Photo Copyright: John Paul Photography

About Ghillie

“Ghillie Basan is an exceptionally talented individual and an unsung hero of the culinary world in Scotland and beyond. A gifted and prolific writer, cook, presenter, recipe developer, storyteller, tourism provider and so much more, she plays a key role in the country’s food, drink and tourism landscape.”
Fiona Richmond, Head of Regional Food, Food and Drink Scotland



Writer, broadcaster, and food anthropologist, Ghillie Basan has been dubbed ‘The Original Spice Girl’ and ‘World Food Expert.’ Her informative and internationally acclaimed books have been nominated for the Glenfiddich and the Guild of Food Writers Awards, the Cordon Bleu World Food Media Award, they have appeared regularly in the ‘Best of the Best’ and ‘Top 50’ lists; and she has been described as one of the ‘finest writers on Middle Eastern food’.

Ghillie’s food and travel articles have appeared in the Sunday Herald, Scotland on Sunday, the Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Tribune, Press & Journal, BBC Good Food Magazine, TasteTurkey, Eatinmagazine, Diet & Nutrition USA, Middle Eastern Travel and various internet sites and magazines. She has also been short-listed ‘Pasta Journalist of the Year’, is a member of the Guild of Food Writers, and is one of the presenters on BBC Radio Scotland’s Kitchen Café.

Ghillie spent her childhood in East Africa and her teenage years at boarding school in Scotland, followed by a Cordon Bleu Diploma in London and a BSc in Social Anthropology from Edinburgh University. Having worked and travelled in Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, North America, India, Southeast Asia, and vast chunks of Africa as an English teacher, journalist, and food and travel writer, her interests and experiences have culminated in more than 40 books and numerous articles on different culinary cultures. Ghillie is also the author of The Moon’s Our Nearest Neighbour, an amusing account of her tough lifestyle in her remote outpost where, snowbound in winter with a 3 mile ski to and from the car to bring in supplies, she has single-handedly raised her two children while maintaining an international career.

At her remote home in the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands, Ghillie runs a holiday cottage Wilderness Retreat so that people can enjoy her peaceful surroundings; she also runs relaxed and inspiring Cookery Workshops which she describes as ‘taking people on a food safari” looking at the traditions and tastes of different cultures; she has a catering business Mezze on the Move and Mezze chez Moi hosting groups at her home and other remote locations, as well as at corporate events; and she hosts whisky experiences in her traditional barn. As an Expert on the food and flavours of different culinary cultures and the complexities of Food and Whisky Pairing, she has hosted VIP events and created a special foraging and food experience for the Chivas Masters 2018 Scottish tour. Ghillie was also selected to work with the Brand team at Pernod Ricard to strip back the aromas and flavours of the new whisky, Captain’s Reserve, to create a taste toolkit as well as a unique tasting experience of carefully paired finger food and regional menus for the global market.


Jade Nina Sarkhel


Ghillie won the Highlands and Islands Award for Innovation in Tourism 2017, which led to recording a GPS based audio app – Cooking in the Cairngorms – for the award sponsors, Geotourist Ltd. She is currently working on a new book, Spirit and Spice (Kitchen Press), which embraces her lifestyle off the beaten track, enjoying food with family and friends, cooking indoors and out, using local and wild produce wherever possible. It is a story about life – her life! Spirit and Spice is also the name of her exciting new Podcast, which will be available to listen to soon.



‘Any encounter with Ghillie leaves you astonished by her knowledge, fascinated by her stories and most of all, hungry, very, very hungry!
Pennie Latin, Senior Producer and Presenter, BBC Radio Scotland


“More domestic river sprite than domestic goddess, Ghillie seems completely at home in the wilds …. She’s upbeat and realistic.”
 (Scotland on Sunday)


Classic Turkish Cookery
‘In this superb book Ghillie Basan brings the best of both regional and Ottoman court cuisines together. Her observations on the roots of Turkish cuisine make this book more than a mere recipe collection.’
(Skylife: Turkish Airlines)


To get in touch with Ghillie to cater for an event, to hire as a global food advisor or to book a workshop, please go to the contact page.