Pan-fried trout with bacon and seasonal vegetables with Private Chef Barry Bryson

Join Private Chef Barry Bryson as he takes us through creating the perfect pan-fried trout with bacon, cauliflower and broad beans.

This cook-a-long will take place on Barry’s Instagram (@chef.caterer.edinburgh) LIVE at 6pm on Wednesday 16th September.  

Come prepared with the following...

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 150g-180g skin-on sea trout fillets or skin-on salmon
  • 1 tablespoon Heather Hills honey
  • 3 tablespoons Katy Rodgers Crème Fraiche
  • Supernature oil
  • ½ Scottish Cauliflower cut into florets
  • 100g peeled shelled British broad beans
  • ½ onion finely diced
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery, washed and finely diced
  • Freshly chopped dill or parsley
  • 100g diced bacon
  • 100ml chicken stock (optional)

Utensils:

  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Non-stick frying pan
  • A saucepan or large, deep frying pan

Fife distiller toasts Co-op supply deal

Fife distiller, Tayport Distillery, is “toasting” a deal to supply Co-op which will see its Raspberry Liqueur available at up to 50 stores in Scotland.

Based in Tayport, the family-owned and operated distillery, created its first bottles of spirit in 2018, and now produces a range of drinks using its own malted barley based spirit. Locally sourced fruit and botanicals are then added to give all their products a distinctive Scottish edge.

The distillery will see its 1992 Raspberry Liqueur available at Co-op stores in time for Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight.

Kecia McDougall, Director and Distiller: 

“We are absolutely delighted to be working with Co-op. The listing comes at an important time to support our business - the additional awareness, reach and availability from being stocked in our local Co-op and in communities across the country is a huge boost.”

Kevin Buchan, Co-op Local Sourcing Buying Manager, Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to be working closely with local distillers, Co-op is all about connecting communities, making a difference and creating value locally, and our work to celebrate and support local suppliers and, to showcase and promote great Scottish food and drink, is a cornerstone of this approach.”


Case Study: The Torridon - Paul Green

Seeking inspiration from the land, loch and munros that surround the hotel, head chef of The Torridon, Paul Green, utilises Scotland’s world-class produce, whether it’s game, seafood, shellfish, or the organic produce from the hotel’s Torridon Farm and two-acre Kitchen Garden, in both the exquisite 1887 restaurant and the hotel’s casual dining restaurant, Bo & Muc.

Tell us about The Torridon’s local food and drink sourcing and why it’s so important for the hotel and its restaurants.

Since arriving at the Torridon I have begun to source and build relationships with some great local suppliers. For me to show off the Scottish Highlands and Islands and what they produce is very important. So much of our game, fish and shellfish is sent off to Europe where it commands a great price as well as respect. At The Torridon we take an amazing product and simply present it in its purest and tastiest form. A lot of the fruit and vegetables we use are from our own Kitchen Garden, alongside beef, pork and eggs from the animals that graze on the Torridon Farm. Mushrooms including girolles and occasionally ceps grow in the woodland just behind the hotel and unusual berry varieties come from a lady just over the bay. Shellfish is landed either in the local port just 6 miles away or from Kyle which is just over an hour’s drive and we also use fish landed on the east coast in Peterhead, Scrabster and Buckie and meat from Elgin. The venison is from Brahan estate and when the shooting season begins, pheasant and partridge are delivered to the back door by our in-house shot, Dan. Butter and vinegar is from Orkney and salt is from Skye or Ayr. I see using the whole of the Highlands and Islands as local and we want to show it all off as much as we can in our cooking.

How do you come up with new menus and dishes while still using classic techniques?

The creation of a dish comes from a couple of things. The first is the product. When something such as brown crab comes into the kitchen we cook it and season it with care so as to show off its true terroir, the cold seas of Skye. I want people to taste where it is from. Likewise a strawberry from the garden may be served with some warm cake and yoghurt produced in the Black Isle, just outside Inverness. The second is the skill of the chefs. We need to know when to hold back and let the produce speak, which comes with experience and something I try to pass onto the next generation. The backbone of the kitchen is French technique and combinations as that is my background, and as they say, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

What do you love about Scottish produce and cuisine, and how do you think we can continue to promote it to a wider audience?

Scottish produce is world class, which the more gastronomic countries such as France and Spain know, and pay a high price for. This is why sometimes we as a country sadly miss out on some amazing products, however we have to pay the price and support the farmers and fisherman. More and more small scale producers are popping up with innovative products and we are producing some great cheese, some that could rival the French I believe! I think we need to get more Scottish produce into shops and not just that but the consumer needs to buy them which I know is difficult as more often than not small batch items are more expensive. I do think a lot of the change has to come from the public as we are still not as food savvy as our European counterparts. Education would help and I think with more people becoming aware of the climate change effects, this will in turn lead them onto food related issues. The industry needs to look at itself more too. As an example; dredged scallops. The impact on the environment is terrible and then it also affects the restaurant that choose hand dived and charges accordingly, as customers then complain that it’s too expensive instead of wondering why the other is so cheap. Scotland is a very proud country but we should also be proud of the food we produce.

If you had to choose one Scottish dish on the menu what would it be and why?

A dish on the menu at the moment the customers enjoy a lot is monkfish. A prime fish from Scrabster which we pair with some crushed potatoes from the garden. The potatoes themselves are seasoned with lemon zest and juice as well as chopped herbs from the garden. Some broccoli, also from the garden, accompanies the dish which we almost char for a BBQ flavour. It’s all rounded off with a hollandaise sauce made from a seaweed vinegar. The dish shows what we are trying to do here at the Torridon; garden vegetables, locally caught fish, all cooked simply and put on a plate for the customers to enjoy.

What is your favourite Scottish ingredient, and why?

My favourite Scottish ingredient is probably fish. We have world class fish almost outside our door. The grouse season has just started and I also love to use that.

Do you think the pandemic has changed the way people look at food and eating out? Will you be adapting your menus or foodservice accordingly?

I think during lockdown people had more time to reflect on what they were eating but to be honest I think it’s business as usual for most shoppers. The industry has suffered greatly and continues to do so. Many businesses have changed their style from perhaps fine dining to more informal, cheaper offerings. As a restaurant we have put the various safety systems in place whilst also decreasing the menu size. This is something we will do long term to prevent waste and also it will allow us to focus on the products and really showcase them.


Recipe: Fred Berkmiller - Bourguignon of Beef Cheeks, Garniture Grand-Mère

The secret of a good Bourguignon is very simple. The longer it takes, the better it tastes! You can even break up the cooking time to enhance the flavours. Cook it for an hour, cool it down, then cook again the following day. It’s even better that way, just like my grandmother used to make it. The beauty of any dish like this is that you can cook it well ahead of serving it, meaning you can sit down with your friends or family to enjoy without stressing about having to cook on the big day.

Serves 4 to 6

 

Ingredients

 4 to 6 beef cheeks, diced

  • 500ml red wine
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large dice
  • I large bouquet garni
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 dashes of cognac
  • 3 dashes of olive oil
  • 3 knobs of butter
  • 1 litre demi-glace (beef stock)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • 200g lardons
  • 200g silverskin onions
  • 20g caster sugar

 

Directions

Put 400ml of the wine, in a large container then add in the carrot, onion, celery, bouquet garni, peppercorns, a dash of olive oil and cognac. Cover with cling film or a lid and place in the fridge for 2 days.

After 2 days, add in the diced beef cheeks and keep for another 2 days in the fridge, turning the meat upside-down every day. You can then keep it for up to 5 days until you’re ready to cook.

When the meat has marinated, drain and retain the wine and the bouquet garni, putting all vegetables aside until needed. Place the meat on a tray between two drying clothes, so the meat is completely dry.

Preheat the oven to 140°C / Gas Mark 1

Sear the meat on a very high heat in a cast iron casserole pot with butter and a dash of olive oil, and brown until golden all over. Remove from the pot and set to one side. Lower the heat and sweat the marinated vegetables until the onions are cooked. Then put the meat back into the pot and sprinkle over the flour. Stir, then pour over the marinade(wine). Bring to the boil and season. Stir in a litre of beef stock and add the bouquet garni. Cooked in the pre-heated oven for 2 to 3 hours.  When cooked, the meat should be not far from falling apart

Remove the meat from the pot and set aside. Pass the sauce through a strainer into another pot and bring to the boil. Keep reducing until it’s a good consistency. Taste it and season. Taste again to check the seasoning. Then return the meat to the sauce.

You can serve the same day or keep it for a day or two in the fridge. When needed, pour in the rest of the wine, and gently bring to the boil, simmering until hot.

Meanwhile, prepare the grand-mère garnish. Sauté the mushrooms in a frying pan in oil and butter until well coloured. Drain and reserve. Sauté the lardons in the same pan, then set aside with mushrooms. Fry the silverskin onions with butter and sugar until golden. Drain. Then sauté all the garnish together.

When ready to serve, add the garnish to the top of the Bourguignon casserole.


Case Study: Bon Accord Soft Drinks

Bon Accord is a Scottish family soft drinks company, originally set up in 1903 by the current owner's Great-Great-Grandfather. The famous glass bottles were a familiar sight in homes and on street doorsteps for generations. For over 100 years Bon Accord found a place in the hearts of the nation before operations closed in 2000.

Back after 16 years, our drinks are made with high quality ingredients and are all 100% naturally sweetened with coconut nectar and fruit juice, with no refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. Our range includes old favourites like Bona-Cola and Cream Soda as well as reimagined and innovative flavours for today like the delicious Rhubarb Soda and Salted Pink Grapefruit Soda.

Now based in Edinburgh, we have always been a family business with strong Scottish roots and an entrepreneurial vision. And in 2020, using that vision has been more important than ever. Following the announcement of national lockdown in March, our main customer based of small, independent retailers and cafes all but disappeared overnight. We knew that it was essential to the health of the business to diversify and we threw our energy into developing an e-commerce site which allowed us to sell direct to customers. Thankfully, this was hugely successful and our customers seem to love having a ‘treat’ juice available while they were at home more.

Despite many of our on-trade customers temporarily closing we have continued to work with many of them as they diversified their businesses to adapt to the new normal. Home delivery services like Keep Edinburgh (and Glasgow) Thriving, Root to market, Good Brothers and Schop have given us the opportunity to stay connected with our end customers while continuing to cultivate the relationships with the wonderful small food and drink businesses around the country by promoting them through our marketing channels.

And true to the values of our business, it was important to us that we showed our support within our local communities by donating hundreds of bottles of juice to hospitals and foodbanks in Scotland.


Local food and drink heroes in the spotlight for Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight

Regional food brand Savour the Flavours is encouraging people in Dumfries & Galloway to support local businesses during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight.  The foodie celebration, which runs till Sunday 20th September, encourages businesses and local people across Scotland to source, buy, eat and promote Scottish food and drink.

Celebrating local heroes is a strong theme for the Fortnight this year and Liz Ramsay of Savour the Flavours says that theme is especially appropriate for 2020. She commented:

“Local food and drink businesses went above and beyond for our communities during lockdown. With the summer holiday season and the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme both now over, many businesses will be looking ahead with a degree of concern.  In the weeks and months ahead we have an opportunity as a region to demonstrate unprecedented support for our local businesses, by buying and enjoying the outstanding food and drink that’s created in this region. Treating ourselves or our loved ones to amazing local produce will help add delicious flavour to the autumn months, while also helping to protect local jobs.”

Local businesses across the region are taking part in Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight by creating special menus, collaborating with others, launching new events and promoting the local produce of Dumfries & Galloway.

Paul O’Keeffe of Thomas Tosh in Thornhill is showcasing local food heroes with a special ‘Afternoon Cheese’ - a platter featuring a spread of local cheeses with chutney from Galloway Lodge Preserves. He commented:

“We are tripping over great cheese producers here in Dumfries and Galloway, so it was an open goal to create an ‘Afternoon Cheese’ platter for our customers during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight. Right now the platter features mature cheddar from Loch Arthur, smoked cheese from Damn Fine Cheese and Cairnsmore Goat’s Cheese from Galloway Farmhouse Cheese. We are planning to add Barony Smoked Cheese and a selection from The Ethical Diary to the menu too.  All these suppliers are local heroes who kept working through lockdown and so have helped make our job of reopening that little bit easier. Hats off to them all.”

Russell Pearce from Brodies in Moffat recently launched a take-home ‘Afternoon Tea in a Box’ featuring local produce, and for his sit-in menu is revisiting a highly successful partnership with local lamb and hogget producer Annanwater, he said:

“We have added a mini Hogget & Potato Pie featuring beautifully flavoured Annanwater hogget to a Tasting Plate of Lamb, and demand has been really good. The last time Brodies put Annanwater’s hogget on the menu demand outstripped supply, so we are delighted to be collaborating with Sarah and Steve again!”

Sarah Burchell of Annanwater is a regular at farmers’ markets across the region, several of which take place during the Fortnight.  She commented:

“Moffat Farmers Market this Sunday will be the third since the end of lockdown and it offers an opportunity for the public to meet and buy from numerous Dumfries & Galloway food and drink heroes in a safe and comfortable space outside Moffat Town Hall.

“As well as the producers themselves, the volunteers who help our region’s markets run smoothly and safely are real heroes too, giving generously of their time to set up stalls and steward the event. The community based farmers’ markets that are so popular right across Dumfries & Galloway can only happen because of the hard work and dedication by both local producers and community volunteers.”

Other farmers’ markets taking place in September include Castle Douglas Producers’ Market which returns for the first time since lockdown on Sunday 20th September, and Kirkcudbright Farmers’ Market which takes place on the 27th. Dumfries Market Festival organised by The Guild will include a wealth of local food and drink traders, as well as local crafts, when it returns to Dumfries town centre on Saturday 12th September.  Glenkens Food Month is running throughout September with a vibrant programme of community events, and tickets for Kirkcudbright Food Festival, which takes place next month, have gone on sale.

Food tourism is something Dumfries & Galloway naturally excels at, and several businesses are launching or developing new food tourism experiences.  Cream o’ Galloway has recently launched a socially distanced ice cream making workshop aimed at adults, which includes a farm tour and ice cream tasting. All About Ice Cream will run on Wednesday afternoons during September and must be booked in advance. Their sister business The Ethical Dairy is running full-day Cheese Making Workshops on Thursdays in September and October.

Award winning tour guides Solway Tours have also identified food tourism as a growth market and have begun developing historical food tour packages for the 2021 tourist season, with plans to collaborate with local food businesses, such as Station House Cookery School. They are also adding a food and drink theme for their September #LoveDandG Twitter chat hour to celebrate the food, drink and food tourism experiences of Dumfries & Galloway. The #LoveDandG Twitter hour will take place on Thursday 24th September at 9pm.

Lorna Young of Savour the Flavours, who also sits on Scotland’s Food Tourism Recovery Group, commented:

“Food tourism is a big economic opportunity for Scotland, and particularly so for regions like Dumfries & Galloway which have a rich natural larder and many passionate makers and producers.  The key to creating really exciting and authentic food tourism products and services is focussing on the stories, connections and people behind the products.

“We are keen to encourage everyone involved in the food and drink industry to think about how they can add value to their offering by a focus on emphasising local as part of our region’s longer term economic recovery. Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is the ideal time to test out new food tourism products and services, and it’s great to see so many local businesses embracing the opportunity to showcase local food heroes and local produce.”


Sector Stories: Isle of Mull Cheese

Isle of Mull cheese is a family run farm which began when Jeff and Chris Reade, and their sons, moved to Sgriob-Ruadh in 1979 from Somerset.  The farm was derelict just outside the small town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull.  Over the next 40 years, together with their four sons Brendan, Matthew Garth and Joe, and driven by their own enterprise, ingenuity, skill, and hard work, they built a working farm including cow housing, a milking parlour, cheesemaking dairy and maturing cellars.

The farm began by supplying fresh milk to Mull and the neighbouring islands.  Over the intervening years we have developed our farm to make dairy farming viable on our island.  Today, all of our unpasteurised raw milk is used to make our Isle of Mull Farmhouse Cheese and Hebridean Blue Cheese.

Cheese produced from raw milk has many layers of flavours. At Sgriob-ruadh we endeavour to preserve the natural flora found in the milk (the terroir) by milking directly into the cheese vat.  The evening milk has to be cooled, this heat is stored and we re-use it in the morning to warm the milk back up ready to be added to the warm morning milk with additional heat needed to finish the cheesemaking coming from a large log fuelled water heater. A truly sustainable and holistic way to produce cheese.

Summers are short on the island, so the herd of 130 or so Friesian, Brown Swiss, Swedish Red, Norwegian Red and Meuse Rhine Issel cows are housed in large sheds for the winter months, to protect them from the wild island weather. They are fed on a balanced diet of Hay, silage and spent grain husks, known as draff, from the distillery in Tobermory.

Summers are wonderful, bright and fresh with long days. The cows graze on rich organic grass. The seasons boundaries are often un-defined and the cows will happily shelter inside on the more refreshing days.

Over the years the cheese has matured with flavours that range from sweet and boozy to rich, savoury, and mellow.

Today Chris, Brendan, Garth and Shelagh Reade, along with the third generation, run the farm and business, also employing a number of staff.  Our cheese is sold all over the world making its way onto menus in restaurants, hotels and into the cheesemongers, farm shops and delis.

We also have self-catering holiday lets and our Glass Barn farm shop and café which we open up seasonally.

We have tried to create a sustainable business; producing our own energy from wood, wind and water, and have recently upgraded to a larger wood chip boiler to help heat water for a future project. The milk is all produced from our own cows, bred by ourselves, and all going to make our cheese, maturing and selling it all at Sgriob-Ruadh Farm.  Continuing our desire to be more sustainable, and as our pigs cannot drink all the surplus whey left over from the cheese making, we plan to turn it into a new product range.  Keep an eye out for this and look forward to enjoying some island spirit alongside your cheese!


Case Study: The Wee Farm Distillery

Can you tell us a bit about your business?

Jenny McKerr runs a small livestock farm near Forth, South Lanarkshire and is the founder of The Wee Farm Distillery. Established in 2018, The Wee Farm Distillery produces small batch, hand crafted, rural Scottish Gin.  Distilling, bottling, labelling and dispatching all take place on the farm and the distillery opens its gin shop to the public regularly.  The local landscape and Scotland’s long and rich agricultural history are an inspiration for developing the unique Gin recipes with Drovers, Clydesdale and Farmer Strength gin all proving popular.

How has the Coronavirus crisis impacted your business so far?

2020 was the year to grow the gin business and we got off to a good start by having a very successful time at Scotland’s Speciality Trade Fair at the SEC in Glasgow, where our Drovers Gin won gold in the drinks category.  In March, when the toilet roll panic was on, gin sales were non existent and there was a massive uncertainty whether the business could continue.  As a diverse farm business, we got on with the next job which was lambing at the time and then we realised the extent of the hand sanitiser crisis after a chat with Natalie Reid at the Gin Cooperative.

How has your business needed to evolve and change to operate in this environment?

We were not selling gin and had hundreds of litres of ethanol in stock.  The Scottish Distillers Association were very proactive and pulled distillers together on a WhatsApp chat to share knowledge and overcome some of the hand sanitiser production / procurement hurdles. It was invaluable.  We started producing hand sanitiser by the end of March.  For every one we sold, we gave one away to local key workers including retail staff, bin men, police, carers and nurses.  We set up a drive through collection from the farm to ensure distances were respected.  I was proud to be able to do something positive in a time of worry and contribute to the fantastic community spirit that Forth has.

We also took part in online gin tastings hosted by Jaro Design in Strathaven.  Miniature sample packs were dispatched to customers beforehand then we all met on zoom from the distillery to chat about the gins and brand story – it was a bit like gin gogglebox!  It was a fantastic way to meet new consumers and a real treat to look forward to during lockdown.  We also collaborated with other local gin producers (Biggar, McLeans, Pentland Hills, Inspirited) and Jaro Design hosted ‘The Lanarkshire Big 5 Gin Tasting’ which was great fun and another display of camaraderie from the Scottish distillers.

Has it presented opportunities which you would not otherwise have considered?

As a diverse working farm, there's always opportunities, it's just finding the funds to keep progressing.  We had a longer term plan to renovate a cottage on the farm but due to lockdown we started it ourselves along with some trades who were furloughed at the time.  Food and drink tourism is a huge opportunity as we want to welcome people to stay at the Distillers Cottage, experience farming life, enjoy gin tastings and eventually our homegrown Scotch wagyu beef and native lamb.

Finally, how are you celebrating this Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight?

Hopefully with some Native and Wild fillet steak, fresh vegetables from Craigies and a Drovers Gin of course!  I’ll continue to source locally where possible and highlight the great produce from other local food and drink businesses.


Historic Perthshire Castle to host digital farmers' market

Megginch Castle, once home to a community of apple-growing monks, will soon play host to weekly digital farmers’ market NeighbourFood.

From Friday 18 September, locally grown or made produce will be available to order online for collection from the Castle’s courtyard on Thursdays. The first collection will take place on 24 September 3-7pm, with customers allocated half hour time slots to ensure that social distancing is maintained.

Situated in the heart of the Carse of Gowrie, halfway between Perth and Dundee, Megginch Castle has a proud history of food innovation. It is home to one of Scotland’s oldest orchards, which includes the National Collection of heritage Scottish apple and pear varieties and nearly 400 types of cider apple. Apples are thought to have been first grown on the estate by a community of monks, who were based at Megginch until around 1560.

The castle’s guardian and NeighbourFood market host Catherine Drummond-Herdman said:

“We wanted to set up the market to give local people access to local food, boost the local economy and reduce food miles. As well as eating locally grown produce, customers will get the chance to meet the growers and producers when they collect their shop, re-establishing that lost connection between what we eat and where and how it is grown. The demand for local produce is certainly there; over 170 people have already signed up ahead of the launch and we have 13 producers raring to go. We’ll have everything from fruit, veg and dairy produce to locally-made wine and chocolate on offer.”

One of the first producers to sign up to the new market was Tay Bees and Honey producer Gavin Ramsay, who’ll be joined on launch night by one of his well-behaved bee colonies.

Gavin said:

“Megginch, with its varied habitats and ancient orchard, is a fantastic place for bees of all kinds and this new market will give people the chance to sample some of the amazing honeys that can be gathered in this part of Scotland. It’s also a wonderful opportunity for local producers to connect with local customers!”

The market will also provide hands on learning experiences to local school children with additional support needs.

Catherine explained:

“As part of The Starfish Way initiative, run by the Perth and Kinross Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, we’ll be giving children the chance to grow their own produce in our walled garden and then eat it or sell it at the market.”

Charity Forth Environment Link, has been instrumental in getting Megginch’s new market off the ground. The organisation has already helped set up five other click and collect farmer’s markets across Scotland, thanks to funding from Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government’s EU LEADER programme.

Stuart Guzinski from Forth Environment Link said:

“We’ve been working with communities across Scotland to offer support and share our experience of setting up a successful digital farmers’ market in Stirling in 2016. As well as Megginch, we’ve helped set up new markets in Balfron, Blairgowrie & Rattray, Peebles, Killin and Falkland in the past year. There are also two more markets to follow in Fife and the Borders. The project is about increasing access to Scotland’s larder, creating rural employment, offering small scale producers a safe route to market and connecting shoppers with the people who make or grow food locally.”

The funding for the project comes from a joint collaboration between  four Scottish Rural Network LEADER programmes, Forth Valley & Lomond, Perth & Kinross, Fife and Scottish Borders, through the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Rural Perth and Kinross LEADER Coordinator, Sharon Rice-Jones said: 

“The award from Rural Perth and Kinross of £44,200 towards this project is one of a number of projects benefitting from a portion of £3.8 million of LEADER EU and Scottish Government funds available for the development of rural communities and rural enterprise until 2020 in Perthshire. It is a fantastic opportunity for many small and micro businesses, and we are pleased we have been able to support it.”

She added:

"Rural Perth and Kinross has an abundance of growers, producers and sellers of amazing food and drink and the NeighbourFood platform complements the work of the Perthshire Food Tourism Group, Farmers’ Markets and various food hubs enabling greater local purchasing - keeping the pound local.  Megginch Castle NeighbourFood is the second market to be established in Perthshire with LEADER Funding and we look forward to more markets coming online soon.”

Megginch Castle NeighbourFood has also received £5000 in funding from Connect Local.

Ceri Ritchie, Chair of the Regional Food Fund said:

“This project demonstrates strong collaboration and will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the local economy, promoting Perthshire as a real food tourism destination. It is fantastic to see the NeighbourFood platform being used to its full potential and will stimulate a great sense of community between businesses and consumers across the region.”

For further information on registering as a Megginch Castle customer or producer click here.


Third helping of food fest

Forth Valley Food Festival will return this October with a series of virtual and socially distanced events showcasing local food and drink producers, growers, brewers and eateries.

The annual festival, which is now in its third year, will take place during the October school break (Saturday 10 – Sunday 25 October).

Last year a wide variety of events were held across Forth Valley over 10 days, from foraging walks and farm tours to wild cocktail making and pumpkin picking.

Festival Co-ordinator Carolyn McGill said:

“Our 2020 festival will give local food and drink businesses a boost at a time when they need it most. We’ve extended this year’s programme to two weeks to coincide with the extended school break and allow even more local food and drink businesses to take part. As lockdown eases, we know that socially distant outdoor events are in high demand, particularly with families and visitors. The festival will help raise the profile of local food and drink businesses and attractions, helping them to get back on their feet.”

Organisers will work with businesses to ensure that all events comply with Covid-19 guidelines.

Carolyn added:

“Last year our annual food trail and promotional campaign offered nearly 50 opportunities to enjoy Forth Valley’s local larder at 12 locations across the region. We want to make this year’s festival even bigger and better, whilst keeping everyone safe. We’ll be spacing events out over the course of the fortnight, holding most events outdoors and restricting numbers at indoor events. We hope locals and visitors alike will take time out to savour what our region has to offer and help our food and drink industry recover from the impact of Covid-19.”

This year’s festival will be hosted by the newly formed Forth Valley Food and Drink network, a Community Interest Company established in lockdown by and for local food and drink businesses to promote the area’s rich local larder with Connect Local funding.

One of the network’s founding members is Douglas Ross, who runs Bridge of Allan’s Allanwater Brewhouse. He said:

“We’re offering local food and drink businesses free membership of our network until the end of 2020. We recognise how difficult this year has been for the industry, but by joining forces we can use our collective power to raise the profile of local food and drink and bounce back from this.”

Local food and drink businesses interested in joining the network and taking part in this year’s festival should email hello@forthvalleyfoodanddrink.org by Friday 18 September.

Once confirmed, full details of the festival and booking links will be posted on www.forthvalleyfoodandrink.org – the network’s new website showcasing local food and drink.