The senior head chef at Cameron House Resort at Loch Lomond has been awarded one of the country’s highest accolades in the food and drink industry.

Robert McCulloch has qualified with a diploma in advanced food hygiene from the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland’s (REHIS) community training programme, recognised as one of the top food hygiene qualifications in Scotland

Robert is one of only 70 other professionals across the country’s entire food and drink industry to be awarded the diploma in the past year.

The diploma is an SCQF level 8 qualification and is designed to provide professionals working in the food and drink industry with an expert understanding of food hygiene and safety standards.

As part of the qualification, Robert was mentored for six days by the Catherine Hall hygiene and safety consultancy and took part in 65 hours of self-study.

He then had to pass a half day oral assessment and a notoriously difficult three-hour written examination.

Robert is now qualified to share his expert knowledge and experience in the subject and deliver elementary food hygiene and safety training to colleagues.

Robert said: “Knowledge of food hygiene is vital for ensuring our restaurant dishes continue to be prepared and served to the highest standard of food safety.

"Being the only chef at Cameron House Resort to have completed the diploma, I now plan to share my experience with the resort’s staff through an elementary training programme of food hygiene and safety, which I hope will encourage others to pursue the qualification.”

Robert has been working at Cameron House Resort since 2010. Having spent the first two years as head chef at the Claret Jug restaurant and two years as head chef in the main kitchen at the hotel, Robert became senior head chef of the resort in 2015.

Jennifer Jurgensen, director of human resources, said: “We are incredibly proud of Robert achieving one of the top qualifications of food hygiene in Scotland.

"Robert’s qualification will allow staff to receive the highest standard of food hygiene, whilst also providing our guests with one of the best dining experiences in Scotland.”

Jackie McCabe, director of training at Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS), added: “The Diploma in Advanced Food Hygiene is one of the highest accolades awarded through the institute’s community training programme.

"Robert should be immensely proud of his achievement. This qualification gives him the vital knowledge and confidence to devise his own food hygiene and safety systems to share with his staff."