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Addressing Key Issues – Scottish Chefs announce 2018 conference line up

Glasgow event to host world class chef demonstrators and 500 chef attendees 

Sustainable sourcing, feeding the planet and attracting and retaining young people into the industry are all key issues that will be addressed at the 2018 Scottish Chefs Conference. The event held on 5 November 2018 at The DoubleTree by Hilton, Glasgow Central is the largest annual gathering of Scottish Chefs. Over 500 chef delegates will see an exciting line up of chefs from home and abroad representing the two key conference themes: Scotland’s Year of Young People and sustainability.

Two incredible young chefs, Adam Handling, and Gary Millard, will join us to share their experiences.  Adam Handling, is a Scottish chef who has a string of culinary competition wins and industry accolades to his name at just 29 years old. His restaurant The Frog E1 was voted ‘Best Restaurant of the Year – London’ and the overall ‘Best Restaurant of the Year’ at the 2017 Food & Travel Reader Awards. In the same year, the restaurant also won ‘Best Fine Dining Restaurant’ at the Foodism 100 awards, as well as gaining 3 AA rosettes at the AA Hospitality Awards 2017.  Gary Millard’s talent for pastry was spotted by Albert Roux when he was just 14 years old. Since then, he has trained  across a number of Roux  properties, earning the title of Patisserie Chef of the Year in Scotland 2018 at the Catering in Scotland Awards, aged just 22.

The line-up also showcases two of Scotland’s most well-known sustainability champions: Jim Cowie is all about sustainable handling of our seafood and has held regular talks and cooking demonstrations at schools and local organisations. He was invited to speak at the inaugural Scottish Inshore Fisheries Conference on the importance of sustainability and seasonality, and his ongoing commitment to this subject has placed him and the Captain’s Galley at forefront of sourcing sustainable seafood, together with gaining him many accolades including the Scottish Food Made Good (Sustainable Restaurant Association) Champion in 2016.

Neil Forbes is a well-known figure in the Scottish culinary scene. His much-loved restaurant, Café St Honore, holds Food Made Good (Sustainable Restaurant Association) 3-star champion status. He regularly demonstrates his skills at a broad range of events across the UK as well as appearing on BBC Radio Scotland’s Kitchen Cafe. He writes a regular recipe column in the Scotsman’s Saturday magazine.

We are also delighted to welcome our international guest, Christopher Koetke, who has worked in culinary arts for well over three decades and is now CEO of Complete Culinary LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to the 360-comprehensive view of food and beverage.  In the last 20 years, he has devoted his professional life to culinary education at Kendall College who have 48 campuses in 12 countries. He is currently the chairman of the Feed the Planet Committee of World chefs and a recognised authority on food sustainability.

At the helm this year and holding the programme together and helping delegates to get the most from the demonstrating chefs will be well known Scottish restaurateur and chef Jak O’Donnell. The conference will be introduced by James Withers, chief executive, Scotland Food & Drink and Albert Roux OBE, KFO, Patron of Scottish Chefs will also be attending.

Young chefs are a key part of the conference with each Scottish College having the opportunity to bring 10 students along for a discounted rate to experience this amazing event. They can also showcase their own skills in the Scottish Salmon challenge which will see the semi-finalists going head to head on the main stage.

Neil Thomson, Chief Executive of Scottish Chefs, says “In our third year of running the conference, we are delighted to bring a together such a diverse and exciting line up of inspiring and talented chefs to Scotland.  With 2018 being the Year of Young People and as young chefs are key to the future success of our industry, we are pleased to work with our partners to bring skills demonstrations and a healthy bit of competition into the event for the student chef attendees. In addition to the activities during the day we have had fantastic input from industry who are supporting the event with so much enthusiasm, and we have a great line up of exciting exhibitors for our conference delegates to see and network with”. 

Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food & Drink and advisor to the board of Scottish Chefs, said:

“Scotland Food & Drink is delighted to be supporting this year’s conference – a must-attend for the industry. It is essential for encouraging a strong chef network and brings attendees closer to the food and drink industry. The focus on young people and sustainability are particularly apt as we recently launched the first-ever food tourism action and skills, people and sustainability key areas. Chefs have a significant role to play in the success of this action plan. Scotland is proud of the production and promotion of quality food and drink, our reputation depends on it, so inspiring young people to take up a career as a chef will help to fill the skills gap and fulfil our food tourism aspirations.”

The day will end with a stunning 4-course meal showcasing the best of Scottish produce. The dinner is a collaboration of the Hilton Hotel’s staff and students who get experience working with the chefs and delivering the meal to the dinner guests.

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