Client / Chef Testimonials
Willie has cooked for many distinguished guests and dignitaries including the Royal Family. In 2009 at the request of Gordon Ramsay he headed up the team that cooked the Gala 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.
Jeremy Osborne (General Manager) Cringletie House Hotel Peebles
Having lost our Executive chef and most of the brigade. I contacted Willie who evaluated where we were as a business. He recruited and stabilised the kitchen and supports the chef by writing all our menus including our seasonal and festive menus.
Willie works in the kitchen with the team showing the dishes and the set up for service. He ensures the menus reflect our customers’ needs and are costed to produce the required G.P. He works very closely with the chef and his team who are extremely grateful for his support. He has a unique ability to motivate the team resulting in the team taking ownership and delivering the standard. Willie spends circa 20 days per year in our business but is a phone call or e mail away and always happy to support. I am contactable on 01721725744 e-mail GM@cringletie.com
Willie was the founder of the www.scottishchefsconference.co.uk and in 2015 celebrated 10 years. Willie Pike celebrated the 10th year as organiser of the Scottish Chefs Conference On November 2 2015 over 1000 delegates from the hospitality industry descended on the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow for the 10th Annual Scottish Chefs Conference. This year there was ten top chefs demonstrating culinary signature dishes and organiser Willie Pike and his team ‘intend to make it an awesome extra special day not to be missed by anyone’. Why do you want to be part of the conference?
The Scottish Chefs Conference celebrated its tenth year and is set to be the biggest showcase of top name chefs they have ever had. The Staff Canteen spoke to organiser and founder, William Pike, about this year’s conference, the chefs involved and how important it is to inspire the chefs of the future.
He explained: “It is the tenth anniversary and we are focusing on 10 so 10 years, 10 chefs demonstrating their own very special signature dish. The gala dinner in the evening will feature 10 dishes cooked by 10 students from 10 different colleges.”
Having attended many chefs conferences south of the border and demonstrated at The Skills for Chefs Conference in Sheffield on many occasions, in 2006 Willie felt that it was time to have an annual conference in Scotland.
“I set out to improve the quality of the chef’s daily life and for them to enjoy even more our great profession,” said Willie. “If we could expose the chefs to the great chefs demonstrating and showcasing their dishes, skills and techniques this would hopefully excite and remind them of how special our industry is.
“Another fabulous benefit was our partners and sponsors who all have a natural empathy with the chefs and had something to offer them whether it be labour saving equipment, product, crockery, training or advice.”
He added: “It was always an intention to have our future chefs involved encouraging them to seriously consider a career in our profession. In 2007 we invited every catering college in Scotland to identify their best 10 students and bring them along free as delegates to our conference. We have now extended this offer to every college in the U.K. and further afield and have had lecturers and students from Northern Ireland and London’s Westminster in attendance. Last year we had 750 day delegates, this year for the Anniversary we are expecting circa 1000!”
Why did you want to be part of the conference?
Well, I was part of the conference 10 years ago and I thought it was a fantastic thing for Willie to do. The attendance in the first year was exceptional, for a first conference I thought it was extremely well organised, and for it to still be going so strong after ten years all credit has to go to Willie for doing that. I have been to a number of conferences over the last ten years, but the buzz of this conference has always been exceptional, and I know that people talk about it for a long time afterward. A lot of my staff attended conferences, and they get a huge amount out of it, and the amount of names that Willie has managed to attract over the last ten years is testament of all his hard work.
2 Michelin Andrew Fairlie
To thank Willie for all of his work and effort! I just want to give credit to him because he is a very skilled chef but he is very humble about it. I would do anything for him, and he says the same to me. I aspire to be at the level he is at.
3 Michelin James Jocky Petrie
What does it mean to you to be at the conference?
It means a great deal. I live in America now and I have done for the last 25 years, but I was born and raised in Glasgow. So to come back to Scotland and be part of such a great conference it’s fantastic for me to be around some of the people I worked with when I was working in Britain. I was also on the British master chef team with Willie Pike, so it’s amazing to get back in and work with the team that I left quite some time ago.
John Johnston Executive Chef Augusta National
What does it mean to you to be at the 10th conference?
The Scottish Chefs Conference has gone from strength to strength since its inception. The service it provides to the industry is unique and it's great to be involved. The credit for its success must go to the inspirational Willie Pike.
Ruth Hinks World Chocolate Master
What value do you feel the conference brings to the next generation of Chefs
This is the most unique support to chefs and students there has ever been in the U.K
unmissable by and serious chef or trainee and for this we all owe a great depth of gratitude to my great friend Willie Pike
3 Michelin Stephen Doherty
What does it mean to you to be at the 10th anniversary of the Scottish Chefs Conference?
It means an incredible amount. It’s pretty nostalgic for me because I was there at the first one and I’ve not done it since. I really have to say a big thank you to Willie Pike, because in the first year, there was a last minute cancellation from one of the chefs. He had the courage to phone me up to ask me do a demo! It was a really big moment for me, I wasn’t experienced in this kind of things; cooking in front of my peers, and it was nerve-wracking. I was new on the block, I think we had only been open for three months, but the conference really put me on the map.
Tom Kitchin Edinburgh
Why did you want to be part of the conference?
My Partner Neil is Scottish and was inspired by Willie when he was involved with the Scottish Culinary Team. The conference is all about encouraging the youngsters coupled with the chance to go back to Scotland count me in.
Angela Hartnett M.B.E.
What does it mean to you to be at the 10th Scottish Chefs conference?
It is great to be going back for the 10th conference. Along with Tom Kitchin and Andrew Fairlie, I participated in the first one, ten years ago. It is wonderful how Willie Pike has evolved this event and I am proud to be a part of it.
Master Patisserie William Curley M.C.A.
Willie Pike celebrated the 10th year as organiser of the Scottish Chefs Conference
On November 2 2015 over 1000 delegates from the hospitality industry descended on the Thistle Hotel in Glasgow for the 10th Annual Scottish Chefs Conference. This year there was ten top chefs demonstrating culinary signature dishes and organiser Willie Pike and his team ‘intend to make it an awesome extra special day not to be missed by anyone’.
Why do you want to be part of the conference?