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savour Welcome to

A celebration of North-east food and drink 2013 ISSUE 01

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contacts issue.com/savour

MACKINTOSH MEDIA Savour is produced by Mackintosh Media Ltd. Regent Quay House, Regent Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5BE.

FROM THE EDITOR EDITORIAL

Eric Farquharson T: +44 (0) 7730133036 E: eric@mackintoshmedia.co.uk PRODUCTION

Calum Farquhar T: +44 (0) 1224 288982 E: calum@mackintoshmedia.co.uk ACCOUNTS & DISTRIBUTION

T: +44 (0) 1224 288980

Springtime brings a new variety of produce and although the diversity of foods may not be as high as in summer, there is still a great selection that is at its sweetest and tastiest in spring. A farmer’s market is a great place to find the freshest of the season and in this issue we have lots of information on the markets in the area and how you can make the most of your visit. Our centre pages feature the long-awaited opening of Jamie’s Italian and Delia Smith is giving one lucky reader a copy of her latest book ‘Delia’s Cakes’ which you can win in our easy to enter competition. However, as usual, our magazine is all about local producers and great eateries. We chat to John and Connie Sorrie about the success of Ola Oil and meet

Walter Walker the talented head chef who leads the kitchen brigade at the awardwinning Meldrum House Country Hotel. Keep up-to-date with the latest foodie news in our ‘News Bites ’pages and try some of our amazing recipes such as making your own bread or bruschetta. If you’d like to combine good food with history and mystery we suggest you head to Loch Ness, a captivating area, perfect for a break-away. Our magazine reflects the wealth of talent in the Grampian area, be it the skilled producers or the adventurous kitchen teams who strive to ensure our region remains a premier destination for culinary excellence. Enjoy!

E: accounts@mackintoshmedia.co.uk SALES

Steve Mackintosh T: +44 (0) 1224 288981 E: steve@mackintoshmedia.co.uk

If you would like a newsletter or brochure written and designed, company re-branding, logo creation, exhibition and display graphics or menu design contact our creative team on (01224) 288982.

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Tomato, Basil and Parma Ham Bruschetta Ingredients • 100g sun-blushed tomatoes (from a jar) • 150g fresh baby plum or cherry tomatoes • 1 small red onion, finely chopped • 2 tbsp good Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar • 4 tbsp olive oil • Maldon salt • freshly ground black pepper • 4 slices ciabatta or sourdough bread • 1 garlic clove, bruised • 6 large basil leaves • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling • 8 thin slices Parma ham • fresh rocket, to serve

Method 1: First make the salsa. Chop the tomatoes into small chunks and mix in a bowl with the chopped onion. Add the 4tbsp olive oil and 2tbsp vinegar and season if required. Cover and leave at room temperature to infuse. Make sure you make the salsa a short while ahead to allow the flavours to develop. 2: Take the bread and toast each piece on a char-grill or griddle until golden brown on both sides. (To get the striped effect on the bread, make sure your griddle pan is good and hot and rub it beforehand with a cloth with a little olive oil. Place the bread on, press it lightly but do not allow it to move. Repeat with the other slices.) Repeat until all the bread is toasted then rub the bruised garlic clove over the top surface of each piece and drizzle with a good quality olive oil. 3: To finish, spread some salsa over the toasted bread, top with some folded Parma ham and finish with torn fresh basil. Serve with lightly dressed fresh rocket.

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ingredients A celebration of North-east food and drink SPRING 2013 ISSUE 01

CONTENT

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Bread Making

p08/09

Baking bread can save you dough!

A Sorrie Tale

p10/11

The creation of Ola Oil

Farmer’s Market

p14/17

Getting the best from your Farmer’s Market

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p23

Wines Uncorked Choosing wines to accompany fish

Jamie’s Italian

p26/27

Jamie’s Italian ‘Ora Aperto’ in Aberdeen

Words with

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Meet Walter Walker Executive Chef at the award-winning Meldrum House Hote

Win ‘Delia’s Cakes’

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Win a copy of Delia Smith’s new book ‘Delia’s Cakes’

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Nick Nairn News Later this year, Paul & Nick’s Big Food Trip will air on TV in Scotland. The cheffy pair’s first series was shown in Ireland last year, in which they sailed (with Nick at the helm) along the Northern Irish and Scottish West-Coast coastlines, stopping in Portpatrick and Ardrossan, as well as various Irish ports. At each stop they cooked up a three-course meal with local fare to impress residents. Series Two has been filmed, and is full of Nick & Paul banter and fabulous cooking. This will show along with the first series in Scotland later this year, at which time Paul & Nick will do a double-act class in Aberdeen. Watch the website for dates: www.nicknairn.com. Some great Aberdeen day classes are on the horizon at the Cook School, not surprisingly the ever-popular regional Italian course on Sun 31st March with some spaces left if you’re quick and some spaces here and there on other days. Try your hand at the Feast of Fish class on April 13th. You’ll learn the easy way to shuck beautiful hand-dived scallops, prepare Orkney lobster and make tuna loin sashimi and other sashimi with salmon and scallops too. Doesn’t this sound tasty: Warm salad of chargrilled hand dived king scallops with mini potato fondants, crisp pancetta and lentil dressing made by you. You’ll be amazed at what you can do. Ring 01877 389 900 or visit www.nicknairn.com to book a place.

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News Bites... Sparing a thought for others the Ardoe House staff committee decided to support the charities as they felt that few people spare a thought for those in need as they tuck into their Christmas dinner. She said: “Our head chef Richard Yearnshire and his kitchen team cooked first-class food to help make Christmas special for people attending The Cyrenians and Salvation Army Christmas day lunches.” Staff dropped off 40 gourmet meals at The Cyrenians and 40 Christmas puddings at The Salvation Army. A prestigious North-east hotel on the outskirts of Aberdeen prepared special meals to gift to two local charities last Christmas day. Staff from Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel delivered 80 first-class dishes to The Cyrenians and the Salvation Army in Aberdeen as a special Christmas treat. Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel HR Co-ordinator, Elizabeth Marie Hough, explained that members of

Captain Matthew Bennett of Aberdeen Salvation Army’s Citadel Corps, added: 'We were overwhelmed and truly humbled for the time and effort which had been put into creating these donated items. We couldn’t do the work that we do without the generosity of the general public and are immensely grateful for the compassion and kindness shown. Donations like these allow us to offer practical support to people who are vulnerable and in need.”


Fun and Fundraising at Newton Dee An Aberdeen charity embraced the Christmas spirit at its annual advent fair to raise funds for another charity. Newton Dee Village, in Bieldside, hosted the special festive event recently in their £3.6m state of the art community centre and successfully managed to raise £2,469. The Phoenix Community Centre, which was unveiled this year, showcased a funfilled day of activities and included stalls for all the family featuring fresh produce and arts and crafts, which were prepared by village residents from its on-site toyshop, bakery and workshop. Visitors were also given the opportunity to get creative at the arts and crafts stalls. The charity, which offers supported accommodation for adults with special and complex needs, provides an environment where the residents can enjoy an independent home life whilst maintaining a daily work life with responsibilities. Proceeds from the advent fair will be donated to Nature Nurture, a local charity that aims to improve the life chances of

disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people through their early intervention programme. The charity supports children and young people by combining free play and nurturing interactions outdoors in natural environments allowing them to socialise, explore and create freely. Senior co-worker at Newton Dee, Jacob Vollrath, said: “Our advent fair was a great success this year. We had a very busy weekend with lots of fun activities for all the family and managed to raise vital funds for Nature Nurture, a charity that we support. It allowed the village to get into the Christmas spirit as well as giving us the opportunity to showcase our new community centre and also display our home made toys and food that we make at the village.” Newton Dee, which is home to almost 200 residents and co-workers, many of whom work onsite, boasts an on-site coffee and gift shop, grocery store, bakery and toyshop, which are open to the public to help continually raise funds for the facility.

A Recipe for Success at Ardoe House Hotel Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa has secured the services of Executive Head Chef Richard Yearnshire following a two year break from Aberdeen. Mr Yearnshire, 37, originally joined the hotel in June 2009, and left in February 2011 to work at a four star hotel in Jersey. He returned to work at Ardoe in a temporary role during December 2012, and joined again, on a permanent basis, as Executive Head Chef in January.

General manager Peter Sangster said: “We are moving forward in so many areas with our food offering and Richard is excited by the challenges ahead. “He brings real passion, commitment and dedication to the role and he is genuinely motivated and excited about liaising with our clients personally and exceeds their expectations with regards to menu design, quality and value for money. He strives to deliver the wow factor at every opportunity.”

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News Bites Local Economy Boosted The work carried out by the Grampian Food Forum in 2012 is estimated to have boosted the Scottish economy by more than £2 million, according to its annual report. The report, which details the Forum’s activity over the past year and measures its effectiveness, estimates that £2.587 million has been added to the Scottish General Value Added (GVA) and more than £6 million to the turnover of the beneficiary companies due to the work of the group. The Grampian Food Forum is a partnership comprising senior members of the food and drink industry in the north-east of Scotland and the main development agencies in the area. The group regularly holds workshops, awareness visits, dining clubs and skills workshops, in addition to the flagship Innovation Awards which has run for the past 23 years.

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Baking Bread Saves Plenty Of Dough

As food prices soar at the fastest rate in 20 years, more and more families are returning to good old fashioned home cooking to help make ends meet. But while thrifty folk know that making their own soups and stews can help trim their grocery bill, many believe that shopbought bread is still the cheapest option. Members of the Scottish Women’s Rural Institutes (SWRI) are out to dispel the myth that artisan bread is upper crust, and believe that it can actually save dough from the household budget. According to the Consumer Price Index, the cost of groceries has risen by 2.7% across the board in the past year. Most supermarket loaves now cost well over £1, but bread can be freshly baked at home for around a third of the cost. Not only that, say SWRI members, handcrafted artisan bread is tastier and healthier than its processed counterpart. Nowhere has the growing interest in homemade bread been more apparent than within the Banffshire Federation of the SWRI. Located in North-east Scotland, the Federation has seen unprecedented demand for bread making classes this year, and expects the high level of interest to continue. Banffshire Federation chairman Lorna Milne says the group had no idea that the classes would be so popular. Organisers thought they would do well to attract

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around eight of their 500 local members to the first class, and were stunned when 47 ladies signed up to take part. “We were really surprised by how many members wanted to do this. We ended up running a couple of classes to cope with the demand,” says Mrs Milne. “We ran the classes with The Steading Bakery, which has a coffee shop in Keith and specialises in artisan food, during which we were able to learn basic bread making. We plan to do more advanced classes where members can learn how to make everything from focaccia to pizza bases. “The feedback we’ve received is that folk want to learn how to make their own

bread. They are fed-up with what is available in the supermarket – it’s expensive and sometimes the quality is not great – and they long for something a little bit different. Home-made doesn’t just mean cheaper – it also means that you know exactly what goes into it. “I’m now a convert and make my own bread all the time, and love the recipe we have learned for half brown and half white. Even my husband, who hates brown bread, thinks it’s great. If you want to follow the example of the SWRI and bake your own bread, why not give the recipe from The Steading, Keith a try?


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The Steading Seeded Loaf Ingredients • 300grm good quality organic strong white bread flour • 200gr good quality organic wholemeal flour • 15gr pumpkin seeds • 15gr sunflower seeds • 5gr fast action/easy blend dried yeast • 5gr sea salt • 35gr rapeseed oil or olive oil (use ordinary, not virgin olive oil) • Hand Hot water to mix (approx 275mls) • Beaten Egg or rolled oats to finish (optional) or dredge lightly with flour before putting in the oven.

Method 1: Put the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. 2: Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and gradually pour liquid in to it while dragging the flour mixture in with a spoon until the dough is ‘shaggy’ in appearance. Once the dough is shaggy add the oil and continue to bring together adding more water if necessary until the dough is moist and slightly sticky. 3: The dough should be on the wet side, so add enough water to make soft dough but take care not to make it so sticky that it cannot be kneaded at all. Once you get used to the recipe, it is better to weigh the water as it is more accurate than a measuring jug (275mls is 275gr). Different flours take in different amounts of water so make notes in a recipe book of how much water a specific type of flour requires. 4: Remember sticky dough is better than dry dough. It should then continue to be for about 10 minutes until it forms into a ball which should be tacky but springy to the touch. If too much water has been added a little flour can be sprinkled at a time into the bowl to correct the consistency, however be patient - the dough will absorb more water than you think. 5: Remove from the mixing bowl onto a very lightly floured surface; knead by hand for another minute or two to check consistency and “springiness”. Put in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a clean tea cloth in a warm (not hot) place for about an hour to rise until roughly doubled in size. 6: Tip out of the bowl on to a floured surface and “knock down” the dough, i.e. punch all the air out, but don’t overwork the dough at this stage. Fold and roll into a sausage shape and put into an oiled or parchment lined bread tin. Put back in the warm place to rise for about 30 minutes. Dust the top with flour and bake at 200c for about 30minutes.The bread will sound hollow when you tap the bottom if it is cooked through. Cool before eating – and enjoy!

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John and Connie Sorrie from Westfield Farms near Inverurie were inspired, in 2008, to launch Ola Oil. The Ola rapeseed oil is grown, harvested and cold pressed on their farm as a truly healthy, tasty alternative to olive oil. Savour’s editor talks to the husband and wife team on their success and how a seed of an idea has transformed their business. Q: You had been harvesting rapeseed on Westfield Farm for years so how did the idea transpire to become producers of extra virgin, cold pressed rapeseed oil? A: John was responsible! He had thought about different ways to use the crops from our farm and pressing rapeseed to produce oil seemed to be the best option. We researched further and looked at the health benefits rapeseed oil offers as well as the taste, and in 2008 began to produce Ola Oil. When we started, we were the only company in Scotland producing rapeseed oil so it was a very steep learning curve and the initial teething problems we encountered we had to solve ourselves, as there was no-one in the country to phone, email or ask for advice from! Q: Ola Oil has been a huge success allowing you to diversify into other areas. How has your range expanded over the years? A: When we launched Ola, we had one product, the original plain oil in a 500ml bottle. We then added the 250ml size and the following year added our Lemon Infused and Chilli Infused oils. These were joined in 2010 by Garlic Infused and Basil Infused Ola. We have a range of salad dressings alongside Ola Chilli Jam, Ola Aioli, Ola Dark & Spicy Marinade and Ola Oatcakes. There are actually two producers of Ola Oatcakes: JG Ross bakers and Mitchell’s Dairy both in Inverurie and these are great examples of local food companies working together. Plain Ola, Garlic Infused, Basil Infused and Ola Chilli Jam are all gold star winners in the Great Taste Awards, run by the Guild of Fine Foods. We tend to launch our new products at Taste of Grampian at Thainstone and Ola Aioli, our garlic mayonnaise was launched in 2012. Celebrity Chef Phil Vickery told us it was “brilliant” which we’re pretty proud of! We have a few ideas in the pipeline for 2013 but, as ever, we’re open to suggestions! Q: Why can’t I find Ola on the shelves of supermarkets? A: Before we produced even one drop of oil, we made the decision not to supply supermarkets. The way the supermarkets treat their suppliers is, in our view, disgraceful and the dairy farmers give a good example when they were being paid less than the cost of production. That’s not a situation we want to be in and we have declined the offer of supplying supermarkets as it’s simply not what we are about. Instead, we choose to supply independent outlets: farm shops, delicatessens,

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gift shops and butchers’ shops. This fits with our ethos: we’re quite small and independent so like to deal with similar companies. Also, with recent food scares, in our view, it’s far better to buy locally produced, fully traceable produce. We grow our own seed, press it, bottle it and label it all on farm: we’ve complete traceability and believe this is vital. Q: Ola has been embraced by celebrity chefs but has it struck a chord with local chefs and restaurants? A: Yes, very much so! We supply a very high proportion of the restaurants in the area, and so many chefs are enthusiastic about where their ingredients come from and how they’ve been produced. It’s also a great for us when chefs mention us on their menus; it gives a sort of reassurance to customers that if Ola is good enough for a top chef, it’s good for them to use at home too! Q: You seized the chance to take over the Green Grocer shop in Inverurie. Was a venture like this something you had

planned or a timely opportunity? A: We supplied Ola to the ‘old’ Green Grocer and found out it was up for sale when making a delivery. We did feel it would be a shame to lose another independent shop and also thought we could make a success of the shop: as if we weren’t already busy enough! Our offer was accepted and in March 2012 we took over! We completely revamped the shop, inside and out but kept all the previous products: we didn’t want to lose any existing customers. Since then, we’ve added a lot more local produce and have continued to extend our range of local and Scottish produce. Q: It can be tough for the high street independent today, what makes the Green Grocer different and worth a visit? A: As well as promoting local and Scottish produce, we have a wide variety of ‘regular’ groceries, and also cater for gluten free, dairy free and other specialist dietary requirements. We operate a fruit & veg box scheme each week and this has proven

incredibly successful. With local produce, where possible, the fruit & veg is much fresher and keeps better than supermarket produce which is often days old before it reaches the customer. We also believe local, fresh produce tastes better! With two supermarkets in Inverurie, we do need to think differently and we try to stock products which aren’t available in the supermarkets. We also aim to provide good, traditional customer service, whether that’s carrying a customer’s shopping to their car, or trying to find an obscure ingredient, we try our best to go that little bit further. Q: What next for team Sorrie? A: Well who knows! We’ve never written a business plan, never sat down and created any grand vision. We all believe that things can change so quickly that there’s no point having a long term plan and that being flexible and adaptable is key. There will of course be a new product in time for Taste of Grampian in June but further to that, we’ll just have to wait and see!

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Colourful Spring Creations

Has the cold, snowy weather left you with a case of the winter blues? If so now’s the time to put a little colour in your life with some spring recipes.

year to start a new healthy eating regime. After all, spring is the season of rebirth, so it is a great time to try something new.

The Ship Inn at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire has created some fantastic recipes which are bursting with the colours of spring – vibrant yellows, greens and reds. The dishes have been created by head chef Fallon Oliveira and are aimed at getting us in the mood for the fast-approaching warmer weather.

“For a healthy diet you should try to eat as many natural colours as possible. We also use lots of fish as the main ingredient as it is low-fat, nutritious and very easy to prepare. Seafood is our speciality at The Ship Inn and we are so fortunate to have an incredible variety of fresh produce right on our doorstep.”

She says, “It can be hard to maintain a really good diet when it’s cold outside and all you want to eat is stodgy comfort food. This is actually the perfect time of

If you would rather sit back and relax and let someone else do the cooking, why not book a table at The Captain’s Table on 01569 762617.

Getting to the Heart of Fishing Did you think fishing was a nice lazy laidback sport? Well think again!

for 5 hours or more - in other words, a healthy cardiovascular workout.

Graham Cobden, a research assistant at the University of Chester, has gathered the research data to show the intensity levels achieved by Shore Anglers during a day’s fishing. Graham followed a team to the World Shore Championships 2012 in Holland and recorded the hydration and temperature data of the squad along with their heart rate to dispel the popular belief that fishing is a lazy sport.

The anglers endured a 30 minute walk to and from the shoreline across light sand, far removed from the Cornish, Welsh and Scottish coastlines. During the walk out and back the workout was classified as High Intensity and on average took approximately an hour of the 6 hour angling day.

Graham's studies show overall the average heart rate to be 106 (+|- 11 beats per minute) that equated to 60% (+|11%) of predicted maximum heart rate

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Fishermen not so Gutted!

I wonder what the results would be for an angler walking back with a good bag of Cod (although I wouldn't know what it's like to walk back with anything in my bag!)

Cod quota for Scottish fishermen will remain unchanged in 2013 following the conclusion of the successful bilateral negotiations between the EU and Norway. This EU-Norway agreement has substantial implications for Scotland fishing industry both at sea and onshore – including 2013 quota decisions on North Sea cod, haddock, whiting and herring, as well as the setting of a catch limit for mackerel in the on-going absence of agreement with Iceland and Faroes. Welcoming the outcome, Scottish Fisheries Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “This deal is good news for Scotland’s fishermen and builds on the successful outcome of December’s fish talks in Brussels and shows significant increases across a range of key stocks that are reaping the benefit of sensible management measures. “Importantly we have now set mackerel limits that follow the scientific recommendations but do not in any way seek to reward the unacceptable actions of Faroe and Iceland to the detriment of the Scottish fishing industry. “The industry has much to look forward to in 2013 and while there will no doubt still be challenges ahead, for now at least they are able to plan ahead and be confident the future is looking brighter for them than it has for a long time.”


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Provost Celebrates with North-east Tour

The Provost of Aberdeenshire, Councillor Jill Webster, has embarked on a fisheries tour in Peterhead and Fraserburgh to celebrate the success of one of Aberdeenshire’s most vibrant industries during challenging times. The most recent figures reveal that the combined value of fish and shellfish landings at Peterhead and Fraserburgh harbours in 2011 was £208 million – more than 43% of the Scottish total. With a comprehensive tour of the main elements of Aberdeenshire’s fisheries industry in February, the Provost wished to promote a sector which celebrates success by adapting to modern requirements, but continues to face serious challenges. The visit began with an early morning visit to the Merchants Quay Fish Market at Peterhead, where the Provost witnessed the auction of more than 1,100 boxes of freshly caught shellfish and white and pelagic fish. A quick stop for breakfast at the nearby Dolphin Café, and she was taken on a tour of Peterhead Harbour by John Wallace, Chief Executive of the Peterhead Port Authority. Peterhead was badly damaged in the severe coastal storm which affected the region on December 15th last year. The Scottish Government has awarded additional funding of £250,000 to help

with repairs at the harbour. At the harbour, the Provost was taken on a tour of The Quantas, one of the most modern pelagic fishing vessels in the UK. Skipper Mark Buchan demonstrated the wide array of technology on board the fishing vessel. She was provided with a special lunch, showcasing the best of what the Aberdeenshire’s fisheries industry has to offer, cooked by students from Banff and Buchan College. From there the trip moved on to Fraserburgh, where the Provost was taken on a tour of the town’s harbour – the largest shellfish port in Europe – by Fraserburgh Harbour Commissioner Andrew Ironside. This harbour was also damaged by storms and work is ongoing to assess the extent and cost of the damage. At both Peterhead and Fraserburgh, the Provost heard about exciting plans to harness opportunities linked with both the traditional oil and gas sector, and also the emerging offshore renewable energy sector.

The Provost ended the tour by hosting an evening reception at the Buchan Braes Hotel in Boddam, attended by leading figures from the fisheries and maritime industries, along with Aberdeenshire councillors and senior council officials. She said: “From what I have seen today, I firmly believe that the industry is in good hands and has a very bright future. “That’s not to say it will be plain sailing from here. The industry continues to face major challenges, but fisheries in Aberdeenshire is a fantastic product and one I am keen to see more widely recognised on a national and international level. Mr Wallace commented: “The Port of Peterhead was delighted to host the visit of Provost Webster who has shown a keen interest in our operations and business. The diversity of trades at the port working in harmony and as a congruous unit appeals to her business background.”

She visited the new premises of the Fraserburgh RNLI branch and was treated to a short journey around the harbour on the Willie and May Gall lifeboat.

Fraserburgh harbourmaster, Andrew Ironside, said: “With the fishing sector continuing to be squeezed from all sides, it is excellent news that the Provost has decided to become a Fisherman for the day.”

The day continued with a chance to see the operations of the Whitelink Seafoods Ltd processing plant.

Get up-to-date information on the Provost’s activities on Twitter, by following @ProvostAbdnshre.

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Banchory Farmers Market Banchory Farmers market is a well established fixture on the Aberdeenshire circuit - due in large measure to the excellent range of local food producers found there. Top-notch meat suppliers such as Ingram's Homecure, Wark Farm, Mortlach Game and The Store are complemented by a rich diversity of food producers including The Devenick Dairy, Granite City Fish, Kincardine Castle Kitchen, Letty’s Preserves, Ola Oils, Neil Gammie - for eggs and vegetables, Shelley’s Homebakes and The Crannach bakery. Craft stalls include The Soapshack, Dorothy Caie’s greeting cards and Katie Eaton plants. There is also a regular community stall to promote community initiatives and local charities. Banchory market runs every third Saturday of the month in the sheltered setting of Scott Skinner Square from 9.30am to 1.30pm and is well worth a visit. For further information check www.banchory.org/farmers_market

Featured Producer - Crannach Bakery and Coffee Shop All bread is not the same. Since the 1960's most bread in the UK is mass produced. It is quick to make, but is pappy, tasteless and many people complain of feeling bloated and tired after eating it. Crannach bread is different. It is made by hand by Doug Cookson who set up the Crannach bakery in 1999. He uses stoneground, organic flour from Gilchesters Farm in Northumberland, which grows old heritage varieties of wheat. Good bread takes time, and all Crannach loaves have a long fermentation - usually 2 1/2 days for yeasted bread and 3 days for sourdough. The loaves are made in small batches and baked in a traditional wood fired oven. The range includes Crannach crusty white, wholemeal, granary, sunflower and pumpkin seed, 9-seed sourdough, ciabatta and wholemeal rye sourdough. You can learn how to make bread with Doug, on his 1-day, small group, breadmaking course. Book as a group, buy a gift voucher for someone else, or treat yourself to a different experience. You will come away with new knowledge about good food, and armfuls of bread you have made yourself.

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Farmers’ Markets can be found at: 1. ABERDEEN - last Saturday of the month 9am-5pm at Belmont Street. 2. Alford - last Saturday of the month 9am-1pm at Heritage Centre. 3. Banchory - 3rd Saturday of the month 9am-1pm at Scott Skinner Square. 4. Huntly - First Saturday of the month 9am -1pm in Market Square. 5. Inverurie - 2nd Saturday of the month 9am-1pm at Market Square. 6. Macduff - Last Saturday of the month 9am-12.30 pm at The Fishmarket. 7. Peterhead - First Saturday of the month at Drummers Corner. 8. Stonehaven - First Saturday of the month in Market Square. 9. Torphins - Every Wednesday 10am-2pm at Platform 22. 10. Westhill - First Saturday of the month at Ashdale Hall.

Ciabatta Ingredients The Ferment: • 180g strong white flour • 110g water • 2g yeast (292g) Total • Mix together and leave for 20-24 hrs The Dough: • 225g strong white flour • 6g yeast • The ferment (see above) • 180g water • 30g olive oil • 8g salt

Method 1: Combine all the ingredients, work the dough on an un-floured surface until it comes away in one piece, about 15 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled container for 90 minutes. 2: During this time, stretch the dough and fold back on top of itself every 30 minutes. This procedure traps air inside the dough as it proves. 3: After the final stretch, let the dough prove for a final 30 minutes. 4: Transfer dough to a baking tray, carefully without losing any of the trapped air. 4: Bake at 220 oC for 20 minutes.

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No matter what time of year, farmers’ markets in this area are in full swing, yielding a bounty of beautiful, fresh, local produce. Visiting a farmers’ market is a lovely weekend outing, but there are many other reasons to bypass the supermarket for your weekly fresh fruits and vegetables.

fewer nutrient-diminishing steps and gets from the earth to your table sooner. This means it is probably richer in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (thanks to less transport, processing and storage time).

1: Enjoy Better Tasting Food. First and foremost, the produce is unbeatably fresh. Forget buying veggies that have sat in a refrigerated truck for days to make their way across the country. No longer will you bring home fruit that travelled across an ocean to reach your kitchen. Typically, produce at the farmers’ market was harvested at the last possible moment, at peak ripeness. The flavours, textures and colours are noticeably better compared with most supermarket produce.

3: Meet Your Farmer. When you’re at the market, you can pick up some produce—and pick the farmers’ brains, too! The same people who grow the food are usually present to sell their produce at the market, and they have a wealth of knowledge to share. They can tell you how it was grown, how much longer it will be available this season, how to grow the same fruits or vegetables in your garden, and how to store and prepare the food that you buy. All you have to do is ask. You can’t afford not to take advantage of one-on-one contact with local farmers.

2: Get More Nutrition for Your Money. Generally speaking, produce that is fresh and local is nutritionally superior to the fruits and veggies in many stores. Many factors affect the nutrient quality of these foods, such as when the crop was harvested, how it was grown, how it was handled and processed, and how long it's been sitting on the supermarket shelf. All of these factors can decrease nutrient quality. Farm-fresh food goes through

4: Support local business. When you shop at the farmers’ market, you're keeping money in your own community, which helps create (and preserve) jobs and makes your hometown more economically stable. Your money goes directly to the farmer—not a middleman—so he can earn a better living. When buying at a supermarket, produce comes from commercial growers all over the country (and overseas). Put more of your money into

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17 your local farmers’ pockets (and in turn, into your local economy) by purchasing fruits and veggies from the market, where farmers keep 95% of what you spend after paying "rent" for their market stall. 5: Eat more vegetables (and fruits). The best reason to visit farmers’ markets is to continue to raise your awareness of the health of eating fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Studies show that people need about nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables for cancer prevention-far more than the five-a-day often promoted. The more fruit and vegetables that are available and accessible, the more everyone in the neighbourhood will eat them. Farmers’ markets and local food are growing trends, and thankfully so! It's hard to think of a healthier craze, and this is one that’s likely here to stay. 6: Explore artisan, homemade and handmade products. You might not know that farmers’ markets usually sell a variety of items in addition to produce. At large and small markets alike, you just may find vendors who sell fresh-cut flowers, seedlings and plants, herbs, handmade soaps, jams and jellies, honey, eggs, meat, cheese and milk, baked goods (muffins, cookies, bread and more), canned salsa and tomato sauces, and much more! Farmers’ markets sometimes offer unusual or less common varieties of fruits and vegetables, too. It's fun to experiment with produce you’ve never tasted.

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Baked gnocchi with cheese, ham and sage Ingredients For the white sauce : • 50 gr butter • 50 gr plain flour • 500 hot milk • salt & freshly ground black pepper • 150 gr fontina cheese, roughly chopped • 200 gr ham, roughly chopped • 30 gr butter, plus extra for greasing • 6 sage leaves • 600 gr ready-made potato gnocchi • 100 gr parmesan cheese, freshly grated • salt & pepper

Method 1: Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. 2: Make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, add the flour, mixing well to obtain a smooth paste, stirring all the time. To avoid lumps, use a small hand whisk. Gradually add the hot milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to thicken. After about 10 minutes, when the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper and stir in the fontina cheese and ham. 3: Bring a large saucepan of slightly salted water to the boil 4: Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small pan, add the sage leaves and saute' for a minute. 5: Drop the gnocchi into the boiling water and when they float to the surface, take them out with a slotted spoon and add them to the pan of butter and sage, strirring well. 6: Lightly grease an ovenproof dish with some butter. Spread a little of the cheese and ham sauce on the base of the dish and add the rest to the cooked gnocchi, mixing well. Pour half of the gnocchi into the dish, sprinkle with some parmesan, then pour in the remaining gnocchi and top with the remaining parmesan. Cover with a sheet of foil and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. 7: Remove the foil and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven,leave to rest for a couple of minutes and serve.

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In Season One of the biggest trends in Scottish foods is to eat seasonal produce. Eating seasonal foods is healthier as the food is fresher. It is also more environmentally friendly as the foods are often local and not been flown in from other countries. Early spring sees food start to lighten after the comfort foods of winter, but not too much. The weather in the North-east is still inclement, one day spring sunshine, the next day snow. So don't forget the stews and casseroles just yet. Make the most of seasonal foods with nourishing soups and hearty side dishes. Soups are not only easy to make, they are usually quite cheap and nutritious with the addition of beans, pulses or grains. March heralds in garden rhubarb crops, and more sturdy vegetable such as leeks and kale, while curly leaf and flat leaf parsley, mint and sorrel survive the early springtime frosts. Seafood lovers can look forward to succulent lobster in March, followed by cockles in April.

VEGETABLES: Calabrese, purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, spring greens, spring onions. FRUIT: The first rhubarb. GAME: Pigeon, rabbit and hare. FISH: Mackerel, halibut and bass. Flat fish are beginning to spawn now, so their quality declines. Wild salmon and sea trout. CHEESE: Cotherstone, Wensleydale, Coulommiers, Comte,

March

Banon and Roquefort.

VEGETABLES: Spring cabbages and carrots. Leeks and the first lettuces and other salad leaves. The short morel season begins. FRUIT: Height of the rhubarb season. MEAT: Welsh lamb. GAME: Pigeon, rabbit and hare. FISH: The first crabs, salmon trout, lobster and shrimps. CHEESE: Single Gloucester, Double Berkeley,

April

Beaufort and Gapron. Fresh goats' milk cheeses. savour Issue 01 2013


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One large asparagus spear contains just four calories. Even better?

SPRING FOODS FOR WEIGHT LOSS

“Asparagus is a water-rich vegetable, and research shows that maintaining proper hydration can improve metabolism, helping your body burn even more calories all day long. This spring veggie is also high in immune-boosting vitamins A and C, and contains potent cancer-fighting phytochemicals, too.”

Okay, so the novelty of hitting the gym on a regular basis as per your New Year resolution is rapidly deteriorating, but it doesn’t mean you still can’t lose a few pounds this spring and in a less painful way. Here are some delicious vegetables and fruits you can tuck into without piling on the pounds.

Skip the canned stuff and opt for fresh pineapple, which is at its peak in spring. “Although pineapple is slightly higher in fructose than most produce, it’s still light. One cup of cubed chunks contains just 82 calories, making it a much better sweet treat than, say, ice cream. Bonus: Pineapple is also an excellent source of bromelain, an enzyme that’s been shown to reduce the inflammation that can contribute to diseases like arthritis and cancer, and to aid digestion, too -- which is why it's been used for centuries to soothe stomach woes.”

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If your weight loss plans keep getting derailed by snack fests, garden peas could be the secret to slimming. They put the kibosh on speed-eating (since they need to be shelled before they can be munched), that’s the ticket to cutting 400 calories out of an evening pig-out -- and 2-1/2 pounds off your figure each month if you nibble them daily. Garden peas are also rich in coumestrol -- a plant compound that protects against intestinal cancers if you consume two milligrams daily (and one cup of garden peas contains five times that much!).

Sometimes called scallions or green onions, these mild young shoots won’t bring tears to your eyes or leave a pungent smell on your skin after you cut them -- and both their white bulbs and tall green stems can be added to recipes for a dash of flavour and colour. Spring onions are rich in sulphur -- a nutrient that helps your pancreas burn carbs for fuel before they can be stowed away as fat. Sulphur is also a powerful tissuehealing anti-inflammatory that helps protect your tummy from the ravages of ulcer-causing H. pylori bacteria.


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If you’ve never been a fan of spinach These sweet, crunchy pods are only 26 Just one teaspoon of fresh ginger and because of its strong taste, give baby calories per cup, so you can chomp on you’ll feel full almost twice as quickly. spinach a try. It’s surprisingly mild, plus them until you’re green; they’re great in a Credit ginger’s two powerful appetite much easier to prepare, since there are no salad, or as a snack with low-fat dressing. suppressants - gingerol and zingibain. mangy stems to trim off. And baby Bonus: Like all peas, sugar snaps are rich Bonus: Ginger is also an amazing antispinach is rich in lipoic acid -- an in fibre, folate, and are especially potent inflammatory, and eating it daily dampens antioxidant that shuttles blood sugar and in vitamin K, a bone and blood-building pain, swelling and stiffness for up to 75 fatty acids into cells so they can be nutrient. Sugar snaps have a fresh, sweet per cent of women studied. Fresh root burned for energy instead of stuffed into flavour and a crunchy texture. Look for ginger is used in sweet and savoury fat cells. It wilts quite quickly so when bright green, crisp pods, which are full of dishes. Ginger produces heat in the body buying look for crisp, dark green leaves peas but not bursting at the seams. These and dilates blood vessels. Low fat dairy with firm, hard stalks. Avoid spinach that peas can be included in stir-fries, sauces, products, avocado or citrus fruit make has yellow patches or looks limp.

risottos or soups.

healthy foods to eat with ginger root tea.

Sweet, juicy plums are loaded with soluble fibre, which swells up in the intestines and quickly dampens appetite. Enjoy two or three daily, and you could effortlessly cut your food intake by as much as 20 per cent, say Yale researchers. An added perk: Plums contain neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acids, antioxidants that nourish eye tissues, helping to prevent macular degeneration (one of the leading causes of blindness nationwide), according to a study in the Korean Journal of Ophthalmology. Mature plum fruit may have a dusty-white coating that gives them a glaucous appearance.

Spring’s sweet, tender baby lettuce varieties are now readily available bagged and also as heads at some farmers’ markets and well-stocked stores. Lovely garnish for main entrées, specialty sandwiches, fresh fruit plates. Baby lettuce is low-carb, fat-free and contains just five calories per cup.

They’re not the prettiest things in the produce department, but they have a rich, smoky flavour that works beautifully in meat dishes, soups, stews and more. And, according to the National Institutes of Health, shiitakes are rich in selenium -- a mineral that helps ramp up your ability to burn fat for fuel. How? By converting

Plus, one heaped cup of these tender shoots contains roughly 90 micrograms of vitamin K, an often-overlooked nutrient that’s essential for keeping bones strong and break-resistant. Today, the majority of lettuce is grown for its leaves, although one type is grown for its stem and one for its seeds, which are made into an oil

thyroxine (T4) -- your body’s weakest thyroid hormone -- into the metabolismboosting, fat-blasting version called triiodothyronine (T3). Shiitake are also dried and sold as preserved food. These are rehydrated by soaking in water before using.

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Old-fashioned Whisky Cocktail Ingredients • 1 thick slice orange peel • 1 maraschino cherry, with stem • 1 tsp sugar syrup (also sold as gomme syrup) • 2-3 drops whisky bitters • Ice cubes, as necessary • 50ml/2fl oz Scotch or bourbon • Twist of lemon peel, to garnish

Method 1: Take the orange peel and squeeze it with your fingers. Rub the peel around the insides of a whisky tumbler, then place into the glass. Add the cherry, sugar syrup and bitters, along with three ice cubes. 2: Add half of the scotch or bourbon and stir for about ten seconds. Add more ice and the remaining scotch or bourbon and stir again for 10-15 seconds. 3: To serve, garnish with lemon peel.

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23

“Muscadet

and Moules Marinere

The ‘white wine with fish’ mantra seems to have always been with us and for the most part it’s a winning combination but I like to take it further than that. Some things are just meant to be – Chablis with oysters (the Chardonnay vines for Chablis are grown on Kimmeridge clay which is made up of tiny fossilized oyster shells), moules marinere with fresh youthful Muscadet (go for labels displaying ‘de Sevre et Maine Sur Lie’ for more complexity) and smoked salmon and Champagne (both a little decadent with the crisp acidity cutting the richness of the fish)

Blanc such as Sauvignon de Touraine or Sancerre. Mediterranean flavours such as tomatoes, olives and basil can be great with dry rosé wines, so check out offerings from Spain, South of France, Italy and Portugal. Theses rosés also work well if you are barbequing or grilling fish such as sardines, king prawns or sea bass. If your fish or shellfish is Asian inspired, go for an aromatic grape such as Riesling (from Germany, Alsace, New Zealand or Australia) or Gruner Veltliner from Austria. Red wine and fish can work; go for lighter, low tannin, unoaked reds especially with salmon or tuna. I’ve used Beaujolais, Pinot Noir and joven (young/un-oaked) Tempranillo from Spain. At the end of the day, it’s all about personal taste and what you enjoy but it is fun experimenting! Carol Brown www.wineuncorkededucation.co.uk

When choosing your wine, consider both how the fish is cooked and the sauces that will be served. Simply poached sole for example will be smothered by something big and oaky but will be allowed to shine alongside a light white such as Soave from the Northeast of Italy. Oak aged white wines are best with smoked fish and creamy sauces, for example a rich Meursault with an Arbroath Smokie risotto or an oaked South African Chenin Blanc with Cullen Skink. For herby, asparagus or salsa verde sauces, try a Verdejo from Rueda in Spain or a Loire Sauvignon

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Pasta with Sardines Ingredients • 1 handful fresh, wild fennel, roughly chopped (use fennel fronds as an alternative) • 10 tbsp olive oil • 1 brown onion, finely chopped • 5 anchovy fillets in oil • 1 kg/2lb 4oz fresh sardines, scaled, cleaned and filleted • 1 tbsp strattu or 2 tbsp tomato purée • 2 tsp currants • 2 tbsp pine nuts • 2 pinches saffron thread • 800g/1lb 12oz bucatini pasta (or spaghetti) • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method 1: Bring a large pan of water to boil, add the chopped fennel and boil for 20 minutes 2: Meanwhile, heat eight tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry for five minutes until softened and translucent then stir in the anchovy fillets and fry gently for 3-4 minutes until they have broken down. 3: Add half the sardines, the strattu and a couple of ladlefuls of water from the fennel pan. Stir for a few minutes then add the currants, the pine nuts and saffron. Cook gently for 15 minutes. 4: When the fennel is cooked, drain and reserve the cooking water. Add the fennel pieces to the sardine mixture and a splash more fennel water to slacken the mixture to a thick sauce consistency. Add the rest of the sardine fillets and cook for a further 10 minutes, breaking up the fillets a little. 5: Meanwhile, bring the reserved fennel water back to the boil. Add plenty of salt and top up with boiling water if necessary then add the bucatini and cook according to packet instructions. 6: While the pasta is cooking, fry the breadcrumbs with the remaining olive oil over a medium-high heat until goldenbrown and crunchy. 7: Drain the bucatini and mix with the sardine sauce then leave it to rest for 10 minutes. To serve, spoon the pasta onto warm serving plates and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.

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New Flavour For Old Favourite

Soup makers clutching recipes handed down through generations battle it out for the honours in the annual Cullen Skink World Championships, but the ink was barely dry on the recipe created by one entrant in last year’s inaugural event. Paul Buxton, head chef at the Cullen Bay Hotel, teamed up with Glenglassaugh Distillery in nearby Portsoy to create what is believed to be the world's most expensive bowl of the world famous soup. A large measure of Revival – the first single malt Scotch whisky to be produced by the distillery in recent times – is a key ingredient in his recipe, which clinched the runner-up spot at the championships. The recipe contains the traditional blend of smoked fish, potatoes and milk but the

added dash of Revival - produced in Scotland's most coastal mainland distillery - gives an entirely different dimension to the popular North-east dish. Stuart Nickerson, managing director of Glenglassaugh Distillery, says even he was surprised by the success of the combination. He adds, “Malt whisky has been paired with everything from ice to Irn-Bru – we thought we had seen it all, but combining it with milk and smoked fish was certainly a new one on us. The sweet flavours of Glenglassaugh combine perfectly with the haddock. “Cullen Skink has so much history and heritage stretching back hundreds of years, which is a complete contrast to Revival, a dram which is young and just about to make its own mark on the world."

The Cullen Skink World Championships are organised by the Cullen Voluntary Tourist Initiative and take place this year in Cullen on August 4th. Entrants are invited to submit their recipes in advance and the best will be invited to the soup's spiritual home to take part in the final cook-off. Last year's winner was Nigel Ross, originally from Cullen but now living in Aberdeen, who used a family recipe thought to be around 100 years old. Anyone who would like to enter should visit www.discovercullen.com and download the entry form. For more information about Revival and the Glenglassaugh Distillery’s awardwinning range of aged whiskies and younger spirit drinks, visit www.glenglassaugh.com

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Jamie’s Italian is excited to announce its newest restaurant is now open. The Aberdeen restaurant is the most northerly of the UK estate and only the third to open in Scotland. It occupies the first and second floors of the Union Street frontage of the old Esslemont & Macintosh department store, a retail landmark in the city. The design of the restaurant respects the architecture of the listed building and the team has worked hard to restore the windows, cast iron structure and wooden floors. The building’s exterior has also been repaired and cleaned, and the original mosaic signage retained. Jamie’s Italian Aberdeen reflects the scale and grandeur of Esslemont & Macintosh in its glory days, with dramatic features such as a patterned terra cotta screen surrounding the central staircase and a lively open kitchen, where diners can watch the chefs at work. The colour scheme on both floors is one of a warm, sunny palette to create a welcoming and cosy interior. Jamie’s Italian has received outstanding reviews from Britain’s top restaurant critics. Giles Coren of The Times described Jamie’s Italian as “unbelievably good value” and “streets ahead of any Italian chain I can think of anywhere in the world”, while The Independent’s Tracey MacLeod called it “a great little operation”. On opening in Aberdeen, Jamie Oliver said: “I was really looking forward to the opening of Jamie's Italian in Aberdeen and I'd like to thank all the people there for their patience. We have been going as quickly as we can to get the building perfect, and it's a lovely old place as everyone in Aberdeen knows, so we had to take a lot of care with it. I hope that now we are open, everyone will see that it really has been worth the wait. The listed building on Union Street has been transformed into a stunning 280-cover restaurant.

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“There’s also some great space for our Jamie’s Italian shop, a fitting return to the building’s retail roots and the opportunity for customers to buy what they love and re-create the Jamie’s Italian experience at home.” “We’ve employed more than 100 of the city’s most talented and motivated staff to join our Jamie’s Italian family.” Jamie is also giving the people of Aberdeen a chance to make their own permanent mark on the beautiful new restaurant. He’s on the lookout for budding street/graffiti artists to get creative with some of the wall space – a feature which is popular in many of the restaurants around the UK. He’d like to find a local artist who can present something unique and inspired – to be admired by our diners for years to come. All you need to do is submit three relevant examples of recent work and a vignette(s) of your proposal to design@jamieoliver-int.com On the Jamie Oliver restaurant opening in Aberdeen, Nick Nairn says, “It’s great that Jamie has chosen Aberdeen. I’m delighted. We’ve been here for nearly a year and it’s been fantastic. People particularly love our Quick Cook sessions, as well as the day courses and the shop here on Back Wynd. The Cook School has found a ready market. Aberdonians are clearly discerning diners who want a quality operation. Jamie has a great offer and will do well here, I’m sure. There has been a bit of a gap in the Aberdeen market for great quality food offerings.” The restaurant may carry the Jamie Oliver branding but there is another much respected chef, widely known for teaching Jamie all he knows about Italian cooking, who drives this operation. Gennaro Contaldo is a renowned personality and T V favourite in his own right. As the mainstay of the ‘Italian’ brand he visited the new Aberdeen restaurant a few weeks ago to assist the new chefs. Whipping up a delicious Gnocchi with garlic, chillies and tomatoes, he exuded charm and an immense passion for food. “We are bringing the very best Italian dishes to Aberdeen at a very reasonable price” enthused Gennaro. “Cured meats, cheeses, local fish and wait until you taste the bread – rosemary focaccia, ciabatta, tortano and sourdough, all from our own artisan bakery. We may have similar menus throughout the UK but each restaurant is unique in that the chefs can create ‘specials’ from seasonal, local produce to add to the existing dishes. The best produce from Italy and Scotland coming together,” concludes Gennaro.

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Be a smarty pants Does your jaw drop when you see the effort and expense that some families dedicate to birthday parties? If you're looking for some new, inexpensive food ideas, you've come to the right page. These tips will help you plan a meaningful, fun and cheap birthday party for your child.

Go for it. It could mean making a casserole or lasagne ahead of time that just needs to be reheated.

Serve food that's inexpensive and easy. If that means ordering pizza, awesome!

Better yet, bake the cake and then have the birthday child or the siblings

Bake your own simple birthday cake rather than ordering a complicated one from a bakery. It's flour, sugar and eggs, for Pete's sake, and the kids are just going to eat it.

decorate it. That could become a neat birthday eve tradition for your family. You could also hand each guest a plain cupcake, frosting and sprinkles and make decorating dessert a party activity. Here are some easy to prepare party goodies you can make or better still incorporate into the party for something a little different.

Tiny Teddy Cars Get these Tiny Teddies on the grid for your next birthday party and you will be super popular with the little ones. Serve them on their own or use them as cars on a racetrack birthday cake! Ingredients: • 100g milk chocolate, melted • 1 bag Milky Way bars (you will need 24) • box Tiny Teddy biscuits, honey flavour • 1 bag Smarties (340g) Method 1. Set out a tray or serving plate for the Teddies. 2. Sort the Smarties into colours and cut 12 Smarties in half with a sharp knife to use for steering wheels (keep in mind steering wheel colours need to match with wheel colours). 3. Remove the wrappers from the Milky Way bars. (the cars) 4. Cut 24 Tiny Teddies in half at the belly button using a sharp knife. 5. Place the melted chocolate into a resealable bag and snip a tiny corner off. Squeeze out a few drops of chocolate to glue 4 Smarties 'wheels' on each car then place on the serving tray. 6. Place a few drops of chocolate on the top of each 'car' and sit the Teddy's on. Place a drop of chocolate on the 'car' in the front of each Teddy and glue on steering wheels.

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29 Funny Face Biscuits Funny face biscuits are great fun to make with the kids for a birthday party or a special afternoon tea treat. Simply ice plain biscuits and add sweets to create funny faces. Special Info: Egg free Ingredients: • 2 cups icing sugar • 2 tbsp water • Yellow food colouring • 1 packet Milk Arrowroot biscuits (oval shape) • Small box Smarties • Packet Allen's Retro party mix (it has the teeth and lips!) • Packet jelly beans • Sprinkles Method 1. Sift icing sugar into a bowl; add enough water to make a spreadable paste. Add a few drops of yellow (or red or blue or green!) food colouring to get the right funny face colour. 2. Spread about a teaspoon of icing onto the biscuit and then use the lollies to make the faces. When the face is done, use the sprinkles for hair, beards, moustaches etc. 3. The biscuits will keep in an air-tight container for a few days if you want to make them in advance.

Cake Pops These cake pops are balls of cake mixed with icing and covered in a hard chocolate shell. They are great for parties and cute when you want something a little bit fancy. Ingredients: • 1 box chocolate cake, prepared ( I used Betty Crocker Devils food cake) • 1 container Betty Crocker creamy deluxe frosting, chocolate • 1 bag (375g) white chocolate melts • Sprinkles of your choice • Lollypop sticks Method 1. Cut the prepared cake in half and crumble by rubbing the two halves together. 2. Pour in the creamy deluxe frosting and mix using a spoon. 3.Line a baking tray with baking paper and form the balls by rolling a tablespoon of the cake mix in your hands for your cake pops. 4. Put the tray in the freezer for 20 minutes. 5. To melt the chocolate, put a saucepan of water 1/3 full on the stove. Bring to the boil and melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over the water, ensuring that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Turn off the heat but leave the bowl sitting over the hot water. 6. Remove the cake balls from the freezer ten at a time and push the lollypop stick about 1cm into the ball. Dip them into the chocolate and cover with sprinkles.

Nutella Popsicles

These Nutella popsicles are made with just two ingredients. They taste a bit like a chocolate Paddle Pop but you can make them at home and the kids will love them.

Ingredients: • 1 cup full cream milk • 1/3 cup Nutella Method: 1. Gather all ingredients and popsicle moulds. 2. Place the milk and Nutella in a blender and blend until thoroughly combined. 3. Pour into a popsicle moulds. 4. Freeze and serve

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The West is Crowned Best recognition by IHG for the way that we operate the Holiday Inn brand successfully, with passion and pride in Aberdeen. It recognises our hotel as being the best Holiday Inn in Europe, and to bring this award to Aberdeen, when it is contested across all Europe's Holiday Inns, is a great achievement for the team here reflecting their care and hard work for our guests.” Stephen Gow, Chairman of the Aberdeen City and Shire Hotels Association says of the accolade:

At the end of last year Bill Burnett General Manager of the Holiday Inn Aberdeen West, attended the annual Intercontinental Hotels (IHG) conference, which was held in Dublin. The conference was attended by representatives of Europe’s leading IHG (Intercontinental Hotel Group) hoteliers, all of whom operate branded hotels including Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza and InterContinental Hotels. This is a major European gathering of over 600 hoteliers representing 622 European hotels and over 100,000 bedrooms in total. At this conference in Dublin, the Holiday Inn Aberdeen West was acclaimed European Holiday Inn Hotel of the Year. A delighted Bill commented: “This is a landmark achievement for our hotel, our team, our owners and I believe for the hotel and catering industry in the North East of Scotland. “Our award has been recognised on the

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floor of the Scottish Parliament and by letter from the Minister for Tourism, Fergus Ewing. “As a member of the Aberdeenshire City and Shire Hotels Association, our business and myself are committed to promotion of the area as a destination for both leisure and business travel alike. “Our award recognises our steadfast aims at delivering great service to our guests. “The Holiday Inn Aberdeen West in Westhill, is owned and operated by Aberdeen based EDC hotels who redeveloped and re-opened the hotel in 2006. Since opening, the hotel has recruited and developed a team of 100 staff from the local community, providing valuable employment opportunities for young people when it has been needed most. We have taken school leavers from our local area and delivered award winning results through solid training and development and attention to detail.” “I can tell you that my whole team strive to be the best at all times and this award recognises this. The award is a huge

“Prestigious accolades like this recognise the hard work which goes into achieving outstanding customer service, excellent guest experiences and maintaining the highest of standards throughout all areas of operation You only have to look at the comments which guests leave on Trip Advisor about the Holiday Inn Westhill to see why its customer retention is so high. The Holiday Inn brand has approximately 47,000 bedrooms across Europe and this figure puts the achievements of the Holiday Inn Westhill into perspective.” Ivor Finnie, Owner of EDC Hotels in Aberdeen says of the achievement: “This award demonstrates our commitment and ability to operate quality hotels to the very highest level. The team at Holiday Inn Aberdeen West deserve the highest praise and recognition for bringing this award to Aberdeen from an international field. We are grateful for the support of the residents of Westhill and the business community at Westhill, without which we could not have achieved this honour.” Richard Solomons, Chief Executive Officer of InterContinental Hotels worldwide comments on the hotels success: “By putting our guests at the heart of everything they do, this hotel has been successful. They well deserve this honour and it was a privilege to present it to them.”


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Traditional Scottish restaurant launches function space

Comfortable Lodgings If you’re having a delicious evening meal at the Lairhillock Inn, why not stay over in the nearby Lairhillock Lodge in one of 16 contemporary rooms. The Lodge is set in its own grounds within beautiful Royal Deeside but is only 20 minutes from Aberdeen City centre. Get a great night’s sleep in a comfortable modern room with a refreshing power shower in your ensuite bathroom and relax with a flat screen Freeview TV which will keep you up to date with the latest news, sport and soaps. A full cooked breakfast with all your hot favourites is included in the room rate and includes a selection of fruits, cereals, juices and yoghurts. Ideally placed for leisure and business the Lairhillock Lodge is a newly built contemporary lodge providing accommodation in a quiet location.

Herd to be Seen

A North-east family-run restaurant has recently refurbished one of its dining areas to offer customers the chance to host dining experiences for all types of occasions.

there was demand for a function room

The Lairhillock Inn, based at Netherley, has converted its Crynoch Restaurant into a function space with the capacity for entertaining up to 60 people.

Guests can personalise their event with

The Law family, who took ownership of the restaurant in 2007, have remained true to the former 200 year-old Coaching House’s history, only making small changes to the venue to ensure it did not lose it’s traditional Scottish style and character.

The Crynoch function room, is separate

Manager of The Lairhillock Inn, Donald Law, said: “After several requests from customers to hire the Crynoch Restaurant out for private parties we realised that

To find out more about the Crynoch

with some character. The Crynoch offers a truly unique dining experience for all types of events from family celebrations, corporate dinners and smaller weddings. bespoke

menus

cooked

by

our

experienced chefs and decorate the room to suit.”

from the main Lairhillock Inn. It includes private access and toilet facilities, an upstairs mezzanine for pre or post dinner drinks, as well as free parking and space for dancing, depending on the occasion.

function room or to book your next event, please call The Lairhillock Inn on

If you’re visiting Lairhillock there’s a rather unusual sight nearby. In 2006 Caledonian Bison Ltd moved their first breed stock of American Plains Bison to a farm at neighbouring Muchalls. The herd has now expanded from 12 to over 50 animals and you can spot the magnificent beasts grazing on the clifftops. In winter they have shaggy, long dark brown coats and a lighter weight, lighter brown coat in summer. Bison are naturally hardy. They are adaptable to a variety of climates – winter storms and summer heat do not present a problem for this animal. Typically male bison are slightly larger than females and can reach in excess of six feet. Both sexes have short, curved horns which they use in fighting for status within the herd and for defence. Remember these are not domestic animals so consideration is needed if you are nearby. Caledonian Bison Ltd are a driving force in developing this form of livestock production and see the emergence of a sustainable form of meat production.

01569 730001.

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Succulent Braised Venison Ingredients • 2 1bs boned leg or shoulder of venison, cut into large chunks (or buy ready cubed venison for stewing) • 2 carrots roughly chopped • 3 celery sticks roughly chopped • 2 onions roughly chopped • 1 garlic clove, crushed • Rapeseed oil and butter for frying • 5 tbs plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper • 2 tbs apple and bramble jelly (I make this but you could use a bought fruit jelly, such as rowan or redcurrant) • Half pint dry red wine (Rioja is good) • Half pint venison stock (or beef stock, again I make my own stock) • 2 sprigs of thyme • 1 bay leaf

Method 1: Heat oven to 180c/fan 160c /gas 4. Fry the vegetables in a little of the oil and butter in a heavy based pan for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Tip in the garlic and fry for 1 more minute then set aside.. 2: Toss the venison in the seasoned flour. Add a little more oil and butter to the pan and fry the venison in batches until well browned. If you put too much in together it will not brown just stew. Set aside with the vegetables. 3: Add the jelly and wine to the pan, bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan clean (de glazing). Pour in the stock, then add the Thyme and Bay leaf, meat and vegetables. Taste for seasoning and add more if you like bring to the boil. Cover and place in the oven for about 1 hour or until tender and thickened. Remove from oven and check seasoning (remove bay leaf). 4: Serve with crispy tatties and neeps and braised savoy cabbage.

Ingredients - Crispy Tatties and Neeps (serves 8) • 1 large swede, peeled and cubed • 4 baking potatoes, peeled and cubed • 2 oz. butter • Rapeseed oil • 8 slices streaky bacon chopped

Method 1: Boil the swede and potatoes in salted water until tender (about 20 mins) then drain well. 2: Bash the veg into chunky mash with half the butter a pinch of salt and lots of pepper. 3: Add the chopped streaky bacon. Heat the remains of the butter and a little oil in a large frying pan tip in the veg and bacon and fry. As the bottom gets golden stir so that you get crispy bits through the mash and the bacon cooks. 4: When you have it to your liking serve with the succulent venison and cabbage.

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Hornblower’s Award Winning Chip Recipe Ingredients: • 800 grams potatoes - (Agria, Cabaret or Maris Piper recommended, sourced from WM Fraser in Potterton)

Method 1: Peel the potatoes (as large ones as possible) and remove any blemishes. 2: Cut potatoes into 14mm (thumb width) strips. 3: Leave to dry in a colander for 5 mins. 4: Heat beef dripping or vegetable oil or sunflower in a Deep Fryer to 130c. 5: Slowly and carefully lower the chips into the fryer, shaking the basket to ensure they don't stick together. Fry for approx. 10 mins or until they start to yellow and break easily if squeezed. Now remove them and leave to cool for at least 10 mins. 6: Turn up the heat on the fryer to 185 and again carefully and slowly lower your par-cooked chips into the fat. Fry them until the outside is golden, remove and you will have chips as good as Hornblower's!

It’s a Gourdon Chip for Me! The fishing village of Gourdon on the North-East coast has a new claim to fame. Prior to National Chip Week in February, customers were asked to vote for their favourite Chip Shop chips and Hornblower’s, located in the fishing village came out tops in Aberdeenshire. The Potato Council run the national ‘Chip Week’ competition annually to find the tastiest ‘tattie’ treat in the UK. Alex Grahame, owner and chef of Hornblower’s commented “We are delighted our customers have supported us with their votes. We get a tremendous amount of positive feedback about our chips. We always aim for maximum flavour and take great pride in what we serve. It’s the quality frying potatoes, traditional beef dripping and double fry which ensures a fluffy inside and a crispy casing that provides the winning formula.”

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New Seafood Pavilion for Taste of Grampian

The north-east's main food and drink festival is getting a new look. A seafood pavilion is being added to the Taste of Grampian, being held at Inverurie's Thainstone Centre on June 1. The event also features demonstrations by celebrity chefs Simon Rimmer, who appears on Channel 4's Sunday Brunch, and Scotland's own Nick Nairn. The addition to the festival was revealed when the annual extravaganza celebrating the richness and diversity of the northeast's larder was launched to the trade recently at the Grampian Food Forum's dining club at the Holiday Inn Aberdeen West, at Westhill. Taste of Grampian steering group chairman Brian Pack announced Inverurie-based bakers J. G. Ross and its soon-to-launch Pulsetta range of

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gluten-free bakery products as the event's headline sponsors. The pavilion will be used to highlight the important contribution that Grampian's seafood sector makes to the economy as well as promote the extensive range of fish and shellfish which are landed at towns along the coast and processed here. Its centrepiece will be a magnificent seafood display which draws its inspiration from the fish counter at top London store Harrods. Mr Pack said funding from the Aberdeenshire European Fisheries Fund and Aberdeenshire Council had made the pavilion possible. He also praised the support of local craft baker J.G. Ross who will shortly be producing a highly innovative range of gluten free breads and rolls. Mr Ross added: "We are delighted to sponsor Taste of Grampian in 2013.

The event is a fantastic opportunity for local businesses to showcase their products and engage with members of the public, fellow businesses and some of the UK's top celebrity chefs." Taste of Grampian is sponsored by J. G. Ross and Pulsetta, Quality Meat Scotland, the Food Standards Agency, Macrae Foods Ltd and Young's Seafood, the Nick Nairn Cook School, Tesco, the Mercure Ardoe House Hotel and Spa, Hamlyns of Scotland, Simpson's Hotel, Union Square, Neish Wines, Mackies, More Than Kitchens, the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa and Banff and Buchan College. The organising partners behind the event are ANM Group, Aberdeenshire Council, the Grampian Food Forum, the Press and Journal and Scottish Enterprise.


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Banana and Baileys Bread and Butter Pudding Ingredients • 75 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing, softened • 7 to 8 slices good-quality white bread • 100 g golden caster sugar , plus 1 heaped tablespoon for sprinkling • 1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways and seeds scraped out • 4 large freerange eggs • 600 ml double cream • 600 ml semi-skimmed milk • 4 ripe bananas • 75 g pecan nuts • 100 ml Baileys Optional • 100 g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) • Vanilla ice cream to serve

Method 1: Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas 4. Lightly butter the bread on one side, then cut each piece in half diagonally. Whisk the sugar, vanilla seeds and eggs together in a large bowl until well combined, then pour in the cream and milk and continue whisking until smooth. Peel and roughly slice the bananas, then roughly bash up the pecans and chocolate, if using. 2: Rub the inside of a baking dish (roughly 25cm x 30cm) with a little butter, then layer up the bread (butter-side up), bananas, pecans and chocolate, if using, finishing with a final layer of bread (again butter-side up). Drizzle over the Baileys and custardy mixture, then leave to stand for around 20 minutes, or until the bread begins to soak up the liquid. 3: Bake in the hot oven for around 35 minutes, or until set around the edges but still wobbly in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then serve as is, or sprinkle over the caster sugar and blast with a blowtorch to caramelise the top. Delicious served with good-quality vanilla ice cream.

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Words with Walter Savour’s editor chats to Walter Walker who, after seventeen years at Bunchrew House, Inverness, is now Head Chef at the awardwinning 4 Gold Star Meldrum House Country Hotel, Oldmeldrum. Q: You were known and respected at Bunchrew House, Inverness. Why the move to Meldrum House? I felt I needed more of a challenge and wanted to keep the little grey cells working in overdrive. I was excited about Meldrum, and what the team were doing there and their plans for the future.

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the boundaries’ and bring molecular techniques into your kitchen? Yes. We have embraced modern technology and combined it with traditional methods of cooking. It’s good to have a balance in your cooking methods. You can’t just watch new techniques pass by. Q: As generations evolve many traditional local dishes are fading out. Are there any local dishes you think are important to still grace our menus?

Q: The Dining Room has a host of accolades including Grampian Restaurant of the Year for three consecutive years. Does this put more pressure on the kitchen team?

Here at Meldrum we mainly use local produce, so we always provide game, beef and pork on the menu, but my favourite is Aberdeenshire venison. It’s lean, tender and always goes down well.

Not really, I have a professional team working with me. It’s a case of constantly trying to improve and keeping attention to detail.

Q: The menu at The Dining Room is described as ‘not full of flowery descriptions’. What’s your ethos behind this?

Q: Have you been tempted to ‘push

Honesty and surprise is the key. Let

the diner know what ingredients are involved in the dish and exceed their expectations with the presentation. e.g. pork loin, pork belly & black pudding dauphinoise – the rest is in the delight when it is presented. Q: Your kitchen is not just a ‘one man band’. Tell us about your kitchen brigade. Compared to me they are all young but equally full of enthusiasm. We all work well together; we share our recipes and are always full of ideas. They are exceptionally committed and work extremely hard. Q: What’s your best cooking tip for a novice? Make sure you do the basics right and always season. People tend to add salt and pepper to taste but if you season during the cooking process, your food will be much tastier.


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Boeuf Bourguignon Ingredients • 2 lb (900 g) braising steak, cut into 2 inch (5 cm) squares • 3 tablespoons olive oil • 1 medium onion, sliced • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour • 15 fl oz (425 ml) red Burgundy (or other red wine or dry cider) • 2 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 sprigs fresh thyme • 1 bay leaf • 12 oz (350 g) shallots • 2 x 130 g packs cubetti pancetta or 225 g smoked or unsmoked streaky bacon, bought in one piece, then cut into cubes • 4 oz (110 g) dark-gilled mushrooms, cut into chunks • salt and freshly milled black pepper.

Method 1: Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C). • You will also need a large ovenproof casserole or lidded pan. 2: Bring 1.25 tablespoons of the oil to sizzling point in the casserole or pan and sear the beef, a few pieces at a time, to a rich, dark brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a plate as it browns. Next add the sliced onion to the casserole and brown that a little too. 3: Now return the meat to the casserole or pan and sprinkle in the flour, stirring round to soak up all the juices. Then gradually pour in the Burgundy, again stirring all the time. Add the chopped garlic, herbs and seasoning, put the lid on and cook very gently on top of the stove (if the heat is not low enough, use a diffuser), or transfer to the oven – either way it will take 2 hours. 4: Then, using a bit more olive oil, fry the shallots and bacon in a small frying pan to colour them lightly. Add to the casserole, together with the mushrooms, then put the lid on and cook for a further hour. 5: The French accompaniment of potatoes boulangères and green salad would be good with this, or else tiny new potatoes and ratatouille.

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Looking for that five-star treatment for that very special occasion? Look no further than the award-winning Eat on the Green in rural Aberdeenshire. Since Kilted Chef Craig Wilson, the NorthEast’s most innovative chef and his team launched the Chef’s Table, a private dining room adjacent to the kitchen; they have had many requests from customers looking for that very special dining experience. The private room, which seats up to eight guests has a live CCTV feed to allow guests to watch the hot plate throughout the evening. The ambience is relaxed and comfortable with tones of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen evident in the décor. Testament to the excellent cuisine in the restaurant is the team’s recent award, the ‘EatScotland Silver Award’ for excellent quality and food service. The team are also proud to announce they have made the top five of the prestigious Entertainment Awards 2013, in the Best Scottish Restaurant category and are awaiting the results of the final with great excitement. Eat on the Green is also a superb wedding venue. In a stunning setting, couples can

take their wedding vows and enjoy a delicious wedding dinner. The surrounding peace and tranquillity also makes this an ideal setting for an intimate corporate business meeting or seminar. The corporate team building events are extremely popular and are great fun! A perfect gift for foodie family members or friends is the ‘Chef for a Day’ experience where you can become an integral part of the team for a day and enjoy the buzz of the kitchen which includes the preparation of food for dinner service. This experience is one that food enthusiasts will not want to miss. If you’d really like to impress friends with a different experience why not ask Craig and his team to cook for you in your kitchen. Just think you could have the amazing experience of Eat on the Green brought into your home. The team also offer outside catering for large corporate events. The new digital age allows communication through new social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Craig would love to hear from you so feel free to get in touch.


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News Bites... First Plaice for North-east Chippy shown the initiative in improving the environmental practices of their business.

The Bare Cheek of it! Original Naked Chef Jamie Oliver is being given a run for his money by a female chef from China. While Oliver rose to fame fully clothed, Chinese model Flora Cheung now plans to strip as she cooks on Hong Kong TV. During the show, which will be launched on an adult pay channel later this month, Cheung plans to strip down to nothing but a transparent apron as she prepares a different dish. The 26-year-old is to go shopping for ingredients fully clothed, and then strips as she steps into the kitchen. "Most men don't like to cook, but I want to get them interested," Cheung said, adding that her apron "covers pretty much everything but hides nothing". Maybe this will take off in the UK!

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A North-east fish and chip shop battered off tough competition at this year’s 25th annual National Fish and Chip Awards to be named the best in the UK. The Bay Fish and Chips of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire who currently hold the title of Scotland’s No1 Chippy were named the best in the country, scooping the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop of the Year award. The Bay beat off nine other finalists from around the country all competing for the top accolade at the prestigious industry awards, which were held at the Lancaster London hotel, attended by around 650 guests. As well as being crowned the country’s best takeaway fish and chip shop for 2013 The Bay also won the Good Catch award, which recognises retailers within the industry that have

Owner of The Bay, Calum Richardson said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be named the best in the UK. We narrowly missed out on the title last year and have worked really hard since then to better the business and our policies. The award is a great accreditation for the business and a great feeling for the staff and for all their hard work. We’ve gone to a lot of effort to ensure we source only the best produce for our customers.” The Bay is run by husband and wife team Calum and Lindsay Richardson who share a drive and focus for sustainability, local produce, the environment and their local community, placing them in a leading position within the industry. The multi award winning business has been highly recognised over the last year and has received many accolades for its commitment to sustainability and the environment. The Bay has a three star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) placing them as one of the highest rated restaurants in the UK and was the first fish and chip shop to achieve an MSC Chain of Custody for North Sea Haddock, insuring full traceability of all the haddock suppers from sea to plate.


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The Mechanics of a Great Pie

Bacon Hogs the Limelight The seventh annual Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week is to run from 18th- 24th March 2013. Run by BPEX, the week will encourage consumers to ‘think again about bacon’ by providing a showcase for the quality and variety of bacon produced today. There will be a host of activities run nationwide to raise awareness of Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week and help bacon makers, retailers and foodservice outlets maximise the benefits of taking part, including new recipe ideas and a celebrity-led PR campaign. BPEX butchery and product development manager, Keith Fisher, said: “With literally hundreds of varieties now available, bacon has grown to become a £1.36 billion industry. Almost a third of bacon is now consumed as part of the evening meal, proving that as well as enjoying bacon at breakfast, consumers are increasingly favouring the variety of

flavour hits bacon can bring to their dinner tables. “Consumers are becoming increasingly discerning too, so rigorous production standards and attention to detail are more important than ever before in order to produce and promote really good quality bacon. This makes Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week an incredibly important platform and one which retailers and producers can use to make their premium bacon varieties stand out. “The Week can be used by anyone that produces, sells or serves great bacon and there are many simple and rewarding ways to get involved. “Whether running special promotions, introducing new varieties, holding charity and fun events or putting your rashers to the test in the Great Bacon Awards, Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week can put the sizzle into your quality bacon sales.”

The 14th World Scotch Pie Championship, supported by Scottish bakers and the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders, added a new category to the event held in November last year namely the best pie available for football supporters to buy at a Scottish Club. The inaugural winner was Murdoch Brothers Butchers (www.murdochbutchers.co.uk) from Forres who supply the local Forres Mechanics Football Club.

Bill takes the Bronze The winner of the competition to win a Kelly Bronze turkey pack courtesy of Andrew Gordon Butchery and Fine Foods which appeared in our winter issue was Bill Innes, Inverurie. Well done Bill. I’m sure it’s gobbled up by now.

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It’s all light on the night!

Are you a shopper who by-passes the lowfat crème fraiche in the deli counter, principally because you’re not quite sure what to do with it?

lighter topping on puddings and fresh fruit. Spoon a little on warmed blinis and top with pieces of smoked salmon for delicious canapés.

Its tangy flavour and thick texture make it a fabulously versatile cooking ingredient – and with less than 3% fat, it’s a lighter option too. Whether swirled through homemade soup or dolloped on top of berries, crème fraiche is brilliant in so many dishes. Here are just a few tasty ideas:

• For a creamy side dish, mash boiled potatoes with crème fraiche and season to taste or for a lighter potato salad; stir lowfat crème fraiche through cooked new potatoes.

• Stir a spoonful through freshly cooked pasta for a deliciously creamy twist. Use low-fat crème fraiche instead of cream as a

A warm welcome awaits at The Atholl Hotel in Aberdeen. Offering professional but friendly service whilst boasting 34 en-suite bedrooms and two conference rooms, The Atholl really is deserving of its four star award from VisitScotland. The hotel also offers the best in business facilities, with free broadband internet access in all bedrooms and both function rooms. As an added advantage, there is a large private car park at the rear of the hotel which

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• For dips than aren’t crammed with extra calories, use crème fraiche. Swirl a generous spoonful through fresh tomato, beetroot, broccoli or cauliflower soup just before serving.

can accommodate up to 60 cars. With a solid, proven reputation earned in its many years as a busy Aberdeen hotel, The Atholl is held in great affection by the people of The Granite City. Renowned as the place to come for consistent service, value for money and a good oldfashioned approach where nothing is ever too much trouble. Privately owned and located in the west end, The Atholl truly is 'in a class of its own'.


43

Dreams and Drams by the Sea

“Superb Scottish food and service.” “We had one of the best meals in Scotland at this delightful harbourfront restaurant. Excellent value, delicious steak and Guinness pie with locally produced vegetables and excellent service from Carol who was extremely helpful in recommending touring itineraries. She also moved us to a window table for the view. Highly recommended; great value”

Retaining its 18th century allure while welcoming guests with modern amenities, The Ship Inn sits pretty on the quaint Stonehaven harbourside. This historic home-from-home offers eleven comfortable ensuite bedrooms for sleepfilled nights, all with modern facilities including Wi-Fi access. The Captain’s Table restaurant offers comfortable seating with wonderful views of the picturesque harbour. As befits a quayside position, the fish and seafood are caught by the local fishermen and transformed into freshly cooked dishes using only the best ingredients. Mouthwatering steaks are brought from a local Aberdeen butcher and the ever-changing seasonal menu ensures there is always something to suit everyone’s taste. The traditional pub, which is creaking in character, not only serves a great selection of keg beers and real ales, but

also a head-throbbing range of over 100 malt whiskies. Have a wee dram and soak up the atmosphere before turning in for the night. When the sounds of morning disturb your slumber, head to the restaurant for a scrumptious breakfast, take in the early morning vista and make conversation between mouthfuls of hearty Scottish fayre. Start the day with a short but energetic walk along the coastal path to the dramatic Dunnotar Castle or explore the neighbouring Deeside hills in their regal splendour. Stonehaven’s shopping area is only a few minutes’ walk away and there are no parking restrictions in the vicinity of the Inn. This is an ideal place for a comfy, cosy break with great food and you’ll still have money left in your pocket! Book online at www.shipinnstonehaven.com

The Ship Inn 5 Shorehead, Stonehaven, AB39 2JY Tel: 01569 762617 savour Issue 01 2013


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Corporate Cuisine

The seventh annual Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week is to run from 18th- 24th March 2013. Run by BPEX, the week will encourage consumers to ‘think again about bacon’ by providing a showcase for the quality and variety of bacon produced today. There will be a host of activities run nationwide to raise awareness of Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week and help bacon makers, retailers and foodservice outlets maximise the benefits of participating, including new recipe ideas and a celebrity-led PR campaign. BPEX butchery and product development manager, Keith Fisher, said: “With literally hundreds of varieties now available, bacon has grown to become a £1.36 billion industry. Almost a third of bacon is now consumed as part of the evening meal, proving that as well as enjoying bacon at breakfast, consumers are increasingly favouring the variety of

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flavour hits bacon can bring to their dinner tables. “Consumers are becoming increasingly discerning too, so rigorous production standards and attention to detail are more important than ever before in order to produce and promote really good quality bacon. This makes Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week an incredibly important platform and one which retailers and producers can use to make their premium bacon varieties stand out. “The Week can be used by anyone that produces, sells or serves great bacon and there are many simple and rewarding ways to get involved. “Whether running special promotions, introducing new varieties, holding charity and fun events or putting your rashers to the test in the Great Bacon Awards, Bacon Connoisseurs’ Week can put the sizzle into your quality bacon sales.”


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Seared Salmon on crab and potato rosti Ingredients • 25g butter • 8oz Salmon fillet • salt and pepper For the potato rosti: • 1 small potato grated• 1 egg• 2 tablespoons white and dark crab meat For the lemon hollandaise sauce: • 25ml white wine vinegar • 2 egg yolks • 2 teaspoons lemon juice • 50ml double cream

Method For the salmon: 1: Preheat oven at 200c. 2: Take a non-stick frying pan and melt butter. 3: Season the salmon fillet and place in the hot pan skin side down, cook gently for 2-3 minutes on each side to sear and finish in the oven for 5 minutes. For the potato rosti: 1: Preheat oven at 150C. 2: Grate 1 small potato and squeeze the potato dry. 3: Bind the grated potato together with the crab meat, 1 beaten egg, salt and pepper and shape into discs by hand. 4: Place the rosti’s in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes. Lemon hollandaise sauce: 1: Put the 25mls of white wine vinegar in a hot pan and reduce until half of the vinegar is left. 2: Beat 2 egg yolks in a bowl over a pan over simmering hot water (bain-marie) then slowly whisk in 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and 50mls of double cream until sauce thickens. 3: Place the potato rosti on a plate with the salmon fillet and cover with the hollandaise sauce. Serve with blanched green beans (optional)

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If you love good food and want to combine the very best of Scotland’s larder with a few days of inspiring sightseeing, you couldn’t do much better than head for historic and mysterious Loch Ness. The landscape, heritage, wildlife, outdoor activities and events (to name a few) plus a host of quality restaurants, hotels, tearooms and attractions make the area perfect for a short foodie break. As Quintin Stevens, owner of The Dores Inn a recently refurbished restaurant only six miles from Inverness city centre on the southern shores of Loch Ness points out, the area boasts many Highland producers that either operate on or around the loch, or travel along the loch. “This is key to our reputation as an amazing food area.”

“For example, our venison, partridge, pheasant and duck come from Dunmaglass Estate at Farr, while we source cured venison from the award-winning Great Glen Game, salad leaves from Maggie Sutherland at The Natural Vegetable Company at Torbrek, and wonderful Rhubarb Vodka from Lo Lyle Organics, to name a few. “This sheer abundance of producers means that there’s a huge choice available to us. We also buy an enormous amount of produce from the wider Inverness circle – Cromarty Bread, Simpsons Ice Cream of Buckie, haggis and black pudding from Grants of Speyside, lamb from our own farm, Comraich, beer from The Cromarty Brewery, and fish from Magnus Houston at Coast & Glen.” With 2013 the Year of Natural

Scotland, it is apt that one of its key themes is ‘Natural Larder’, providing hotels, restaurants, chefs and producers with a fantastic opportunity to shout about the areas amazing produce. Quintin Stevens also points to the fact that Loch Ness is an arterial route from west to east and vice versa: “allowing any operator on the loch to connect with the very best that the Highlands has to offer because it passes our doors daily”. This, suggests Quintin, allows local menus to continuously reflect the seasons. Wherever you choose to stay and wherever you go around Loch Ness, you’ll discover a foodie’s paradise overflowing with highly rated and award-winning pubs and restaurants, even in some of the more remote parts of the area.

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Fine food and a warm welcome at

The Loch Ness Inn Once home to a brewery, the Loch Ness Inn is an atmospheric, friendly inn tucked away in Lewiston, just south of Drumnadrochit. Regularly winning awards for its warm welcome and outstanding food, it is ideal for those wishing to explore Loch Ness, visit nearby Urquhart Castle, or walk the Great Glen Way, which passes the doorstep. Head chef Debbie Carr’s menu showcases many of the area’s wonderful regional ingredients: west coast fish, Highland beef, lamb and venison. Vegetarians are also well catered for with dishes such as “Warm Goat’s Cheese topped with Local Honey & Almonds with Homemade Tapenade; Roasted Squash and Provencale Vegetables with pesto, pine

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nuts and salad.” Where possible, ingredients are sourced locally with an emphasis on responsible buying. Debbie used to run the kitchen at the Applecross Inn, the Loch Ness’s sister establishment, and also serves Applecross Bay prawns, brought straight from Applecross. Both inns, overseen by Judith Fish, pride themselves on locally sourced good food and Highland hospitality. The building was recently renovated, restoring much of its original 1850s character. Taking its inspiration from lochs and glens, the interior, including twelve individually designed, elegant, comfortable bedrooms, is decorated with Highland tweeds and pastel colours. In summer, a secluded courtyard at the rear

of the Inn, overlooking the River Coaltie, provides an outdoor dining area, and the restaurant welcomes winter visitors with a double-fronted wood-burning stove. The Brewery Bar serves ales from the Loch Ness Brewery, including the Inn’s own ‘Inn-digi-Ness’, plus a fine wine list and range of malts. The bar is the base for this year’s Macaulay Cup winners, Glen Urquhart Shinty Team, so expect a lively atmosphere! Awarded Real & Local Food 2012 and Rising Star Inn 2011, the Inn appears in the Michelin Guide. Local girl Isla Urquhart won Rising Star Hospitality Gold Medal and Manager of the Year.


49 What’s not to like at

The Lovat Located on the southern tip of Loch Ness in the beautiful setting of Fort Augustus, The Lovat is a three-star hotel boasting luxury accommodation and contemporary comfort. The landmark Victorian venue is in the heart of the Highlands with a history stretching back to the 1860s. As a multi awardwinning hotel, today, it’s recognised for its eco-conscious approach, whilst being led by a dedicated and passionate team. Managing partner, Caroline Gregory, has created a warm and welcoming establishment reflected in all elements of its accommodation and dining, following a major refurbishment completed in 2007. In addition, a recent £150,000 investment has seen key areas revamped including the restaurant, brasserie, reception and public areas. All 28 en-suite rooms balance traditional and modern features, with some enjoying panoramic views of Loch Ness. The bedrooms are divided into four main categories – External Studio, Deluxe, Super Deluxe and Master – to reflect the individual size, décor and facilities, which are suitable for families, couples, groups and travellers with pets. In addition to the stunning location

and charming Highland hospitality, guests have the choice of two outstanding dining options. A refined experience can be enjoyed in the intimate two AA rosette restaurant, or in the modern atmosphere of the brasserie. Under the guiding hand of Head Chef Sean Kelly, who joined the hotel in March 2011, the menus are characterised by the best in local produce. Open from Easter to October, the restaurant’s menu features a unique selection of experimental twists on traditional dishes that truly enhance the flavour of the finest Scottish produce available. From hand-dived scallops to locally-reared meat as well as chanterelles, wild fruit and herbs foraged by the team, the hotel proudly showcases a diverse and creative five course set menu. A sample menu includes hand-dived scallops with a full Scottish breakfast; venison, haggis, neeps and tatties; and duck egg complimented with bramble and apple. Guests can also sample a wellbalanced, tasty menu in the brasserie throughout the year, with its modern décor and laid-back atmosphere capturing a mood that’s bespoke to the Highlands. Diners can enjoy an à la carte menu that adapts to suit seasonally-changing local produce.

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At The Carmelite in the Merchant Quarter afternoon tea is served on a sumptious three tier cake stand and the sandwiches are fresh, thick and have delicious fillings such as smoked salmon with crème fraiche. Mouth-watering scones are accompanied by jam and clotted cream and hot drinks are refilled. Add a little sparkle to your afternoon with a glass of Prosecco Frizzante to accompany your cake stand. Yum! www.carmelitehotels.com The Duchess Jean Tea Room is part of the Gordon Highlanders Museum in Viewfield Road. It’s a bit like grandma’s living room, warm and homely. In addition to a lovely brew, it’s such a nice place to sit with the conservatory opening out to the beautiful garden. An ideal place to take afternoon tea in the spring sunshine. Please note the museum is closed until April for refurbishment. www.gordonhighlanders.com Rocksalt and Snails has a range of loose leaf teas, from breakfast and peppermint to redberry and mango tango. The award winning SUKI TEA is a breath of fresh air, not surprising as they have selected some of the finest teas from around the world. I have been afflicted with a terrible sweet tooth and here my urges are fulfilled with gorgeous scones, cakes, tray bakes, muffins and cupcakes. 40 St Swithin Street Aberdeen . www.rocksaltandsnails.co.uk It’s no secret I love The City Café in Netherkirkgate. The staff are so pleasant and an afternoon tea treat here is to die for! Neatly cut sandwiches, sausage rolls, homemade cakes, strawberry tarts, scones with tea or coffee and even a cheeky glass of Cava. What more could a girl ask for? www.thecityaberden.co.uk According to The List, The Beautiful Mountain in Belmont Street is ‘by far the most engaging little café in Aberdeen’. They could well be right! Sandwiches are made from freshly baked bread and the team take great pride in brewing the perfect rain-forest alliance certified coffee. Choose from chocolate brownies, carrot cake, millionaire’s shortcake or lemon and lime cheesecake. Delicious! www.thebeautifulmountain.co.uk

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Savour Issue 01 - 2013  

Springtime brings a new variety of produce and although the diversity of foods may not be as high as in summer, there is still a great selec...

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