In his 50 years as a chef, Riche Hayes cooked for royalty, racegoers, hundreds of hotel guests and thousands of hospital patients.
Riche, who has died aged 69, also headed the team providing catering at Diageo’s Leven plant, which he led to the finals of national competitions.
For many years Riche, of Almondbank, was head chef at Perth’s Isle of Skye Hotel.
He was working there when the premises burnt down in 1986, which prompted his move into contract catering.
Riche was born in Linlithgow to Paddy Hayes, a kilnsman at the Whitecross brickworks, and his wife, Jenny, who cooked in schools and later private houses.
He grew up with five siblings and went to Linlithgow Academy.
Riche left aged 16 to go to culinary college in Edinburgh before taking up his first job at the Harp Hotel in Corstorphine.
He was then appointed chef at a hotel in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, managed by Eddie Anderson on behalf of the Tennent brewery group.
When Eddie took on the managership of the Isle of Skye Hotel in Perth in the late 1970s, he offered Riche the job of head chef.
He remained in post until the premises were devastated in one of the most spectacular fires the city had seen in modern times.
It was at that point he moved into contract catering, working for the firm that provided services at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
However, his longest continuous spell was working as Diageo’s executive chef for Scotland, based at its plant in Fife, where Riche remained until stepping back because of ill health but he continued to take on part-time roles.
Royal visit in Dundee
Working for contractors gave Riche the chance to cater at many special or outdoor events.
He provided silver service when Princess Anne visited RRS Discovery and Discovery Point in Dundee and later he was surprised to see his image used on a banner promoting the attraction.
Another event he worked at regularly was Perth Races where he had to cater for the tastes of marquee hospitality guests and as well as regular racegoers who just wanted a snack.
Riche and his wife at the time, had one daughter, Laura, and he became stepfather to Robert when he married Shona in 2014, the same year his daughter Laura’s daughter, Emily, was born.
The wedding reception took place in a marquee in the garden of their Almondbank home. Riche prepared some of the food the day before but also enlisted help from friends in the trade.
In his earlier years living in Perth, Riche was a regular pool player in pubs and also enjoyed playing golf.
He was a big fan of Linlithgow Rose, watching them home and away, with his brother-in-law, Derek Howard and others, and also followed Hearts.
In recent years, Riche had been working part-time at Glencairn care home, Auchterarder.
His daughter Laura said: “He loved working there and did all the cooking and baking.
“The residents used to call him son, despite him being nearly 70.”
You can read the family’s announcement here.