2nd September 2019

As we enter our first week of September and the leaves start to change a lot of chefs will have their thinking caps on for producing their autumn/winter menu’s and the dreaded Christmas menu; after all it is only 17 weeks until the big day! Sense the excitement. I’ve certainly noticed in the last week after we had the bank holiday sun that it has cooled down a lot. The darker mornings are slowly creeping in on us and the 5 o’clock darkness will be with us soon. It won’t be long until we have our hats and scarves hunted out. As we fast approach the autumn period it had me thinking about making comfort food again and getting the slow cooker back out to create stews for coming home to. Comfort foods to me are things like mince and tatties and pots of your granny’s home - made soup! Something even through the summer, I got to enjoy; every Tuesday to be precise.

What does comfort food mean to you and have you had a think about your autumn/winter menus for the cold season ahead? I enjoy going into restaurants throughout the colder season and there are dishes such as Irish stew or thick soups, something my granny likes to say will ‘stick to your ribs’. Do you take a piece of home – cooked family tradition into the kitchen with you?

Out and About Friday 30th August

We have 83 relief chefs out working and 18 confirmed for the week so far.

We are getting lots of permanent and seasonal jobs filled this month

Plenty of CV’s being sent out and interview being arranged

We currently have 142 positions available on our website please visit and you can apply for positions directly or if you want us to suggest jobs to you then all you need to do is email your updated CV, reference details and hygiene certificate to

Here are some of the chefs we have out just now

Tim Morris is finishing his 4 weeks stint at The Bridge of Cally and is booked to go to The Lodge at Perth Race Course.

John Cowie is getting on very well at The Balmacara Hotel in Kyle of Lochalsh

Stephen Mackenzie is at The Loch Ness Clansman Hotel

Kaspars Lapins is at The Kingsmills Hotel where Mae Mclean is finishing today and ready for her next job at The Eden Court Theatre

John Pickering has been extended at The Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Roger Brown is back helping at The Oyster Inn in Connell

Sarah Galloway has worked a short stint helping at Knockomie House Hotel in Forres

Craig Morris is on his last couple of days at The stonefield Castle

Brian Ferguson is at Inverlochy Castle

Colin Thomson is at Collingwood Arms

Daniel Haig is at The Gelngarry Castle

Patrick Johnstone is at the Kames Hotel

Thanks to all of our relief chefs we really appreciate all your hard work and continued support 😊

Out and About 23rd August 2019

This week has been a bit of a struggle to get chefs out we have 17 confirmed so far this week, the availability of chefs has been very tight.

We do however have 86 chefs out working this is up on last year by 13 which is great.

We are still happy for chefs to meet us in Moffat to discuss permanent and relief work, just get in touch with us to check our availability.

If you want to register for relief work please email your CV’s to include 2 recent contactable work reference and your up to date hygiene certificate.

When going to relief jobs please don’t forget to take ID for payroll (passport is preferred) or birth certificate, your P45 and NI number.

If you are a chef who has done work with us and get asked to go back to places you have been to please just keep us informed.

Here are some of the chefs we have out working

Bruce Robertson is at The Glen Nevis Restaurant

Calum Smith is at The Ben Loyal Hotel in Tongue

Sara Jayne Moffat is staying until the end of August at The Oyster Inn

Steve Cameron is at The Mustard Seed in Inverness

Ben Mailer is finishing next week at The Cawdor Tavern

Steven Mathieson has extended his stint at the Inch Hotel where George McCallum will cover when he is on holiday

Tony Vinter is finishing off the season at Hotel Hebrides

Marion Pohlmann is at the Sumburgh Hotel in Shetland

Robert Pop is at the Grant Arms Hotel

Steve Nye is at the Inn on the Tay along with Jamie Atkinson and Steve Moffat

Scott Macintyre is at the Nevis Bank Hotel

Stuart Urquhart is at The Classroom Restaurant in Nairn

Thanks to all of our relief chefs for your hard work and support 😊

Restaurants within prisons

I read an article this week about kitchens within restaurants situated in prisons. I have personally never been to any of these restaurants but feel it’s a good idea. It has shown that by prisoners working in restaurants and in kitchens there has been less re-offending. This could be due to the reason that they are learning a skill so it can be easier to find work. Also working in the kitchen can bring a strong sense of community to someone in what must be a very difficult and lonely part of your life. Gordon Ramsay did a channel 4 series on this about 7 years ago so I’m sure a lot has changed since then but re-offending at the time dropped from 47% to 10% when having been trained in The Clink restaurant. It seems it’s a good discipline for prisoners to learn and to work and train in the restaurant prisoners need to be within 6-18 months of the end of their sentence and obviously have the right temperament. The prisoners work up to 40 hours a week and while they are there they are working towards City & Guilds qualifications. The Clink, which is a charity has collaborated with about 120 different companies that will take on graduates from the restaurant into jobs. After they are placed a mentor will then visit the graduate for the first 6 months of the placement.

What are your thoughts on previous offenders working in the hospitality trade?


I always remember learning about Fairtrade in school and there always being loads of fundraising events for the charity. Its not until now that I have researched into it more and realised what they actually do. Originally founded in 1992 the now registered charity has changed the lives of workers across the world. Fairtrade aims to provide quality working conditions for those in local farms and plants. There are over 1.66 million workers across the Fairtrade system. Fairtrade aims to provide an equal pay to workers and to ensure working conditions are met to a high standard. They are working hard to ensure that the old ways of ‘slave labour’ are forgotten about and to ensure the farmers and plant owners have a fair say on where and who to that their produce is sold.

It is definitely something I will look into next time I’m in the supermarket, I believe that it is the Co-Op who predominately uses the Fairtrade brand and thinking about it I do see the logo on a lot of the their products, especially coffee and chocolate.

Here are some facts to think about when buying Fairtrade next time your in your local supermarket…
· 23% of all farmers and workers in Fairtrade are women
· 1411 Fairtrade certified producer organisations in 73 countries
· £158.3 million in Fairtrade premium paid to producers in 2016

Jade Porteous