Three Decades of Service: Celebrating Colin Johnstone

From cooking up a storm on offshore oil rigs in South-East Asia, to working as an Executive Chef serving royalty, Colin Johnstone has experienced it all. In 2023, Colin celebrates 10 years of service with Compass Group Australia and an incredible 30 years with Compass Group globally.

“I’ve always loved cooking,” shares Colin. “Working at Compass Group allows me to continuously develop and share this passion, plus have some life-changing experiences.”  

It all started across the world in Grangemouth Scotland where Colin began with Compass Group as a Sous Chef for a BP Site. After a couple of years offshore and in need of a sea-change, Colin took on an Executive Chef role, serving fine dining to high-level clients, from CEOs to members of the royal family.

I planned functions for Prince Phillip, Prime Minister Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth II, just to name a few. It was a privilege to have an amazing team of chefs working with me to deliver the standard of food we constantly provided, to the highest level,” reveals Colin. “As Executive Chef, I was also responsible for organising training to promote food excellence and develop team members in their careers. I mentored many chefs and visited numerous schools to teach kids about food and draw out some passion in the industry.”

Colin holding a plate on muffins on site

“It is a great part of Compass Group that we provide a structure to enrich our people and help them grow and develop.”

After visiting and falling in love with Australia while on holiday in 2013, Colin, along with his wife Dayna, moved across the globe and arrived in Sydney to join Eurest as Head Chef at QBE, a new site he helped mobilise. Looking for even more sunshine, his next move was to Perth, where he eventually returned to an offshore position.  

Colin at event
Colin at Christmas lunch

A key highlight during his time in Australia was towing the FPSO Ventura down from Korea to Australia and working with the team to get the site up and running. “We delivered beyond the client’s expectations and worked with the team to meet the high standards safely, with smiles on our faces. Everyone stepped up to the challenge and it brought great results. It was awesome to see a project develop from the ground up.”

Now in his 30th year at Compass Group, Colin works as Chef Manager on a small platform called Pluto Alpha, approximately 150km off Karratha, WA and flies in and out for two weeks at a time. “After all these years, cooking and customer satisfaction is still my passion,” shares Colin. “It’s what gets me up in the morning. On Pluto, we work closely with clients onboard ensuring everyone on site is well-fed and happy. We listen and look out for everyone and make it a better place to be and work.

Read more about our People here

Colin holding award in front of food


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