The Staff Canteen Live 2021: Networking Lunch at Ondine

The Staff Canteen

On Monday, 11th October 2021 We were back in Scotland, welcoming guests and partners for a networking lunch at Ondine in Edinburgh.

Chef proprietor Roy Brett and his team made us all feel most welcome, allowing chefs and suppliers to relax and candidly talk business. 


Welcome drink

Gusbourne Rosé 2016




Gusbourne Blanc de Blancs 2016


Gusbourne Blanc de Noirs 2018


Gusbourne Brut Reserve 2018


Gusbourne Guinevere 2019



After a glass of English sparkling wine, our guests enjoyed a five-course lunch using ingredients provided by the food suppliers backing the event.  


Attending were Mark Drummond, executive sous-chef at Cameron House in Loch Lomond; Hanro van Eck, private chef; chef owner of The Newport Jamie Scott; Ross Ingleton, executive head chef at the Signature Pub Group; Graeme Cheevers, chef patron of UNALOME; Barry Gamble, head chef at Angels Share hotel in Edinburgh; award-winning pastry chef, consultant and lecturer at Lanarkshire College, Helen Vass; Garry Watson, chef proprietor of Gordon’s Restaurant; Neil Hudson, head chef at The Clachan Grill in Ballater; Dylan, senior sous at The Pompadour at The Waldorf Astoria; Jonathan MacDonald, chef owner of The Ox and Finch and Ka Pao in Glasgow and Edinburgh; Billy Boyter, chef and owner of one Michelin-starred restaurant, The Cellar in Fife; Chef Owner of Fhior, Scott Smith; John McMahon, executive chef at Prestonfield House Hotel in Edinburgh; Jonathan ‘Jonnie’ Cook, chef owner of Whiskers Bar and Bistro in Stockbridge, Edinburgh; Joe Queen, executive chef at the Scottish Culinary Federation; Rory Lovie, head chef at Bridgeview Station in Dundee; and Russell Plowman, senior sous-chef at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles.



Sponsoring the event were ChefWorks, joined by Diversey (Zenith Hygiene), Koppert Cress, Gusbourne and Udale Speciality Foods.

What the guests said

Representing Chef Works-Bragard at today's event was Sam O’Kane, the company's head of UK sales, who said: "It was really good." 

"I was brought up in Scotland, I spend a lot of time here so I feel that Scotland has so much to offer with regards to its culinary scene." 

"I don't think it always gets the credit it deserves, so it's nice to be up  here, being out with the guys again." 

"There's a lot of passion here and Scotland's an area to watch in the next 2-3 years." 

"There's so much to offer up here, great product, great sights and there's a real opportunity, I think you're going to see a real Michelin boom in Scotland." 

As a sponsor, he said, "it's great to be able to speak to [the chefs], see what they're wearing, understand what their issues are within whites in the kitchen, understand our customers a bit better but also educate them in what we do." 

"Everyone's been really complimentary of our product and I think we're going to do some good business." 

As a general matter, he added, "I think it's a great event because it breaks down the barrier - you're not a sales person, you're someone having a nice meal with them and enjoying it." 

"We can go away from an event like this and get business straight away, but we can also get business six months, a year down the line, which is nice, because it's all about over a meal and a glass of wine - guess what, relationships are made." 

Russell Plowman of Restaurant Andrew Fairlie said: "Today's been great, I've really enjoyed it, it's great to get out of your own kitchen, your own environment, the other guys in the industry talk about problems that are facing us at the moment - and an opportunity to just sit back and eat some good food and see what other people are doing."

"It's definitely a great way to highlight suppliers you may not have seen before - Gusbourne wines is a new one for me, it's not something we've used within the business, but an opportunity to taste first hand what these guys are doing is really valuable."

Dylan from The Pompadour said: "It was good to see some faces that I haven't seen for a while, people you lose contact with but great to meet new people as well - I picked up a few suppliers' cards."

"Food is about networking anytime; going out, whether it's your first time meeting someone or catching up with an old friend. It's a great concept, aye."

As for the conversations with the suppliers, he said, TSC lunches mean that you can "get a lot more in depth, a little bit more truth, the alcohol will make everything a little bit more relaxed.

"They haven't come here solely to sell you a product, they're here to market it to other people, so it's a lot easier to speak to people."

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th October 2021

The Staff Canteen Live 2021: Networking Lunch at Ondine