The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Monday, 27 April 2009

Braehead Foods cook school wins
five star quality assurance grading

THE new cook school at Braehead Foods has been awarded five star status by VisitScotland’s quality assurance team, who visited them in March during their first month of opening.

The company is understandably delighted with this accolade, which puts them as ‘exceptional and world class’ graded as a visitor tourist attraction and has compounded their first month of successful trading at the new cook school which cost £500,000 to set up with state of the art kitchen bays, cookery equipment and an onsite restaurant at their new £2.7 million pound Kilmarnock headquarters.

VisitScotland regional director Sandi Hellowell said: “This is great news for East Ayrshire and Scotland as a whole, and will certainly add an extra dimension to the tourism offering in the area. It is great to see businesses such as the Cook School at Braehead Foods continue to invest in tourism which is crucial to the ongoing success of the tourism industry in East Ayrshire and the wider area. This has real potential to be a centrepiece attraction and all involved should be commended on their efforts.”

To achieve a grading as a tourist attraction, the establishment is visited incognito and assessed on core and specific criteria depending on what type of tourist attraction they are. The assessors measure the visitor experience and expectation as well as accuracy of sales material, signage and offering, layout of facility and spaciousness, cleanliness, audience levels and participation, ability of guests to interpret information available during their visit and the overall presentation of the building and general update and lastly and importantly staff knowledge, appearance and efficiency.

The QA Scheme year runs from August each year to July the next and during each visit, the grading assessment, which carried out by a qualified tourism professional is not only made but information and advice is available from the quality advisor. The Quality Assurance scheme has been operated since 1995. It provides independent quality assurance and incorporates the inspection of properties for Thistle tourist signposting.

Aileen Stevenson is operations director at Cook School at Braehead Foods. She commented: “We are really delighted with this Visit Scotland accreditation. Opening a cook school is something that as a company we have been keen to do for some time. As a company Braehead Foods Ltd already have extensive experience in the food service sector but having esteemed Michelin starred chef Steven Doherty working with us sharing his catering experience has been invaluable. It’s always been our aim to provide informed and interesting culinary classes and events for both consumers and those working in the catering industry to strengthen their knowledge and enjoy cooking with some of Scotland’s finest ingredients under the guidance of our team at the cook school. I am especially pleased to see all their hard work paying off, and we look forward to working more closely with them in the future."

Cook School at Braehead Foods opened on 1 March. Course enquiries and bookings can be made by going online to or by calling 01563 550008.

Braehead Foods Ltd and Cook School at Braehead Foods source game from over 100 estates across Scotland, including venison, pheasant, partridge, grouse and rabbit. They supply London’s Smithfield Market for onward distribution and since 2003 have been exporting wholesale game to USA, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium. Founded in 1988 Braehead Foods has become synonymous with fine food and game. In April 2008, Braehead moved into their new purpose-built factory at Moorfield Park Industrial Estate, Kilmarnock. At 30,000 square feet it is more than six times larger than the previous factory and allows them to meet demand for more quality game and fine food distribution and processing. The new building is open plan, set over two floors and houses a state-of-the art processing area, cold storage and dispatch docks.



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