MEET THE EXPERTS
Andrew's uncle and aunt farmed Oransay, so he has known Colonsay all his life. He studied at Glasgow School of Art before going on to teach art in schools across Scotland. A talented painter, carver and printmaker, he uses folklore as inspiration.
Historical walks, legends of the Highlands and Islands.
Head chef and tutor at Coulston Cookery school, Fiona is a Cordon Bleu graduate with many years of top end catering experience.
pasta, vegetarian, game and middle eastern food
David has been living & farming on Colonsay (on and off) for 35 years. As the husband of the SpringFest organiser, he has been leading walks during Festivals since 2011 – and against his better judgment has recently become ‘interested’
in breeding sheep for wool!
Farming, conservation and life on a remote hill.
Andrew has kept bees commercially on Colonsay for over 30 years and has wide experience of honey production and queen rearing. He holds the Scottish Beekeepers Association Master Beekeepers Certificate and has a BSc (Hons) Degree in Agriculture.
Bee-keeping, honey production, oyster farming.
Charlotte is a forester by training, working overseas in anti-poverty work for many years. Returning to Scotland, she established Charlotte Flower Chocolates, making unique hand-made chocolates imbued with the flavour of locally foraged flowers, herbs and more.
Brewer and distiller at Colonsay Beverages, home of Colonsay Beers and Wild Island Botanic Gins
Food & drinks guru Marie trained at Cordon Bleu and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust. A Board Director at the British Sake Association she is and a Certified Sake and Shochu Educator, and judges many international wine & spirits competitions.
Seafood, sake & shochu
FIN & EILEEN GEEKIE
In August 2016, husband and wife team, Finlay and Eileen Geekie, left behind the hustle and bustle of Oxfordshire, where they’d lived for over 30 years, and moved to their newly completed, self-build house, to start a new life on Colonsay.
Gin, Gin, Gin
Christopher is a renowned chef with over 30 years experience, including Michelin-starred restaurants. He is a food writer, campaigner, broadcaster and holds the title (among others) of Fife Food Ambassador.
Cookery classes, team-building, after-dinner speaking…
Alison found her place with food whilst working at a café/deli during university holidays. She spent 13 years as chef & café manager at Ballymaloe Cookery School in Eire, before becoming resident chef at Colstoun Cookery School.
Game, kitchen suppers, bread baking, Indian cooking & foraging.
Gerard is head of Customer Experience at Arran Distillery. Don’t let the Yorkshire accent fool you, Gerard has strong Ayrshire roots and is passionate about Arran and its whisky.
Whisky-making, tasting & drinking!
Retired art teacher and Colonsay addict since 1967, Donald’s many interests include Battleships, the naval wars, antique and 20th century glass. Many years ago he "set out to crack French tarts” for his catering business – and he hasn't stopped since.
All the above – plus wine and whisky
Former caterer, Katie is passionate about food and is a great cook. She has lived on Colonsay for much of her life and is adept at making use of the abundant produce that can be grown on the island.
Chutneys, jams and preserving in general.
Brian has worked in the drinks industry for nearly 25 years. Having worked with the major players, and the smaller ones, Brian left the corporate world to set up Crucial Drinks in 2012 to create new world brands in Scotch Whisky and Rum.
Keith has spent the last 20 years working in the premium drinks industry as far afield as South Africa and Singapore. He founded The Whisky Cellar in 2017, an independent blender and bottler of premium Scotch whiskies, and is a Director or Colonsay Beverages.
Scotch whisky, gin and beer.
Carol retired from lecturing for 30 years in textiles at the Glasgow School of Art to pursue a new interest in painting and digital printing. She is also co-author of a cookery/design account of dining in the 20th century.
Collage & digital art, and anything to do with alcohol
The festival is organised by the Colonsay Tourism Marketing Group, and kindly supported by our amazing experts, contributors and workshop leaders who all give of their time for nothing. A huge thank you to all of them! Any proceeds from the festival go towards establishing Colonsay as a vibrant visitor destination, thus lending vital support to the fragile economy. Thanks also to everyone who has allowed us to use their photographs – especially Ruari Cumming ARPS.