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Why Global Competitions Are Key To Success For Scottish Culinary Team

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Why Global Competitions Are Key To Success For Scottish Culinary Team

Why Global Competitions Are Key To Success For Scottish Culinary Team
January 14
08:25 2019

Tying in with today’s launch of the 2019 CIS Excellence Awards, in partnership with, our friends at Scotland Food & Drink interviewed Kevin McGillivray, Scottish Culinary Team Director and a member of the CIS Awards Advisory Board. 

FR: The Scottish Culinary team recently returned home with a silver medal in the Expogast culinary world cup. Why is that such a major achievement for these young chefs?

KM: The chefs competing on the world stage means so much to us. Not only was the team up against the top culinary nations including Sweden, America, Germany and Singapore, it was also a tough personal challenge to prove to themselves that they could cook at such a high level and showcase Scotland at the same time. The silver medal has placed us 13th in the world rankings, which is an outstanding accomplishment for such a young team.

FR: Why is it so important for Scotland to have a national culinary team?

KM: The common goal is to produce exceptional food, exceed the expectations of vistors and locals, and to build a sense of pride among chefs and service staff. We at Scottish Chefs believe that in order to achieve targets in Scottish tourism and the Good Food Nation, we need to work together in pursuit of those goals. If the industry supports its national team, it’s a natural vehicle to help promote Scottish produce both on home soil and overseas.

FR: What role does Scottish produce play in the team’s work, both at home and when competing abroad?

KM: When competing on the international stage, we always use Scottish produce as it’s so highly regarded by the judges who understand world-class products like the shellfish and the Scotch Beef PGI that we used in Luxembourg.

FR: What’s coming up for the team in the next couple of years that we should know about?

KM: We have a team planning meeting later this month to discuss dates for practice sessions for the Culinary Olympics in February next year. And next month, the CIS Excellence Young Chef of the year 2017, Jamie MacKinnon will be competing in the Hans Bueschkens Young Global chef semi-finals in Italy.

FR: How can food, drink and hospitality businesses support the Scottish Culinary Team?

KM: We believe that hospitality businesses and food and drink suppliers have the opportunity to promote their own products through association with the team. Indeed, this requires financial support as well as product support and logistics.

FR: What would you say to any chef interested in joining the team?

KM: Competitions play a vital role in culinary arts as they help raise the standards of excellence. There is no better way for a chef to hone their craft than by putting their skills and knowledge to the test in a competitive format. It’s also brilliant for both personal and professional development. Being part of a team, working together for a common goal and representing your nation is a life-enhancing thing to be part of.

Fiona Richmond is Head of Regional Food at Scotland Food and Drink.

If any businesses who would like to help Jamie MacKinnon in his Young Global chef challenge by becoming a sponsor, contact

The 16th CIS Excellence Awards, in partnership with, launch for entries today, 14th January 2019. With categories for chefs, restaurants, hotels, farms shops visitor centres and indeed any type of business in Scottish catering and hospitality, there is a category to suit you, your organisation and your employees. 

See Entries close on Friday 22nd February.


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Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

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