Simon Howie

Awards galore

Autumn brings a bumper crop of award ceremonies. Among the recent ones that caught our eye were the ones run by Glenfiddich and Caterer and Hotelkeeper.

At the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland awards on St Andrew’s Night, Norman MacDonald, proprietor of Café One in Inverness lifted the Spirit of Scotland food award. Norman is committed to offering customers the finest local Highland produce. The café uses fresh local produce which is supplied daily by local and where possible independent suppliers. Norman also innovatively incorporates his own Holly House brand of beef, lamb and pork reared on his croft into the Café One menu so diners are guaranteed a memorable meal.

Simon Howie, pictured, chairman of the Perthshire-based family butcher, won the Spirit of Scotland Business Award. It was in recognition of his outstanding business achievements. Having started his first butcher’s shop in Dunning in 1986 at the age of 19, Simon went on to open a 40,000sq ft factory to service many of Scotland’s finest hotels and, in the last few years, provide meat products to supermarkets. Simon Howie Foods, which has a turnover of £9 million, is part of the Simon Howie Group, which has an annual turnover in excess of £40 million and employs 400 staff across a range of industrial sectors including property, laminates, waste to energy, bulk goods handling and distribution and farming.

At the Caterer and Hotelkeeper awards, Stephen Carter, chairman of De Vere Cameron House on Loch Lomond was named Hotelier of the Year. He was selected for his outstanding contribution to the hospitality industry during his 40-year career and his dedication to encouraging and developing young people. Andrew Stembridge, MD of Chewton Glen in Hampshire and 2010 Hotelier of the Year described Carter as one of the most generous hoteliers on the planet. “He’s thoroughly old fashioned in his approach to hospitality, but perfectly modern when it comes to nurturing his team. He’s been quietly doing marvellous things in Scotland forever and hence this worthy recognition is long overdue.”

Carter has been at Cameron House since 2008 since when he has steered the property through a £50 million refurbishment to create a resort with 128 bedrooms, 115 time-share lodges, the Carrick spa with 17 treatment rooms and a PGA championship course. Earlier in his career, Carter oversaw the development and opening of the five-star St Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa and held positions at Cliveden and the Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh. He is a board member of Visit Scotland, has been chairman of the Hospitality Industry Trust for Scotland for 11 years and is a founding director of the International Leadership School in Glasgow. Meanwhile, at the Scottish Asian Business Awards in Glasgow on 23 November, Charan Gill was given the Lifetime Achievement title. Previously the owner of the Harlequin group of curry restaurants – including Ashoka – he now works to build links between Scottish and Indian businesses. [– FL]

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