South Lanarkshire College’s Professional Cookery, Bakery and Hospitality students, along with their chef lecturer David Auchie, were invited to prepare and serve fine dining to delegates, including Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson, at the COP26 conference, held in Glasgow between Monday 1 and Friday 12 November.

Students: Shannon Lippiatt, Ellie Turner, Jackie Chan, Eddy Gonzalez and Charly Beswick all took on food preparation duties in the COP26 kitchen, while student, Jonathan Hannah, was front of house.  The South Lanarkshire College team were involved in all aspects of catering and worked in a variety of famous locations, including, the SECC, the SEC Clyde Built, Crew catering, retail venues, the purpose built VVIP suites and the newly renamed OVO Hydro.  All venues shared linked access via semi-permanent structures and were heavily protected by specialist security teams. South Lanarkshire College alumni Titin Fatimah, Nelly Dokie and Alan Morton joined the current college students, and added to the team of chefs catering for 15000 delegates each day.

Chef Lecturer, David Auchie, said “It’s been an absolute privilege to work on this very important event, the scale of the hospitality and logistics have been incredible, and we’re delighted to say that 80% of all menu items have been sourced in Scotland”.


My stand-out moment was when I was specifically chosen to cook during the days when world leaders dined in the VVIP area. I was accompanied by students Ellie Turner and Shannon Lippiatt during this part of the conference, and we were all thrilled to prepare and cook a special lunch for President Biden, former US president Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, President Macron and our very own Prime minister Boris Johnston. The entire event was such a busy time, but so worthwhile.  We were given the opportunity to listen to Obama’s motivating speech and we were awe struck when he walked right past us with his FBI agents.  COP26 is an experience the students or I will never forget.”.

South Lanarkshire College student Ellie turner added;

‘Being given the privilege to work at COP26 has been truly amazing.  The event has been an eye opener for my classmates and I, as it has given us all real experience in cooking for high numbers of people daily.  My highlight must be cooking at the world leaders conference during the first two days of the conference.  It’s been truly inspiring! I am certain that the skills I have learned during this experience will stand me in good stead in my future career in professional cookery’.