Welcome back to our 'Spotlight' series where we shine the light on some of the ‘Rising Stars’ within our industry revealed at Scothot2023 , which recognised the country’s most talented up-and-comers…..
Today, our guest is Kieran Wight from Elior (BT Murrayfield)! (Learn more about Elior here)
What musical instrument does Kieran play?...................Keep on reading to find out what it is. 😊
- Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Kieran Wight,Head Chef at Scottish Rugby Hospitality. Based within BT Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh, I am employed by Elior UK, an award winning global contract caterer.
After completing my studies-in 2015 I started as a Commis Chef at BT Murrayfield under the watchful eye of the then Executive Head Chef, Paul Smith. through my work at the stadium I was given the opportunity to undertake an apprenticeship in Level 3 Hospitality Management and Supervision. This saw me gain the foundations of the management side and further cementing the base skills learned at college.
Within my first year with Elior UK, I was acknowledged as Apprentice of the year in their internal catering awards. Winning this award made me more determined than ever to be successful and start a successful career.
Looking back to when I first started I have achieved more than I could have imagined in such a short space of time from starting as a Commis in 2015 to becoming Head Chef of the prestigious BT Murrayfield in May 2022.
- Where did you start your career at?
I first developed an interest in catering at the age of 13 whilst a member of the Port Seton Royal British Legion Pipe Band. Through the band I met my first Head Chef, Craig Wood, who inspired me to pursue a career in hospitality.
This interest was further sparked when I was given the opportunity through a schools programme to study Level 1 Professional Cookery at Edinburgh College. This course was taught by the late, great Colin Foster. Colins passion and skills made me excited and eager to learn. I left school at 16 and attended the college on a full time basis to study my Level 2 in Professional Cookery.
- What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
Like many people in the industry the long days can make getting up difficult but it is so much easier for me as I am working with a team who all have the same drive and ambition as myself. Together we work as one to meet and surpass the expectations of the client and provide outstanding catering to all who visit BT Murrayfield.
My development and progression motivate me to succeed and strive for greatness in everything my team and I do. Having achieved the role of Head Chef at 23, I am now keen to learn and eventually progress into a regional role with Elior UK.
- What do you do in your current role?
My role as Head Chef sees me responsible for a number of catering aspects of the business. From meeting the daily needs of both our internal and external events to delivering match day hospitality for 4500 guests for the Calcutta Cup, no two days are the same.
As Head Chef I am responsible for the overall running of my department, from delivering high quality service for the CEO and Scottish Rugby Board to liaising with Edinburgh Rugby’s nutritionist and creating well balanced bespoke menus for the team.
I am responsible for the kitchen management and logistics. This sees me planning what we shall offer on our large scale event days months in advance. Currently I am putting finishing touches to next months concerts being hosted here along with the menus for the Famous Grouse Nations in the summer.
Every event is different and brings with it it’s own challenges. To be the best we can be I encourage my team to bring innovative ideas to the table so we can meet trends and bring the wow factor to life through our culinary delights.
- What would you do (career-wise) if you were not in this current job?
I once aspired to be a police officer but I never looked back or thought about a different career after I was introduced to the world of hospitality. The knowledge I have gained from being in the industry so long may put me in good stead for a new career should I ever fancy a change but right now I am settled in my role as a Chef.
- What advice would you give your younger self?
Be confident, don’t be afraid to ask questions or challenge the status quo, that the only way you will learn. Build connections, people are the key to being successful, share your thoughts and brainstorm together to get the ultimate end product. Team work is crucial.
- How do you see the hospitality industry going further/changing?
The industry has changed a lot after Covid 19. Although the pandemic was challenging for many in the industry it was definitely the wake-up call that was required. We are still facing challenges now but the industry itself has improved and is offering more to those who work in it.
There is more of a focus on developing those within the industry to create a more positive and respectful work environment.
- Why should people consider working in the hospitality/Tourism sector?
Working in the hospitality sector has seen me meet some incredibly inspiring people. The hospitality industry creates friendships for life. It is more than just a job and a workplace. Every hospitality job creates a family that all work together and support one another to achieve.
- Tell us three things about you that no-one knows?
I can play the Bagpipes – so give me a call when Burns Night is approaching and I’ll give them a wee blast!
During the covid pandemic when I was furloughed I worked in a local hospital to help cover the staff shortages they faced.
I am passionate about developing my team and seeing them succeed. I recently nominated Bolly Joof, the Head KP here at BT Murrayfield, to have lunch with Peter Avis as a reward for his hard work. Bolly won this lunch and will have lunch with Peter in London in the summer.