Compass Scotland is celebrating success in the ScotHot 2023 Culinary Championships, part of Scotland’s biggest food, drink, hospitality and tourism trade show.
Held at the SEC in Glasgow from 8-9 March, ScotHot was welcomed back by the industry this year for the first time since 2019.
The Culinary Championships comprised 14 entries in various categories from nine competing chefs, who come from Compass Scotland’s partner brands ESS Energy and Restaurant Associates, as well as students from South Lanarkshire College. The Championships provided the opportunity for the chefs to display their skills to a wide audience in a competition setting.
Awards went to:
- Gold for ESS’s Rachel Michie in the gastronomique category
- Gold for Edward Perrett in the chicken category
- Gold for Ruaridh Patrick in the chicken category and bronze in the lamb and vegetable preparation categories
Silver awards were claimed by duo Jennie Aitken and Rae Harkin in the Street Food (Team of Two Competition); Chris Macleod in starters; Nayeli Clemente Alcazar in lamb, as well as in three appetisers; Shona Sutherland in dessert; and Lisa Marie McCuaig in five-course gastronomique.
The heats were judged by a panel of around 20 world-class chefs with vast amounts of talent and knowledge of the industry. Criteria including presentation, skill set, hygiene, seasonality, innovation, and sustainability were all assessed.
To prepare for the rounds, the chefs were mentored by Graham Singer, Culinary Director for ESS Energy and Compass Scotland, as well as ESS chefs Barry Fleming, David Auchie, and Gordon McKenzie. Together the team coached the entrants on skills such as butchery and fish-filleting, as well as personal skills like teamwork in the kitchen.
David Hay, Managing Director of Compass Scotland, said: “Compass Scotland was proud to be the headline sponsor of the Scottish Culinary Championships at ScotHot 2023 and even prouder of our participating chefs. It was a brilliant opportunity for them to show off their outstanding talent at a national level.
“Our ethos at Compass Scotland is underpinned by a commitment to people, food, sustainability and close partnerships, and this has all been demonstrated by the talent on show at this year’s ScotHot. A huge well done and thank you to everyone involved.”
Graham Singer, Culinary Director for ESS Energy and Compass Scotland, added: “There was some amazing talent on show in Glasgow last week. The chefs demonstrated fantastic innovation centred on sustainability, and their creativity and skill was second to none. Amazing results were achieved and it was a fantastic showcase of teamwork. I know the chefs will have made memories to last a lifetime competing in a competition like the Scottish Culinary Championships.
“As a mentor for this competition, I had the opportunity to support these individuals. Through my role, I get to share my experience, knowledge and passion with the younger generation of aspiring chefs, which is something that I consider an honour and fantastic to see our talent develop, to be the best they can be. I’d like to say heartfelt congratulations to the competitors and everyone else involved in the organisation and delivery of such a fantastic event.”
Some of the chefs who competed are finishing their training at college, and some are on Compass Scotland’s apprenticeship programme. Compass Scotland provides apprenticeship opportunities to people of all ages, creating individual career progression roadmaps covering a Foundation Apprenticeship, Modern Apprenticeship or a Graduate Apprenticeship, dependent on the individual’s current situation.
The two-day ScotHot event created a networking space for key players and suppliers from Scotland’s largest tourism, catering and hospitality organisations.