Meet the team
Here, at the Dowans, our staff are key to making us who we are. Without their effort, dedication and service professionalism, we would not have achieved the levels of success that we have experienced since we took over the Dowans; for those very reasons, we are indebted to their hard work and commitment. Let us introduce you to a few of those individuals who you may meet on your next trip:
Quietly spoken but with a wicked sense of humour, our Head Chef Scott is a devoted family man whose second greatest passion is food; on the one hand, capable of producing dishes that are simple yet flavoursome and, on the other, dishes that are equally resplendent with fantastic flavours but catered to those who like the finer things in life. Both styles have been reviewed to the highest of acclaim by the guests that have shared their time with us. Coming to us by way of the Craigellachie Hotel and, most recently, the Highlander Inn, Scott understands the wealth of produce available to us in Scotland, in general, and, more specifically, Speyside.
Having worked in managerial roles in a number of high end venues in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, both in front of house and kitchen roles, Paul came to us three years ago with a wealth of experience. If you fancy a bit of banter, as we say here in Scotland, then Paul's the man to come to. Rugby? Check. Football? Check. Politics? Check. Long days turn into long months, especially over the very height of the season, and without that very willingness to keep smiling and chatting to the very last minute, our ability to work as a team would be harder to maintain. With Paul on our side, team work and long hours feel less painful and we thank him for it!
Kyle is young, ambitious and passionate about food, life as a chef and what we do here at the Dowans. He is meticulous in his work and always has fresh ideas about improving on our offering and making sure that we stay ahead of the curve. With a flair of finesse in his plating capabilities and his ability to take to a task with complete dedication, we know that he will go far and look forward to seeing him progress to the next level with us. Currently mastering his skills on our tasting menu, you should watch this space!
Having previously made a living selling cakes and bakes to friends and family in a self-employed capacity, we saw Amy’s work as a potential avenue for growth in our own business – particularly with respect to our Afternoon Teas which we felt had room to evolve into an even bigger offering here at the hotel. In a short time, she has demonstrated a true skill in creating an Afternoon Tea that people wish to book for again…and that’s even before they’ve finished the one that they’re eating! Pushing her skills to the height of creativity, Amy’s Cakes and Bakes (LINK) is very quickly becoming a first choice for our guests, whether they be resident or external, when they are celebrating a special occasion – we look forward to seeing where her skills will take us next!
Sam joined us as a young waiter at breakfast service, a role that he took to with much enthusiasm and was therefore often on the receiving end of some very pleasant feedback about his good nature and character. After a year and a half, Sam came to us as he felt that with enough experience under his belt, he had decided that hospitality was the industry that he wanted to make his future within. Gladly taking on board such a good natured young man was a decision that didn’t take us long to make. He now makes up a quarter of our young supervisor team and we couldn’t be happier that we are watching him grow daily into a more accomplished member of our management team!
Another Sam joined us recently after moving into the area from south of the border. Officially trained as a plumber (that does come in handy sometimes!), he recognised that sitting under, over or next to a boiler and pipes all day stopped him from doing what he truly loved which is talking to people. Feeling that a change of career would be the only way in which to remedy this, he saw an opportunity when we advertised for a supervisor to join our burgeoning management team. And we are so happy that he came to join us! Always quick with a smile and a nod of encouragement – even on the busiest of services – he keeps staff morale at an all time high.
Daniel came to us at 14 after his brother, a member of our staff at the time, determined that he would fit right in with the rest of the team. With maturity beyond his years, it wasn’t long before Dan was demonstrating his skills in the hospitality arena winning over guest after guest with his intuition and keenness to ensure that they were enjoying themselves. Just before his 17th birthday, we felt that it was time to give him a more formal title for the role that he was already performing and invited him to join the management team (although he’s still at school so his studies come first!). Excelling at leading the team and ensuring that every member works just as hard as the next, we feel confident in Dan’s abilities and never doubt that the business is left in good hands if we happen not to be there.
As breakfast supervisor, we often say that Dean has the most challenging job in the hotel – mostly because he leads a team who are responsible for setting up the guests’ mood for the rest of the day! Understanding that not everyone is a ‘morning person’, he toes a fine line of interacting with guests as to how they would prefer which is no easy job; he does it with ease though and, for that, we feel incredibly lucky to have him as part of the team. Additionally, breakfast staff often conduct the most stringent of the cleaning jobs, ensuring that we maintain a high level of cleanliness – not once have we received comments that the hotel does not meet even the highest of expectations when it comes to that and we thank him for his hard work in that department as well!
Elisa Pinto & Cristina Ferreira
One of our priorities in the hotel, and this is no small element of what we do here, is to have a space that is clean, fresh and well maintained. As Head and Deputy Head Housekeepers, Elisa and Cristina are dedicated leaders of a team who understand this desire and are daily maintainers of the high standards that were set on our first day here and that have been upheld ever since. Almost as passionate about the hotel as we are, we are regularly on the receiving end of their ire if we do not fall in line with their strict rule book so we absolutely know that the hotel is in good hands when it comes to cleanliness!