Two Edinburgh College curriculum leaders have been nominated for industry awards recognising their commitment and creative approach to inspiring the next generation of cookery and hospitality professionals.
Hospitality curriculum leader Mandy Purdie has been named as a finalist in Business Women Scotland’s Women in Hospitality Awards while Professional Cookery curriculum leader Steph Tanner has been shortlisted in this year’s Catering in Scotland (CIS) Excellence Awards.
Mandy’s shortlisting in the Lecturer of the Year category follows a year working closely with schools across Edinburgh and the Lothians in an attempt to bring cookery and hospitality principles to pupils in schools where home economics provision is lacking due to a shortage of qualified subject teachers.
Mandy has engaged with more than 1,000 pupils from Primary one through to S4 in a range of programmes including: Springboard Hospitality Takeover days; pop-up hospitality demos in schools; delivery of SVQ 4-lite qualification to S4s at Castlebrae High School; and mentoring for pupils at Craigroyston High School.
Steph’s nomination in the Hospitality Lecturer of the Year category comes as a result of maximising student opportunities outside of the College as well as in the training restaurants. Steph played a key role in the development of a new partnership with the Lycée hôtelier de Dinard in France which sees both sets of students take part in exchange programmes to learn about life in the Scottish, French and wider European hospitality sector which will benefit them in their careers.
Mandy Purdie said: “It’s a brilliant feeling to be shortlisted for this award and to be recognised for the work we do both at the College and with schools across the region. It’s a real team effort with all the lecturers in our department, as well as the schools who we have formed amazing partnerships with which allows us to give young people a thorough insight into cookery and hospitality.
Steph Tanner said: “I’m delighted to have been named as a finalist in the CIS Awards and I’m really looking forward to the event. It’s been a fantastic year for the Cookery and Hospitality department at the College – we’ve developed strong relationships with industry and kicked off an ongoing exchange programme to allow our students to learn from and network with their counterparts in France.
“The enthusiasm and willingness to learn we see in our students is what drives us all to be the best we can for them every day.”
Edinburgh College Head of Tourism, Hospitality and Business Sarah-Jane Linton said: “Congratulations to Mandy and Steph on being shortlisted for these awards, it’s superb news and nothing short of what they deserve.
“They both work extremely hard and demonstrate their love and commitment for their industry and our students every day, helping them to become the best chefs and hospitality professionals they can be.”
Mandy and Steph will now head to two glamourous awards ceremonies later this month where they will find out if they’re winners and to meet with other industry professionals.
BWS Women in Hospitality Awards – Thursday 16 May at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh.
CIS Excellence Awards – Thursday 30 May at the Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central.