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Ray Lorimer: Scotland’s Greatest Export Returns

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Ray Lorimer: Scotland’s Greatest Export Returns

October 21
20:07 2013
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 CiS: What’s been the most exciting project you’ve worked on during your time at UFS? RL: ‘One of my favourites was developing Knorr’s kitchen at our head office in Leatherhead. I used a lot of my past experiences to help design the layout, which was heavily influenced by how I used to run a training facility in the army. ‘Since the Knorr kitchen opened, it’s played host to colleagues, clients, customers and competition finalists, including the Great British Pub Food Award winners.’ CiS: What’s been your greatest achievement overall? RL: During my year at Unilever, I’ve spearheaded several food concepts which are now used throughout the country. These include Home Style menu development and the eatz4u school catering programmes. But I guess I’m most proud of planting the seed for the company’s partnership with Marco Pierre White. I’d seen an article where he’d praised Knorr stock cubes, so I brought him to their attention. He wasn’t a big household name at the time but five years later our partnership has had global success, and Knorr has been crowned the No.1 stock cube in the retail market. CiS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? RL: ‘When I was a young soldier, my parents were given a feedback report. It stated that I was a hard worker, but tended to be a bit too verbose. So, now I always make a conscious effort to use only the amount of words that are needed. My five-step recipe concept, in particular, provides clear advice on creating tasty dishes. I now believe in more actions and less talk to get the point across.’ CiS: What advice would you give to young people considering a career in the industry? RL: ‘There are so many celebrity chefs on TV nowadays, which tends to give young people the impression that you can be an overnight sensation. This is not the case and it can take a long time to get to where you want to be. My advice to anyone wanting a long and fruitful career in this industry is to make sure you want it for the right reasons. Secondly, they should be positive; you shouldn’t let challenges get you down. That’s the attitude I’ve chosen for the last 45 years and it’s definitely worked for me. Lastly, I’ve spent many a shift working 18-hour days – which is not unusual – so it pays to be fit and healthy and on top physical and mental form.’ CiS: How would you sum up your career to date? RL: ‘Exciting, challenging and satisfying. For every door that’s opened I’ve started from the bottom and worked my way to the peak. And, for every big decision I’ve made, I know that I’ve been in control of my own destination.

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CateringScotland.com takes a look back at the career highlights of Ray Lorimer, one of the industry’s most respected personalities…

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