About Willie Pike M.B.E. Master Chef
One the top chefs in Scotland just ask any serious chef.
Willie has run his own Masterchef Chef Consultancy business since 2009, www.williepike.co.uk.
- He describes his cooking as a solid foundation of balanced tastes and flavours with an innovative twist.
- His skills set includes the ability, to communicate very effectivley with everyone, from the kitchen porters to the top chefs and management. A large part of that philosophy and methodology is the ability to give others a renewed confidence in the aspects of the business they are ultimately are responsible for.
The difficulties that any business involved in the food industry might have is exactly the challange that Willie seeks.
- Nothing is too small or no project too large. Willie can provide solutions, and very good ones at that. Of that you can be assured.
Broadly these areas include:
Interactive master classes
Motivational speaking with Food
Culinary competition training.
Willie Pike – Career guide
Willie Pike’s cooking career kicked off in earnest as a commis chef at Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, in 1975. This was followed by stints at the Bath Hotel and Central Hotel in the city, before he made the move to chef de partie at Apsley hotel. By 1981, he was working as a sous chef at Gatsby’s restaurant, where he was promoted to head chef.
Remaining in Glasgow, Willie spent nearly 10 years as chef lecturer and senior lecturer in food production and associated studies at Glasgow College of Food Technology.
Willie moved back to the industry in 1994 as Executive Chef of Gardner Merchant Scotland East and after the buy out from Sodexo was appointed to Executive Chef at Sodexo for UK corporate businesses, cooking for many corporate clients in the U.K. and around the world.
Subsequently moving on to the Costly & Costly Group in Ayrshire, designing menus for a variety of venues, training and standards within the group, ensuring culinary excellence, profitability and retention of the groups many accolades including Scotland’s Hotel of the Year, Lochgreen House hotel and its 3 rosettes in a very busy restaurant.
Setting up his own Willie Pike Masterchef consultancy business in 2009, his talent and commitment has been acknowledged.
He was also made an ambassador for chocolate manufacturer Barry Callebaut.
He has a cache of culinary accolades and awards, including:-
The Caterer and Hotelkeeper best dish in Britain in 1997,
8 gold medals at the Culinary Olympics representing Scotland and U.K., the Niata trophy as overall champions (hot Kitchen) at the Culinary World Championships in Singapore.
He was part of the British team that won the World Banqueting Championship in Toronto.
Domestically Willie was instrumental in setting up the Sodexo Culinary Team which won the British Cookery championships 5 years in a row which included La parade de chefs and the cold buffet display, his team amassed 118 Gold and 6 silver medals in the 5 years of his involvement.
As an individual Willie has won Gold medals in Pulled Sugar, Desserts and Petite fours to name a few.
Willie is the founder of the annual Scottish Chefs Conference which he set up in 2006. The key objective of the conference was to encourage Scottish chefs to improve standards, take pride in the profession and showcase what Scotland can provide and for everyone in our industry to feel comfortable and enjoy the world’s greatest profession.
The Conference was created as a vehicle to -
1. Motivate and excite our chefs, inspiring the youngsters while re-kindling the fire in the more mature.
2. Provide a platform for our chefs to expand their repertoires, acquire knowledge, skills and techniques from some of the most respected Chefs in the World.
3. Gain an awareness of the suppliers who can support them in their kitchens and businesses.
4. Expand their knowledge of the suppliers ranges and their latest products and cutting edge innovations.
5. Opportunity to network with fellow chefs and suppliers.
Every college in Britain is now invited every year to bring along 10 student chefs who they feel have a future in our Industry to attend the conference free of charge last year we had 750 delegates!
Some of the world’s greatest chefs have demonstrated at The Scottish Chefs Conference including – Paco Torreblanca – Tom Kerridge – Gary Jones – Andrew Fairlie – Claire Clark (the French Laundry) Tom Kitchen – Martin Wishart – Jason Atherton – Steven Doherty – Ramon Morato – Bruce Sangster – Daniel Clifford – Nathan Outlaw – Cyrus Todiwalla – Paul Gayler – Phil Howard to name but a few,
and the 2015, tenth anniversary 5 event demonstrators were, William Curley, Claire Smyth, James Jockie Petrie, Monioca Galetti, Sat Bains, Ruth Hinks, Angela Hartnett, Andrew Fairlie and Stephen Doherty.
Willie cooked the evening extravaganza dinners for the chefs with a few fellow Chefs and college students. In 2015 to celebrate 10 years he provided canapés and 10 courses for 450 of our industries finest!
Willie has cooked for many distinguished guests and dignitaries including the Royal Family.
In 2009 Willie was asked, at the request of Gordon Ramsay, to cook for his fund raising Spina Bifida Dinner at the Science Centre in Glasgow. To quote Gordon Ramsay “Willie and his team have cooked the most outstanding meal that I have ever eaten anywhere in the world for these numbers” the event raised £118,000 for a very worthy cause.
Said by many to be an inspiration to all chefs, Willie set out to become the complete professional chef and though dedication, hard work and determination gained a wealth of experience not only in technical cooking skills but every aspect of this industry.
He is fully aware of the demands of the hospitality industry – from hotels, banqueting, fine dining and outside catering, to pubs, brassieres, restaurants, contract catering, travel, in-flight provision, equipment and associated costs, procurement and provisioning.
He is a respected master craftsman and all-rounder, with specialist skills in pulled and blown sugar, patisserie and chocolate work.
He has cooked for many VIPs, but says one of his greatest challenges was cooking for 500 of his peers at the Craft Guild of Chefs National Chefs Awards (Culinary Oscars) 1997.
He believes in sharing his skills and has featured at many food shows and exhibitions. His recipes have been reproduced in many trade journals and magazines and he was advisor and judge on ITV's Rosemary Shrager’s School for Cooks programme.
Willie has been recognised by the industry over the years and accolades include:-
1998 Coveted Red Jacket from the Craft Guild of Chefs as the best competition chef in Britain;
2003 Fellowship of The Master Chefs of Great Britain;
2006 Catering in Scotland (C.I.S) Chef of the Year Award
2007 Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Award.
2008, he was made an MBE by the Queen for his contribution to the hospitality industry.
2014 he won the peoples Award from The Craft Guild of Chefs as voted by all chefs world wide.
Looking ahead, Willie has pledged to continue to challenge himself to deliver culinary excellence and innovation while training and developing the industries future chefs.