Wednesday 2nd September 2015

DUMBARTON Football Club is delighted to announce that Watsons Hospitality are now on board as caterers at the Cheaper insurance Direct Stadium.

And as you would expect, Chris Watson, who is the proprietor of the new business is delighted to be at the club.

With Robert Sloan’s departure in the summer due to retirement, the club began the search for a new hospitality partner in earnest, and Chris’s involvement was swift, as he explains.

“The position of caterer at Dumbarton became available through a friend of mine who works at a restaurant near to Gilbert (Lawrie) home town.

“He recommended me as i was looking for something new to get my teeth into.

“I called Gilbert and met with him and director Les Hope.

“I got a tour of the facilities and met up with Robert Sloan who kindly went through the day-to-day running of the catering aspect

“And that was basically it – I’m now on-board and absoluetly thrilled to be part of this famous club.

“Gilbert and the staff have helped me settle in and whilst I’m finding my feet, everything has been going relatively smoothly.”

DFC’s hospitality day has an excellent reputation throughout Scottish football, and it’s a situation that Chris wants to build on.

With a pedigree background in the trade, he was keen to outline his credentials.

He said : “I have been involved in catering since I was 17-years old.

“When I left school I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do in life. My friend got me a part time job working at my local hotel in Blanefield.

“I got the buzz early on in the job. It was a busy place and the head chef was from Austria, he was shouting and bawling at his brigade in perfect English and I thought ‘I want to be you one day’!! Within the year I was promoted to pastry chef.

“I worked my way around the kitchen and, when I thought I knew it all, I decided to move to a new job at Gleddoch house in Langbank and at the end of that first day, I realised I knew nothing!”

“One of the proudest moments in my cooking career was when iIwas offered the head chef job of the Buttery in Glasgow. It’s Glasgows oldest and most celebrated restaurant.

“It was a privilege to head up the kitchen there and at the age of 27 I was the youngest ever head chef to do so.

“More recently, I was the executive chef at Grooms catering in Glasgow. I ran a team of ten chefs where we would cook at major events such as the open at St Andrews, Turnberry and Royal Sandwich in Kent as well as last years Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

“Dare I say it, but I have run suites at Ibrox on matchdays too so i have had experience of ‘stadium catering’ before.”

Coming to Dumbarton FC means that Chris has to juggle a few things in his career as he explains.

“Having spent the best part of my cooking career working 15 hour shifts, every weekend, no nights off etc, I have found a nice balance in life as I have started teaching full-time at West College Scotland.

“I am a lecturer in the hospitality section and I am always on the look out for tomorrow’s talent.

“It is a 9 – 5 job with lots of school holidays so it ties in nicely with my new venture at Dumbarton.”

Looking to the future, Chris and his staff are keen to work with Sons fans to make the eating experience at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium better, and to kick things off, Watsons Hospitality are doing their bit for this weekend’s Walk to the Rock.

“I plan to work closely with the supporters trust at Dumbarton as they are the life blood of the club.

“As a famous person once quoted ‘Without supporters, football is nothing’.

“I have sponsored the fans who are walking from the Erskine Bridge to the game on Saturday. I will be laying on a buffet and refreshments as I’m sure it will be hungry work!!”

“I hear lots of good stories from customers in the past who have come for a wedding or function.

“I worked closely with Robert (Sloan) in the summer and I feel that what he is offering was good quality food at reasonable prices.

“Obviously I will be putting my name to the food so it is only natural that there may be slight changes but hopefully not too much!”

“I am also looking at party nights at the club with Christmas and New Year coming up so hopefully I will get some support on that one.

“I have recently developed a website on my own which was pretty hard work as I am hopeless on a computer. I’m better off sticking to the kitchen.

“I have also completed my personal licence so I can now pour a pint which is fun.”

Welcome to Dumbarton Football Club Chris!


Alan Findlay

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