Now, Cumbernauld woman Ann Brown has been given a new honour to recognise her incredible food artistry.
Ann, who is a lecturer at New College Lanarkshire, combines her teaching work with judging competitions across the UK and internationally.
And it was while judging at a top event in Dubai that she became the first woman to be made an honorary member of the elite culinary society, the Emirates Culinary Guild.
Ann, who lives in Seafar, was one of a panel of experts invited by the World Association of Chefs’ Societies to judge at the prestigious Gulfood event in Dubai.
At the end of the event – where she rubbed shoulders with top chefs including Michel Roux – Ann was delighted to receive a certificate and plaque in recognition of becoming an honorary member of the Emirates Culinary Guild.
The guild has more than 90 honorary members, a who’s who of chefs from around the globe.
But that’s not the only highlight in Ann’s illustrious career recently.
She was also invited to become a committee member of the World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS).
Ann has garnered a global reputation for her pastry work and food artistry during a career spanning three decades.
Cumbernauld News readers may remember when she was dramatically airlifted back to Scotland in 2013 after falling ill.
Ann had contracted meningitis and was taken to hospital in the city of Odense.
She had been creating a sumptuous celebration cake for a society wedding when she became unwell.
But that experience did not deter her from a career which has taken her all over the world.
After the Dubai event, Ann said: “It can sometimes be quite nerve-wracking to judge a competition and to meet world-renowned chefs like Michel Roux is a real honour.
“Judging is a great experience for me because I’m learning new things from all over the world all the time and I can share that knowledge with the students by showing them new trends or new skills and keeping them up-to-date on what is happening in the industry.
“I think that I’m a fair judge and I like it when competitors request feedback because you can tell them where they could have improved.
“I had to go through all the competitions to get where I am now. It’s a progression.”
Ann has worked for New College Lanarkshire, and its legacy institution Motherwell College, since 1997.
She currently teaches around 16 HNC patisserie students, in addition to delivering pastry units in other hospitality and professional cookery courses.
Ann said: “I have competed at the highest level and it’s time to pass it on to the next generation.
“Over the years I have entered many students into competitions at ScotHot and I’ve taken them down to London.
“One of my students won the overall patisserie award at the WorldSkills UK competition in 2010.
“I love seeing their reactions when they win a medal and I love and appreciate the feedback that I get from them.”
Born and raised in Liverpool, Ann studied basic cookery at a catering college in Colquitt Street and honed her skills in esteemed Italian restaurant Casa Italia.
Sian Worthington, assistant head of faculty of service industries at New College Lanarkshire, praised Ann’s work, adding: “We are delighted that Ann has been recognised personally and professionally by both WACS and the Emirates Culinary Guild.”