Galldachd Na h-Alba Brewery update

I am pleased to announce that Thomas Barr from Moffat, a graduate in Accountancy from Dundee University, has agreed to join Chefs In Scotland Limited with remit to develop the brewery in Lockerbie, alongside other Special Projects.

Thomas has recently completed returned from his studies in Canada where he completed a

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Certificate at Mohawk College.

Thomas will start with us in early September and will be working on getting planning

permission completed at the premised in Well Street in Lockerbie, being

involved in the works to the property and working with myself to get the

Prospectus ready for investors.

This is an exciting project.

Galldachd na h-Alba Brewery

Galldachd na h-Alba Brewery

Driving into Lockerbie in the van this morning felt a little different. Bentley the Basset and El Poco the Street dog from Nerja on the Costa Del Sol were in their usual positions in the back on the mattress that we shared last winter in Spain. They didn’t bark too much as I exited the M74 and drove past the rubble of what used to be the school I left in 1982.

The squash courts and the ice rink remain much the same; without the space invaders but full of many instant memories of a miss-spent youth.

We drove down through the busy high street, today packed with cylists heading up to Moffat on the back road. Down past the railway station where I first alighted in Lockerbie in 1975 with my mother and my big brother Alex, some three months before my 10th birthday.

Well Street is narrow and there is a dead end where I park up the van and walk through the vennel to the solicitors, Henderson and MacKay, next to the Kings Arms Hotel where I played pool and drank a pint of lager with my dad on my 18th birthday.

I am jovial and joke with the lady in reception that Tom my solicitor has booked his six shares in the brewery which is yet an empty shell.

With two keys for the door and my camera, Bentley and El Poco bark at this folly.

Tomorrow can be a day for planning; today is just a day for dreaming.

Galldachd na h-Alba Brewery

Chefs In Scotland Limited is pleased to the purchase of the premises at 8 Well Street in Lockerbie.

We expect the handover date to be the 1st of August, our offer has been accepted and our lawyer is completing the transaction.

8 Well Street has been used as a Painter and Decorators Workshop for the last 40 odd years since before I moved to Lockerbie as a young boy in 1975.

We are calling the boutique brewery Galldachd na h-Alba Brewery which translates as Lowlands of Scotland Brewery.

Initially, we plan to make one craft beer and a high end gin.

We are planning to start production in early 2018.

We are recruiting a brewer and if anyone would like to express an interest in the position please email me

Availability of chefs in Rural Scotland

Availability of Chefs in Rural Scotland 4th May 2017

Head chefs

In rural Scotland including Inverness, Aberdeen, The highlands and islands, Perthshire, The Borders, Dumfriesshire and all the west coast including Ayrshire.

There are some head chefs always looking for a new challenge.

We advise offering accommodation with permanent head chef jobs to attract candidates.

Otherwise you may have to wait some time until a relevant local candidate becomes available. Suggest paying in the region of £16 per hour with accommodation provided at no cost for seasonal positions.

For more permanent roles suggest £30,000 per annum upwards plus bonus scheme based on profit margins, turnover, wages ratio and if relevant for gaining accolades.

2AA Rosette and above head chef candidates with stable and relevant work histories are quite scarce. Suggest paying to £35,000 for a 2AA Rosette head chef

In general for head chefs suggest paying £28,000 upwards to £50,000 according to requirements and demands of the job.

Ideally we advise for a five day week and over-time paid on a pro rata basis for extra days worked and for hours in excess of 48 on a pro rata basis.

Head Chefs may be ok to be paid monthly but more junior positions, we very much advise you pay weekly in what is a competitive market place.

With all the social media currently available, many chefs are becoming very savvy about where they wish to work and establishments with records of poor chef retention may find it harder to attract good quality permanent candidates. Scotland is quite a small country.

Sous chefs

In rural Scotland, it can be hard to get candidates but there are some candidates available if there is a good package in place.

2AA Rosettes there a few available. Suggest wages of £22,000 - £28,000 upwards to £30,000 for 3AA Rosette sous chef.

A good way to attract candidates is to pay hourly rates for every hour worked by chefs. For sous chefs suggest £12 to £14.50 per hour this will help to attract and retain good candidates. If paying salaried, we suggest five day week with overtime pro rata over 48 hours.

Chef de parties

In rural Scotland with accommodation there are a few candidates if wages are decent, suggesting hourly rate of pay and providing accommodation.

The availability of chefs who are looking for places such as Fort William, Inverness and West Coast is poor although there may be some chefs looking for live in accommodation that may be happy to relocate.

If paying by salary £19,000 for a 45 hour week works out £8.11 an hour which is on the low side. Suggest paying up to £22,000 or hourly rate £10.00 - £12.50 per hour with live in accommodation at a small charge.

We would hope you will get decent candidates with this.

Commis chefs

Pay relevant minimum wage per hour as opposed to salary.

These rates are for the National Minimum Wage. The rates change every April.

Over 25 £7.50 per hour

21 to 24 £7.05 per hour

18 to 20 £5.60 per hour

Under 18 £4.05 per hour

Apprentice £3.50 per hour

Thought for the week.

“chefs prefer to be paid weekly”

Out and About 7th April 2017

Out and About

7th April

I spoke with Scott Morrison the new head chef at The Cuillin Hills in Portree on Skye this morning. Unprompted Scott said he could not fault in any way the two excellent chefs who were up to help him out for a couple of weeks over a very busy period. Cameron Brown and Nelson Reposo. Many thanks. Scott used to pop in as a young chef to our offices in Wentworth Street in Portree when he was working at the Bosville to have a chat with his then girlfriend who is now his wife and she kindly helped us out with invoices.

Graham “Top Dog” Smith who hasn’t won a cup has been excellent over on Stornoway in Lewis, Skeabost on Skye and now over on Shetland at the Scalloway Hotel. Many thanks Graham and look forward to no Jaeger bombs at the CIS golf competition in Moffat later on in October.

Paul Devonshire, a well known chef, has been helping out for a few shifts at Go Glasgow off Paisley Road West. I stayed there a couple of weeks back for a night and the hotel has been transformed since Crerer took it over, managed by Graham Urquhart, formerly of Palm Court in Aberdeen. Look forward to staying again and thanks for helping us out Paul.

Lillian Clarkson will hopefully have received her CIS pen by now and thanks again Lillian.

Joe Wright, who is based in Kelso, often pops up for a couple of cameo roles in between several full time jobs. Joe is over in Ardanaseig for 7 days, thanks for all your support joe.

Thomas Scott has done a lot of excellent jobs over the last few years and is usually asked to stay on longer, like he is on Arran at the Glenisle just now. Many thanks also Thomas. It has been a few years now.

Tim Morris is back up in the North West of Scotland helping out at Tigh An Eilan and providing excellent support. Many thanks again Tim.

Down in Lockerbie, Phil Smith and Mick Kitson have been working hard at The Dryfesdale Hotel, a very busy hotel with an excellent reputation.

Alan Baird is also working in Lockerbie at The Townhead and getting on well. Many thanks again Alan.

Chris Roberti is up in Kinlochewe and is getting rave reviews as always from the outgoing owner Andrew.

Down in North of England, we have had a good few chefs on the go.

Glyn Musker completed a long stint at The Morrit. Paul Sellers is working there for a few days at the moment.

In Melrose, Nick Henderson was singing the praises very highly of Sarah Jeffrey who was working at Burts for a month, many thanks Sarah and good luck with your new job. All the best.

Sarah Pozzi has finished a good stint on Skye and is helping out in Edinburgh at the moment. Many thanks Sarah.

Peter Norrie, Kai Stutzkeitz, Michael Njoroge, Garry McGirr, Ionel Rizea, Richard Naismith, Gary Imlach, Andrew McMillan, Mark Wilkinson, Kirsty Hamilton, Daniel Haig, Colin Thomson. All are out and About in Scotland and North England.

Graham McCleish has ventured over the border into Carlisle fresh from enjoying Westport in Usit where Sharon Shearer is the head chef, lovely people said Graham.

There are many, many excellent chefs out there, good honest, hard working, reliable and with skills too many to name.

mòran taing do còcairean ann an Alba