The line-up of this year’s Annual Scottish Chefs Conference has been announced

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th October 2014
The line-up of this year’s Annual Scottish Chefs Conference will include Philip Howard of the two Michelin star Square. Phil-Howard_sml The conference, now in its ninth year, is the brain child of Willie Pike, a consultant chef who has cooked for many distinguished guests and dignitaries, including the Royal Family. He first started the conference after he noticed that chefs in Scotland were working in isolation. Every two years they would go to ScotHot, the Scottish hospitality show, but there was no dedicated event for chefs. “Chefs were working hard, doing lots of hours and somebody would send them a brochure of a new product which could really help them,” explained Willie. “But they were that busy that it would end up in the bin, and they wouldn’t get the chance to evolve their skills. “I just felt they needed something to get them to come out of the kitchen one day a year.” This year’s conference will be held in the Thistle Hotel, Glasgow on Monday, November 17 and will also include Brett Graham, head chef of the two Michelin star Ledbury. Completing the culinary talent will be Michael Smith of the three AA rosette-winning The Three Chimneys, in the Isle of Skye, Alistair Birt, Head Chocolatier at William Curley and Gerard Chouet, head pastry chef for the Andrew Fairlie restaurant at Gleneagles. Over 700 chefs and student chefsare expected to attend, they will be able to use the event to network and socialise with their fellow chefs and associates. Alistair-Birt1 Suppliers will also showcase their latest products and innovations for chefs and their kitchens. “It’s a unique opportunity for anybody in the industry to be motivated and inspired”, said Willie. “For any youngster who wants to be a chef it’s unmissable.” After the conference will be a special evening Gala Dinner attended by all the demonstrators and cooked by Willie himself and his team of chefs. “It’s challenging but great fun,” he said about cooking for 350 people, including some of the country’s top chefs. “You’ve got to write a menu that’s balanced in terms of great flavours – but you’ve also got to be logistically organised.” Copy of Pike Image Willie says he is ‘influenced globally’ and explained: “If you restrict yourself to what comes out of Scotland you miss out on what could bring these ingredients to life. “It’s all about getting the best local ingredients and then enhancing the flavours with whatever you feel.” As to the future of the conference, Willie has something very special planned for next year’s tenth anniversary. He plans to bring in ten chefs to do ten demonstrations of ten signature dishes. He believes next year it will be ‘the biggest culinary event in Britain’. Three packages are available for delegates. £65 gets you into the conference, including a Buffet Lunch and refreshments. £130 adds the Conference Dinner to the package and £230 includes an overnight stay and breakfast with the hotel. Further information, including booking, can be found at http://www.scottishchefsconference.co.uk/ By Stuart Armstrong
The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 13th October 2014

The line-up of this year’s Annual Scottish Chefs Conference has been announced