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Meet #The100Scots: Ally Martin

September 5, 2017

 

Who are you?

 

Ally Martin.

 

What do you do? 

 

Global Ambassador for Hendrick’s Gin.

 

How did you come to work in Scottish hospitality? 

 

When I was at University in Edinburgh I took a part time job washing glasses at Vodka Revolution. It escalated from there really.

 

Who are/were your mentors and inspirations? 

 

My main inspirations have always been the people I’ve worked with. 

 

I’ve been lucky to work in a whole of really creative and exciting environments where each person within the team brings their unique qualities to the table.  Some of my earlier inspirations were people like Joey Medrington, and nowadays it’s people like Matt Whiley and my esteemed colleague, Duncan McRae.

 

What excites you about hospitality? 

 

What’s always excited me about hospitality is the chance to give someone a truly unique and memorable experience. Great hospitality is what elevates a good plate of food and a tasty drink from something commonplace to something exceptional.  The best people in our industry are the ones who recognise that.

 

What are you doing to up Scotland’s hospitality game? 

 

I have the pleasure of travelling the world talking about all things Hendrick’s Gin and our history is so tied up in the history, the heritage and the culture of our home country that I find myself always being drawn back to talking about the Scottish hospitality industry.

 

What trends do you predict for Scottish produce?

 

The continued growth of seasonal and local ingredients is something that I hope will continue as it is something we’re blessed with but I hope that people will turn more toward closed loop dining.

 

What trends do you predict for Scottish bar scene?

 

The big trend I’d like to see take off in Scotland would be sustainability.

 

What trends do you predict for Scottish restaurant scene?

 

More restaurants choosing to focus on one dish and doing it to perfection.  

 

What trends do you predict for Scottish brands?

 

The continued growth of small scale distilling.  Although potentially with brands looking to categories outside of gin and whisky.

 

What is your biggest hospitality pet hate? 

 

When people order a spirit and mixer with no ice because they think they’re getting a better deal.  Why do people think they’re getting a better deal!

 

What would be your perfect Scottish night out? 

 

My perfect Scottish night out would be a few whiskies in the Bow Bar, dinner at Timeryard and then some cocktails at pretty much any of the Edinburgh's cocktail bars.

 

What has been the funniest moment of your hospitality career?

 

Early in my bartending career, I was working in Tigerlily.  I wasn’t very good and when trying to open a bottle of champagne I popped the cork directly off my forehead.  

 

Finally, what advice would you offer a young person/someone coming in to hospitality for the first time? 

 

Never stop learning. The hospitality industry is vibrant and varied and ever-changing.  Always be open to learning new skills, be a chameleon and take on as much advice as you can.

 

 

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