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Zuppa! Is launched and we’re calling all the soup makers to join the party


We unwrap the history of the hamper and perfect gifts for food lovers


Perth’s favourite festival returns for a fourth year of sweet treats Instagram: @gmmphotography Twitter: @gmmphotography

Gill Murray Photography and Styling is at the heart of Small City Recipes. Each week Gill creates, styles and photographs her original images for our ever popular recipe column. Using local, seasonal produce - often from her own greenhouse - Gill’s passion is to inspire us to pull out the pans and get cooking.

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AN AUTUMN OF INDULGENCE elcome to the second issue of Small City Food & Drink – perfectly timed to bring you a tasty mix of autumn and festive treats. We’ve spent hours pouring over our favourite recipes and chatting to our local foodie experts to find the tastiest ways to keep warm and happy when the temperature starts to drop. Of course, here in Scotland our steadfast winter dish is a piping hot bowl of soup and so we were all over the Zuppa! Festival, coming to Perth for the first time this November. Searching for the area’s best soup maker, (I can tell them it’s my Mum), they’re inviting everyone to join in with ideas on what goes into the perfect pot. As you know, seasonal produce is our mantra here at Small City and Gill’s Champagne Pomegranate Cocktail is our tried and tested guarantee to get in the mood for the best season of all - party season! Check out her recipe, Diane Brown’s Cheese Board tips and Big G’s yule log for a winning Christmas Day combination. Remember, you can find a new #SmallCityRecipe each and every Thursday in our online magazine, Happy cooking,

Nicki & Gill xx

AUTUMN FRUITS PAVLOVA Pavlovas may normally be the reserve of summer berries but this gorgeous Autumn fruits version shows just how versatile this wonderful dessert can be. Autumn is a great time for both orchard and wild fruits so you can be really creative and add your own favourite treats of the season. The starting point in this recipe is to make the meringue base – a mixture of whipped egg whites and sugar baked on a low heat until crisp on the outside and gooey on the inside. Pile it as high as you dare and prepare for the gasps of amazement from your guests!

Ingredients: 5 large egg whites 300g caster sugar ½ tsp vinegar 1 tbsp cornflour, sifted 300ml whipping cream 1 heaped tbsp. icing sugar 2 peaches, halved, stoned and sliced 3 good handfuls of brambles or blackberries 1 pomegranate, seeds removed

Method Heat the oven to 140C. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and roughly draw a circle with a 25cm diameter on it. In a large, clean metal or glass bowl whisk the egg whites until still peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar a little at a time until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Next fold in the vinegar and cornflour. Spread half of the meringue mixture onto the parchment paper to give a 25cm circle. Then, using a piping bag with nozzle, fill it with the remaining meringue mixture and pipe small swirls equally around the edge of the circle. Pop into the oven and cook for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the outside is crisp. Turn off the oven but leave the meringue inside for another hour then remove and cool completely. When the meringue is cold and you are almost ready to serve, whip the cream adding in the icing sugar and spoon over the meringue. Top with the fruits and serve.

TOP TIP: When making your meringue it is best to use eggs at room temperature as they will whisk more easily. Cold egg whites tend to reduce meringue volume. 4 RECIPE

Weekends & Workdays

We caught up with Graeme Maxwell, AKA Big G, the owner of Maxwell’s Desserts based in Bridge of Earn to find out what makes a pastry chef tick. What does a typical day at work look like for you? Up and in early and write the prep list for Gemma, who works with me, coming in. Get any deliveries ready to go out with Ian my driver. Then just hope the phone doesn’t ring too many times and change the plan of action.

Best ever day at work? The obvious one is the day I was involved in making the dessert for Zara Phillips wedding to Mike Tindall at Holyrood Palace with the entire Royal Family present! Better than that though was when I made dessert for John Barrowman and got a selfie with him afterwards.

What signals the start of your weekend or days off? Turning my morning alarm on my phone off.

However, for me my standout day was during my time at Gordon Ramsay’s Amarylis Restaurant in Glasgow my first Pastry Chef job.

What makes for a perfect night in? On the sofa with my wife Rhona, watching Strictly Come Dancing, being completely judgmental with a bottle of Hoegarden beer and a packet of Jaffa Cakes. What makes for a memorable day or night? Pretty much all my memorable days and nights out are made by the people I spend them with. I have a pretty small group of close friends and, as well as my wife and daughter, I know that as long as I am with them there will be good times ahead. Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again? I seem to have quite a few of these. The weekend we got engaged in Ireland, being at the opening game of the world cup in France ‘98 between Scotland and Brazil, playing in a winning cup final team at Hampden, completing Etape Cymru (Wales) with a good friend of mine, golfing at Kingsbarns with John and Gary for Gary’s 40th, to name a few. But to be honest, right now I would relive all the weekends I am spending with our 18 month old daughter Freya, as I don’t get to see her that much during the week.

It was the first day I managed to complete an entire dinner service for a fully booked restaurant on my own and to the very exacting standards of our head chef Colin. I had taken a pretty big punt on a career in the kitchen, walking away from quite a lot and that day was the first time I really felt that I could make it in the industry and that I had made the right decision. Any workday or weekend rituals? I like all the knobs on my oven to be aligned and facing the same way and will spend more time than I should adjusting the temperature control knob to make sure this happens. What’s in the perfect day off breakfast? If we are out, or staying in a hotel, then Eggs Benedict, but any kind of full cooked breakfast is good for me. Poached eggs and no beans though! Any words of wisdom for us? If people don’t quite get you, don’t let it bother or change you as it’s more than likely because they’re weird, not you!

Typical working hours, or if you work shifts, a quick description:

#PerthshireLoveFest – tell us your favourite things in or about Perthshire:

Not sure I have typical working hours as they are very much dependent on what our customers’ needs are. However, I would say that at the moment I do an average of around 70 hours a week!

Going trail running up and around Kinnoull Hill. Discovering all the independent craft makers and antique places, especially during Open Studios. The general scenery - we are lucky to be surrounded by all this beautiful countryside. 5 ARTICLE


CHEESE BOARD Here in the Small City office we’re all cheese lovers of epic proportions. Show me a well-chosen cheese board and a big box of savoury toasts and I’ll show you a happy woman.

is an 18-month aged gouda, made from the milk of small herds which graze on the mineral-rich pastures of the Beemster Polder, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This rich milk gives a sweet, nutty and complex cheese with a lovely crystalline I think in this instance The fact that we can dress this up texture. I would dress the as a dinner party essential over cheeseboard with a bunch the festive season does little to Soft: Paddy’s Milestone is a of dried muscatel grapes, disguise the fact that this will be beautiful little rock-shaped cows’ possibly some Spanish our Saturday night telly snack for milk cheese from Ayrshire. Soft, pickled figs and a few cubes the next few months. Just add a almost moussey, with a white of membrillo. fruity gin cocktail and a pair of bloomy rind, it is creamy and woolly socks. delicate and will look absolutely For me, the perfect biscuits beautiful on any cheeseboard. for any cheeseboard When it comes to building the are Peter’s Yard crispbreads perfect cheese board there Goat: Many of our lovely – made using a sourdough is only one woman to turn to. Scottish goats’ milk cheeses are starter, they are delicious, Diane from the award-winning unavailable at this time of year so but light, thin and subtle Provender Brown deli is our goI would feel no guilt about going enough not to detract from to expert for all things fromage. for one of my favourites from the flavour of the cheese. She has been sourcing, tasting further afield - Monte Enebro is and selling cheeses from across made only by one small artisan Scotland, the UK and mainland producer, in Avila in Spain. It has Europe for over a decade and will a very smooth, dense texture, a effortlessly chat to you about the grey mould rind and intense white interior. The best combination to create a taste sensation. flavour is of sweet cream with a mild goatiness and citrus acidity. “If I wanted to wow my guests this Autumn with an interesting and unpredictable cheeseboard here Ewe: As I haven’t gone for a traditional brie-type are some of the cheeses I’d go for. cheese as my soft choice, I would be inclined to Blue: At this time of year, it’s hard to go past a really good stilton, such as that from Colston Bassett, but if I wanted to be a bit less predictable, I would choose our Gorgonzola Dolcificato Gran Reserva. It is just so sweet and creamy and absolutely delicious. Many a supplier has tried to woo us with a different one but, having tried dozens, we remain convinced that this is simply the best there is! Hard: Beemster is a new find for us, but not for the Dutch, who have been enjoying it since 1901. It


include Brebirousse d’Argental. It is a soft, smooth creamy ewe’s milk cheese with an attractive washed-rind and a buttery, winey flavor – a real crowd-pleaser for sure!

Traditional Territorial: I promised an unpredictable cheeseboard so I’ve chosen a territorial that’s not actually very traditional. The Wife of Westray is made in the north of Orkney and is based on a Swiss Appenzeller recipe. It’s semi-hard and has a washed rind which adds just a hint of pungency to the creamy floral base notes.”

CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL Pomegranates have had something of a resurgence in the past couple of years, making their way onto many a trendy menu and Instagram feed thanks to their beautiful jewel-like appearance and healthy superfood status. These wonderful exotic fruits have been grown around the Mediterranean since ancient times and here in the Northern hemisphere they come into their best between September and February.


Always one to try something new, Gill created this amazing cocktail for us last year and it is now a firm favourite of the entire team. It is a glorious drink to serve around party season but is also really easy to whip up in small quantities for one (just divide by four).


For the drivers and kids, use the same amount of pomegranate juice in the glass and top it up with rose lemonade before garnishing with pomegranate seeds. It really is delicious.

Pour the pomegranate juice and vodka into a champagne glass or flute. Top up with rose champagne or prosecco and add a few pomegranate seeds to decorate.

100ml pomegranate juice (for extracting juice see method below - you will need 1 pomegranate for every 3-4 servings depending on the size of the fruit) 60ml vodka Rose Champagne or Prosecco as needed Pomegranate seeds for garnish

To extract fresh pomegranate juice, separate the seeds into a bowl and muddle together. Pour the muddled seeds and juice through a sieve into a jug to extract the pomegranate juice.

TOP TIP: If making this for a crowd, premix several servings of the pomegranate juice, vodka and champagne in a pitcher and chill. When ready to serve, stir well and pour into your glasses.



CHOCOLATE There are many Christmas traditions that we love to indulge in and as well as the old, tried and tested favourites such as a glass of milk for Santa (or red wine maybe?) and a carrot for Rudolph, there are also many new, fun-filled customs popping up all the time; Christmas jumper days, secret Santa and Miss Piggy tree baubles to name but a few. Here in Perthshire, the ever-growing spectacle of our Winter Festival is one such tradition and right at the heart of this is the wonderful two day event that is Scotland’s Outdoor Festival of Chocolate. That’s right folks – two whole days dedicated to the wonder of the cocoa bean, the creamy delight of the milk choc bar and the heavenly winter joy that comes with a mug of rich, molten ganache. Now in its fourth year, Scotland’s Outdoor Festival of Chocolate falls on the Perth Christmas Light Festival to bring an extra layer of festive fun to the city centre. As you’d expect, you’ll be able to browse through market stalls full of chocolate treats in all shapes and sizes. Festival favourites Charlotte Flower Chocolates, Chillilicious and The Chocolate Tree will all be there along with a whole host of more unusual chocolate themed stands. To make things even sweeter there will be demos a plenty across both days including some fun, hands on workshops for young chocolatiers on Saturday 19th. Graham Dewar from The Apron Stage in Stanley will also be cooking up a few chocolate based treats on Sunday 20th and there will be more tasters than you can shake a double choc chip cookie at - ideal to keep you full of energy as you browse. Keep an eye on for all the chocolatey updates.


AROUND TOWN As well as the Chocolate Market, you’ll find loads going on in and around the city with choc themed events from some of our favourite Perth Indies – wine and chocolate anyone?

Provender Brown Delicatessen Saturday 19th November Whisky and Chocolate tasting

Exel Wines

Saturday 19th November Chocolate and Wine Tasting

Café Tabou

Wednesday 23rd November Chocolate Dinner We’d also suggest you drop into Willows Coffee Shop, Oxalys and Sub Rosa Patisserie who have all created fantastic chocolate themed menus for the weekend.

Scotland’s Outdoor Festival of Chocolate: Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November

Find out timings and grab a full list of exhibitors over on their website: Follow them on Facebook at and Twitter at @ChocFestScotland

BIG G’s CHOCOLATE YULE LOG INGREDIENTS FOR THE chocolate sponge 7 large free-range eggs 200g caster sugar 66g cocoa powder

Sift the cocoa powder into the bowl and carefully cut and fold together, using a spatula, until all the cocoa is incorporated into the egg mixture. (Be careful not to beat any of the air out of the mixture).

FOR THE chocolate ganache topping 300ml double cream 300g dark chocolate (around 35-40% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces

Pour the mixture into the lined tin and spread evenly out into the corners. You may not require all of the mix. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes, or until well risen and firm to the touch.

FOR THE cream filling 300ml double cream, whipped 50g icing sugar 1 vanilla pod split and scraped 200g dried cranberries soaked in whisky (the booze is optional!)

While the cake is cooling, make the ganache topping. Heat the cream in a pan until boiling. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate, stirring until it is melted. Cool to room temperature, then put into the fridge to firm up (this icing needs to be thick for piping).

FOR THE decoration Toasted pinhead oatmeal A toy robin or sprig of holly

Place the cream, icing sugar and vanilla seeds into a bowl and whip until thick. Place a piece of baking parchment bigger than the Swiss roll tin on the work surface. Place sponge onto the paper.

METHOD Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Lightly grease a 33x23cm/13x9in Swiss roll tin, and line with non-stick paper or baking parchment, pushing it into the corners. For the sponge, separate the eggs and in a large bowl whisk the whites using an electric hand whisk until they reach stiff peaks. Gradually add the caster sugar whisking continuously. Add the egg yolks and mix well.

Spread the whipped cream evenly onto the sponge then sprinkle evenly with the soaked cranberries. Using the paper roll the sponge tightly. Put the chocolate icing into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle. Pipe long thick lines along the cake, covering the cake completely so it looks like the bark of a tree. Pipe circles round each end, if you wish to see the cream, leave un-iced. Sprinkle with the toasted pinhead oatmeal. Garnish with fresh holly or a little robin to serve. 9 RECIPE

SHETLAND MUSSELS WITH LEEK, SMOKEY BACON & CIDER We were given this tasty recipe for mussels from our friends at The Brasserie at Crieff Hydro Hotel. The team there place a big emphasis on sourcing Scottish ingredients and all agree that Shetland produces some of the best mussels we have. This is a great dish to try at home and perfect for the winter months. Mussels are a great source of protein, low in fat and high in omega-3 and iron. Of course, you can counteract all of this by adding double cream and serving with lashings of garlic bread! The Brasserie at Crieff Hydro Hotel is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner to both residents and non-residents. Find out more at

Mussels Ingredients: 1kg Cleaned Shetland mussels 500ml olive oil 2 leeks washed and sliced 2 crushed garlic cloves 2 small banana shallots finely diced 2 bay leaves 160g smoked bacon cut into small pieces 400ml Cider 160ml double cream 2 handfuls parsley and chives chopped Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper


Mussels Method Thoroughly wash the mussels, remove the beards and discard any that are heavy, broken or that remain open when tapped. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, bacon and leek with the bay leaf and garlic. Add the cider to the pan and bring it to a gentle boil. Add the mussels, cover the pan tightly with lid and steam for 2 minutes, or until the mussel shells start to open. Add the cream, bring to the boil and remove from the heat. Remove any unopened shells, toss in the chopped herbs and serve in a bowl.

Garlic Bread Ingredients: For Garlic Bread 4 petit pan 100g butter (unsalted) 1tsp parsley 2 garlic cloves chopped

Garlic Bread Method Crush the garlic cloves and add to the butter. If you don’t have a garlic press then finely chop. Add the parsley, season with salt and pepper and mix well. Spread onto the petite pain and either grill or oven bake.


WRAPPED UP Depending on when you have picked up this magazine, Christmas shopping is either about to start or is very possibly approaching panic stations! Why though, do we put ourselves through the stress of searching out the perfect gift when we know that everyone loves pressies they can eat or drink? Picture this: a beautiful wicker basket, adorned with a large red bow and stuffed full of pate, chutney, wine, panettone and booze filled chocolates. Now picture socks, hankies and novelty jumpers and I bet I know which one you’d like to be unwrapping on Christmas morning! Hampers date back some 300 years when they were first used by well-heeled customers journeying to their country estates. As they travelled, they’d stop at inns along the way for refreshments but the food proved to be so poor that they called upon the now famous Fortnum and Mason to prepare baskets for them. These hampers held delicacies such as game pies, fresh bread, West Country butter, cheese and rich fruit cake. Seen as a mark of luxury, hampers soon became the gift of choice among the well-to-do and the appeal of indulging friends and family in one of life’s finest pleasures has only grown with time. Nowadays hampers come in all shapes and sizes with spin off variations including trios of jams, bottles of gin and regional favourites. With so much to choose from it was only a matter of time before we saw the current boom in Foodie Gift Giving and – luckily for the gluttons among us - a glorious smorgasbord of tasty gift ideas beating back the shelves full of novelty socks! Check out the Small City Team’s top five foodie gift choices from Perthshire - hint hint!

Perthshire’s Top Foodie Gifts Christmas Hampers Both Provender Brown and Glendoick’s Food Hall have a stunning range of hampers this Christmas. Each offer various price points stuffed full of locally sourced goodies from some of the country’s best artisan producers. Year Round Coffee Club I’ve bought this for my other half and my son in the past two years and both have loved it! The Bean Shop’s Coffee Club gives your loved one a different coffee each and every month from across their superb range of artisan roasts. Gleneagles Afternoon Tea Gleneagles Afternoon Tea is a little slice of luxury served up in their beautiful Glendevon room. Dainty sandwiches, divine little drops of pastry heaven and an atmosphere of sheer decadence make this a must-do experience for any lover of fine food. Lunch Out… With Fizz! A Prosecco Sunday Lunch from The Parklands Hotel comes in at under £20 a head and gives your loved one a day out in one of Perth’s best loved establishments with a glass of fizz, awardwinning food and views across the South Inch. Indian Cook School Experience Tabla’s Praveen Kumar guides you through the authentic dishes, spices and stories from his home in South India as he brings handson cookery training, top quality produce and inspirational teaching into the home of your chosen recipient.



THE GREAT PERTHSHIRE SOUP COMPETITION When it comes to food, there are three things in life I know to be true.

perfectly reckless throwing in of veg and meat and stock remains as true as it always has.

1. Us Perthshire people live in one of the tastiest and most culinary diverse corners of the world. Keep your exotic star fruits and kangaroo steaks, here we boast the very best in beef, vegetables, berries, orchards, lamb and game… and we’ve not even started on the whisky and ale!

This year, the Perth and Kinross Council’s Events Team is inviting all of us to put our recipes right where our mouths are and enter into their Great Perthshire Soup Competition. Whether your favourite recipe is a hale and hearty lentil, a warming butternut squash or a super cool gazpacho, this is your chance to prove that your family recipe is the best.

2. In Scotland, soup cures all. From our first foray into real food as babies, through our childhood and into old age it is a reassuring presence in our lives. It’s how your granny poured her love into a big pot and then straight into you. It will chill you down in summer (gazpacho anyone?) and warm you through in winter. Add some spice, keep it chunky or zap it up and drink from a mug. 3. My Mum makes the best soup ever. Yes she does. She does.

Do You Make Perthshire’s Best Soup?

There’s only one condition for this: when your pot boils in the heartland of Scotland’s Larder then the main ingredient should come from our local land. So we’re looking for your signature ingredient to showcase the wealth of produce reared or grown right here in Perthshire. Veggies, beef, lamb, mutton, venison, chicken, game…. You get the idea!

Enter your recipe online by 10th November at for your chance to win a £500 Perth Card.

You could also finish it off with a drizzle of extra virgin rape seed oil, a crafty dash of beer, a tot of gin or whisky or a daring ‘mole pablano’ twist taking advantage of local chocolatiers.

Are you reading this thinking ‘Actually, I think you’ll find my Granny’s soup is the best in Scotland?’. If you are, you won’t be alone. In my experience all of us Scots come from a long, long line of braw soup makers. A puckle tatties, a few leeks and a bit ham shank from Lindsay’s and you’ve got lunch sorted for a week. As our culinary tastes have changed so too has the variety of soups you’ll find bubbling away on a Scottish stove. But the sentiment, the love and the


The judges will select the best recipes which will be recreated by the next generation of top chefs from Perth College, UHI. These soups will be served up to the Perthshire public on 20th November 2016 at this year’s Christmas Light Switch On where everyone will vote for their favourite. The winning recipe will receive a £500 Perth Card. I bet it’s my mum’s!

CHICKEN CHILLI SOUP HERO We ran our own Small City Soup Hero Competition last autumn and this warming Chicken Chilli Soup ticked all the boxes for us. It really is a whole meal in a bowl, with chicken thighs packing it full of flavour and wholesome protein. Add to this the abundance of super foods on the ingredients list and you have a bowlful of tasty, healthy goodness right there. I loved the Asian influence and we were bowled (pun check!) over at how delicious something this good for you could be. Alex Hone, a busy working Mum created this for us and she promises it to be a quick and easy recipe to make that’s enjoyed by the whole family.

Ingredients: 1 big lump of coconut oil 1 tbsp sesame oil 3 fresh chillies 2 cloves garlic roughly crushed 2 tbsp dark soy sauce 5 chopped spring onions 1 red pepper 1 orange pepper 4 free range chicken thighs 1 bag of Kale 250g shiitake mushrooms Juice of a whole lemon 1 tbsp of local honey 1 cm freshly chopped ginger 1 litre of veggie or chicken stock Noodles or rice to Serve

Method Add all ingredients to a large soup pot and top up with boiling stock water. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer. After about 30 minutes, check spice and add more if needed! Season and add noodles or rice to serve.

TOP TIP: If you’re serving this up to the whole family, use a splash of milk just before you serve. Kids love the creamy finish and it helps take a little of the heat out of the chillies.



THE BEAN SHOP 67 George St, Perth

Perth’s longest-standing deli is brimming full of the very best in local, artisan produce and speciality ingredients. and boast unrivalled choice and expert knowledge. You’ll also find tasty sandwiches and soups.

Famed for their fantastic speciality coffees which they roast on the premises in George Street, The Bean Shop offer an unrivalled choice of the world’s best grown beans and a wonderful selection of loose leaf teas.

MURRAYS BAKERS 114 South St, Perth


Scotch pies and pineapple cakes are just a few of the delicious traditional handmade treats you’ll find in Murrays Bakers. Fourth-generation artisan bakers, Murrays Bakers was proudly announced Scotch Pie World Champions in 2015.

Glendoick’s award-winning food hall and café is a haven of wondrous ingredients and flavours from across Scotland. With frequent tastings and seasonal events you will find they offer everything a food lover could wish for.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the second issue of the Small City Food & Drink magazine. Our plans are to grow in reputation, size and quality and in order to do this, we’d love to feature a wider, more diverse mix of foodie businesses from across Perthshire. If you think your produce, restaurant, deli or distillery could feature in our next edition then please contact Holly on 01738 636888 or by email on


One of Perth’s favourite award-winning eateries, Parkland’s, has everything you could wish for this Christmas. Both restaurants are open throughout the festive period for lunch and dinner. The hotel also offers breakfasts, morning coffees and afternoon teas.

Festive Menus You will find a mouthwatering selection of festive menus over the Christmas period, created using the very best in fresh, local ingredients. As well as our chef’s lunch and dinner options we can also personalise menus to your own requirements.

Party Nights For something a bit special, why not join in the fun with your friends or colleagues at a Parklands Festive Party Night? A luxury three course dinner served in our 63@Parklands restaurant, followed by some great sounds and a dance floor waiting to be filled!

Christmas Accommodation The hotel offers accommodation up until the morning of the 25th December, you can reserve this either online or by contacting the hotel on 01738 622451. 2 St Leonard’s Bank, Perth PH2 8EB

Tel. 01738 622451

Small City Food & Drink - Issue 2, Autumn '16