Inspire Chef Competition Winners travel to Andalućia for the weekend to enjoy their prize of a Spanish Culinary Safari

Earlier this year, we held our inaugural Shine Ball in aid of Meningitis Research Foundation. This was Inspire’s first major fundraising event which raised a staggering total of £25k. The money was raised through a combination of ticket sales, donations and the amazing generosity of our guests.

The whole event’s production gave the opportunity for all of our own Inspire staff to ‘shine’ and showcase their creativity and talent as well as using local produce from Scotland’s excellent larder. We held a culinary competition where entrants were invited to create the actual menu for the Ball on the night – the winning dishes were then featured on the evening for guests to enjoy at The Shine Ball and each winner then secured their prize of a trip to Southern Spain to enjoy a gastronomic extravaganza in the form of a weekend Spanish Culinary Safari.

Having just returned from this amazing gastronomic extravaganza, the winners included:

Cameron Kelly from Odfjell Drilling Aberdeen
Dougie Macdonald from Kilgraston School, Perthshire
Graham Burgess from Maersk Oil, Aberdeen
Lindsay Prior from Wood, Aberdeen
Mark Sturrock from Erskine Stewarts Melville Schools, Edinburgh
Tony Bukhsh from Edinburgh Business School, Heriot-Watt University
Brian Reid from TAQA, Aberdeen


Accompanied by Chef Director David Hunt and Owners David Pease and Lorna McFarlane, the lucky group made the most of breath-taking views, gorgeous blue skies, 25 degrees of sunshine and of course some amazing culinary delights! A fair bit of fun was involved also!

David Pease, Owner had this to say about the experience: ‘We all had the most fantastic time. From tapas and wine tastings to exploring Malaga markets and hidden mountain villages whilst sampling local delicacies, it really was a culinary delight for all’.

Staying in an exclusive mountain retreat for the weekend – Los Olivillos, high up in the Sierra de Tejeda mountains in Southern Andalućia, activities included a whirlwind visit to Nerja to enjoy some local tapas, indulging in an exclusive wine tasting in a private bodega and sampling some truly authentic Spanish cuisine in a hidden mountain village. This consisted of wild boar, rabbit stew, roast kid (goat) and bread baked in the mountain oven washed down with several cervezas.

The chefs even tried their hand at horse riding. The trip was made complete with a visit to the wonderful Atarazanas market in Malaga where the winners were able to make a few purchases to cook some tapas on the Saturday night. They also had the opportunity to pay a quick visit to Malaga’s oldest bar dating back to 1840 to sample some local Malaga wines!

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