmiller, Chef Patron of Edinburgh restaurants L’Escargot Blanc and L’Escargot Bleu, is up for a double success at this year’s Catering Scotland Excellence (CIS) Awards. With Berkmiller himself shortlisted for the Chef of the Year title for a second time, his L’Escargot Blanc (The White Snail) establishment in the capital’s Queensferry Street is one of three finalists in the Restaurant of the Year category, alongside Glasgow’s Gamba and Shirley Spear’s Three Chimneys on the Isle of Skye. His other restaurant, L’Escargot Bleu (The Blue Snail) is in the capital’s Broughton Street. Other contenders for Chef of the Year include: Billy Boyter, who reopened The Cellar at Anstruther in 2014; Brian Grigor of The Balmoral; previous winner Geoffrey Smeddle of the Michelin-starred Peat Inn at St Andrews; and 2017 finalist Paul Wedgwood of Wedgwood The Restaurant on the capital’s Royal Mile. Meanwhile, The Cellar’s Conor McLean, a member of the Scottish Culinary Olympics team, is one of three finalists in the Young Chef category, together with Craig Palmer of the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa in Aberdeen and Kevin McCafferty from City of Glasgow College. Shortlisted in the particularly competitive Independent Hotel of the Year category are: The Douglas Hotel on the Isle of Arran, Dunstane Houses in Edinburgh and the Lovat Loch Ness, which is built on the site of a Hanoverian fort built to pacify the Highland clans after the 18th century Jacobite uprisings. The Group Hotel of the Year Award will be contested by the Doubletree by Hilton…

Palace, theatre and racecourse in running for top catering honours

One of the widest ranges of nominations ever to be submitted for the top honours in Scottish hospitality have been received for this year’s Catering Scotland (CIS) Excellence Awards, the organisers announced. In addition to colleges, local authorities, international hotel groups and a conference centre, contenders include a palace, a theatre, a yacht, a racecourse, farm holiday cottages, a transport operator and a variety of pubs. Located from as far afield as Shetland in the north to Dumfries and Galloway in the south, and from east Fife to islands off the west coast, the entrants this year span the full breath of Scotland. Among the 17 awards, the Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year categories continue to prove popular, while others including Young Chef of the Year and the all-new Food Tourism Award are gaining significant support within organisations and businesses of all types and sizes. “This unprecedented degree of interest has underlined the wealth of talent in the industry, and indeed how widespread it is throughout Scotland,” said CIS Advisory Board chairman Neil Thomson. As the country’s annual competition for the catering, hospitality and tourism sectors, the CIS Excellence Awards are widely accepted as the ultimate accolade for chefs, hotels, restaurants, gastro pubs and educational institutions. The shortlist for 2018 will be announced in the third week of April and the awards presented at the Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central on Thursday 31st May. For more information or to book a place at the event, call…

Death of owner who brought luxury sailing to Scottish hotels

Ken Gunn, global seafarer who skippered stars on the Hebridean Princess Ken Gunn, co-owner of the multi award-winning Sonas Hotels group on Skye and the global seafarer who introduced luxury sailing to the world of Scottish hospitality, has died at the age of 67. Before he and his wife Anne launched their first hotel, Toravaig House on the southern peninsula of Sleat, in 2003 he was captain of the five star cruise ship the Hebridean Princess, sailing around the UK, Ireland and Norway. VIP guests included HRH Princess Anne, actor Sean Connery, racing driver Jackie Stewart and singer-composer Chris de Burgh. The Hebridean Princess, twice chartered by Queen Elizabeth including a trip to celebrate her 80th birthday, was the model for the nine bedroom Toravaig which the couple insisted should be ‘a luxury ship ashore.’ They went on to purchase and develop the nearby Duisdale House, voted Scotland’s Best Hotel in the 2013 Thistle Awards run by national tourism organisation VisitScotland and Best Independent Hotel in the Catering Scotland Awards in 2015. In 2016 they bought Skeabost House near Portree in the north of the island and recently completed a total refurbishment and extension. In the Islands’ section of the 2018 Scottish Hotel Awards the three hotels won six different categories among them. Skeabost, which now has 18 bedrooms, was voted Scotland’s Island Hotel of the Year in 2016 and again in 2017. Born and brought up in Oban, son of a sea captain, Ken was educated at Oban High…

Still remembered – Whisky tribute to Sir Iain

Visited Skye’s newest distillery, Torabhaig, and was intrigued to find its two stills are named after the late merchant banker Sir Iain Noble and his widow, Lady Lucilla Noble. Sir Iain, who died in 2010, founded the firm of Noble Grossart and was instrumental in founding Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic college, situated near the distillery on the Sleat peninsula. That could be reason enough for the honour but he also founded, in 1976, the “Gaelic whisky” company Prban na Linne, which produces the malt Poit Dhubh.

Does VisitScotland have to close all these tourist information centres?

VISITSCOTLAND chiefs have announced plans to axe nearly two-thirds of local information offices — just as the country celebrates a record-breaking year for tourism. Bosses claim they are closing 39 of the 65 centres because travellers prefer to plan their adventures online. But industry experts believe holidaymakers deserve to be welcomed to our homeland by a team of friendly faces. Today SCOTT THORNTON, managing director of Edinburgh-based consultancy Hotel PR, explains why the personal touch is always best… Read the full article here.