The very best of local talent will be to the fore when the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open tees off at Castle Stuart, near Inverness – and all of them unknowns.
For as the crowds thrill to the golfing brilliance on the famous links course, behind the scenes an army of dedicated catering staff, who are household names only in their own households, are the unseen stars of Scotland’s most prestigious golfing competition.
Its global appeal is reflected in the list of the world’s top golfers who will be taking part-world number one and defending champion Luke Donald, three-time Major winners Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington as well as Scotland’s own Open champions Paul Lawrie and Sandy Lyle.
Away from the competition itself however and it’s strictly a local affair with the 200 plus catering staff, chefs, waiting staff, kitchen porters and back of house teams, all recruited from the immediate area which already boasts an unrivalled reputation for Highland hospitality.
The decision to employ locals rather than ‘import’ staff is a deliberate and carefully planned strategy by the sponsors Aberdeen Asset Management and their catering company, the highly regarded Amadeus which has more than 35 years experience in catering for similar high profile events throughout the UK.
Kevin Watson, managing director of Amadeus says: “We recruit locally at our external events like the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open because Amadeus believes in giving back to the local community and because we find that people from the locality of the event, especially this one, have real enthusiasm and a thorough knowledge of the event.
“For example we employed a freelance chef from Inverness to work with us on the event last year. She was so impressed that she asked to come down to Birmingham and work with our venues to see what we do here. We thought that her dedication and passion were so great that we have employed her again this year.”
Amadeus training teams recently spent time in Scotland with the new recruits who between them will serve all the players and caddies, 2,000 hospitality guests, 900 members of the media and around 20,000 members of the public on each day of the four day event.
To prepare them for the hard work ahead, the staff received intensive training in food hygiene, health and safety and were up dated on Scottish licensing laws.
Mr Watson added: “Our menu for the Aberdeen Asset Scottish Open is sourced using local suppliers and produce. This includes meat fish, vegetables, cakes, desserts and breads that, as far as possible, have been farmed, fished, grown or baked in Inverness and the Highlands.
“And, since we will be using local produce, the recruits were given full briefing on where all the food came from so that they will be fully knowledgeable and able to answer customer queries.
“The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is a fantastic event and we are delighted to be involved with it. We really enjoy the enthusiasm of the community we work with and a get a real buzz out of giving back to the area by employing local people and working with local suppliers for our food.”
The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open takes place at Castle Stuart by Inverness from 12 to 15 July 2012. The prize money for the 2012 Scottish Open is £2.5million. Adult tickets are available for each day of the event from £30 and a season ticket for four days costs £70 (booking fees apply). Tickets can be purchased at http://tickets.europeantour.com.
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