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Top chefs named on judging panel for Scotland’s new look hospitality awards

City of Glasgow College Gary MacLean, Principal Chef at the college and recent winner of Masterchef. With his HND 1st year students. February 2017 Credit: Marc Turner

The highest achievers in Scottish hospitality, foodservice and tourism are to be identified and celebrated in a new major awards scheme judged by many of the sectors’ top names.

The 16 experts on the Scottish Excellence Awards Advisory Board include the award-winning lecturer and author, Gary Maclean (pictured); Lovat Loch Ness owner and sustainability specialist, Caroline Gregory, and Andrew Fairlie protégé and Great British Menu-winning Michelin-Starred chef, Lorna McNee (pictured).

Among other judges are Roy Brett of Edinburgh’s Ondine restaurant, Glenapp Castle’s MD, Jill Chalmers, and Kate Fairlie. The board will be chaired by Andrea Nicholas, Chief Executive of Green Tourism.

Awards co-founder, Alex Buchanan, who ran the highly respected Catering Scotland (CIS) Awards for 17 years until they were halted in 2020 when the pandemic struck, commented: “We are launching these new awards to reflect the highest standards of innovation and hard work in the Scottish hospitality sector. 

“Since lockdown ended, demand has grown significantly for a credible, meaningful awards programme that challenges nominees to demonstrate their strengths in a variety of key areas,’ he added. 

‘The devastating impact of the pandemic has meant that innovation and attention to detail have become priorities for businesses in order to survive and thrive. Organisations and individuals across the industry have had to change their approach and refine their offering in order to rekindle consumer confidence and trust. The new awards aim to provide a unique mark of distinction for finalists and winners by encouraging them to innovate and expand their offering.”

Open to hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs, chefs, colleges, caterers and other operators with an interest in the sector, entries for the Scottish Excellence Awards will close at midnight on Friday 7th October. The awards ceremony takes place on 2nd February 2023 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh.

Head Chef Lorna McNee

For full details, entry forms and criteria, visit

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