To many in the culinary industry, our new Executive Development Chef Willie Pike needs no introduction. Willie has a remarkable and extensive CV, stretching from early days in the industry as a commis chef at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow working his way up to Head Chef at Gatsby’s restaurant in the 80’s. His later career has seen him cook for many distinguished guests and dignitaries across the globe including the Royal Family. He received a rave review from Gordon Ramsay for a £500 a head charity dinner which raised £118k for Spina Bifida and was made an MBE by the Queen for his contribution to the hospitality industry. To say we are in good culinary company would be a bit of an understatement.
Being committed to sharing knowledge, Willie has spent nearly 10 years as a chef lecturer and senior lecturer in food production and associated studies at Glasgow College of Food Technology training the industry’s future chefs, some of which are excelling within the Scottish restaurant scene today.
He was then appointed as Executive Chef for Sodexo, cooking for corporate clients in the UK and around the world.
Willie was instrumental in the founding of The Scottish Culinary Team and was the pioneer and founder of The Scottish Chefs Conference in 2006 with the objective of encouraging and motivating student chefs to look at the hospitality industry as a true and rewarding vocation. The Conference has since grown in stature and today features demonstrations from some of the World’s greatest chefs.
As a Chef Willie is the complete all-rounder understanding the demands of every aspect of the Hospitality Industry including Hotels, fine dining restaurants and contract catering. He also has developed specialist skills in Patisserie, Pulled and blown sugar and Chocolate.
He subsequently set up his own chef consultancy business in 2009, providing services such as chefs training, specialist courses, masterclasses and culinary competition training.
Willie’s reputation and talent have earned him countless culinary awards over the years, including the Caterer and Hotelkeeper ‘Best Dish in Britain’ in 1997, 8 Gold medals at the Culinary Olympics and the Niyata trophy for Scotland as overall Winners at the Culinary World Championships in Singapore.
Notably, he also won the coveted ‘Red Jacket’ from the Craft Guild of Chefs as the Best Competition Chef in Britain in 1998, was the first recipient of the ‘Fellowship of the Master Chefs of Great Britain’ in 2003, Catering in Scotland (C.I.S) Chef of the Year Award in 2006 and the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Award in 2007.
At Inspire, we are honoured to be working with such a respected ambassador for the catering industry and look forward to Willie’s contribution to our business.
Willie, alongside our own Chef Director – David Hunt, an Award Winning Chef in his own right, provides us with a unrivalled culinary expertise in the contract catering sector in Scotland. We are excited about developing our own culinary geniuses within Inspire and continuing to provide an innovative food offer to our customers each and every day.
Willie will be demonstrating at the 2017 Scottish Chef’s Conference in November and will be assisted on stage by Tony Buhksh, Head Chef within our catering service at Edinburgh Business School.