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savour Welcome to

A celebration of North-east food and drink ISSUE 03, 2013



MACKINTOSH MEDIA Savour is produced by Mackintosh Media Ltd. Regent House, 36 Regent Quay, Aberdeen AB11 5BE.


Eric Farquharson T: +44 (0) 7730133036 E: PRODUCTION

Calum Farquhar T: +44 (0) 1224 288982 E: ACCOUNTS & DISTRIBUTION

T: +44 (0) 1224 288983 E:

At last summer is here! Make the most of sunny days by enjoying a sizzling barbecue or tasty picnic. It’s also the perfect time to ‘pick your own’ and visit a farmers’ market with stalls of amazing food produced locally. In this edition we have lots of tempting recipes to try on the ‘barbie’ and tasty nibbles to include in your picnic basket. We’ve captured the godfather of Italian cooking Antonio Carluccio who chats to us on the eve of opening the new Carluccio’s eatery and deli in Union Square. Local chefs and producers have been causing a stir at the Grampian Chef of the Year and Scottish Food and Drink Awards. Find out how they performed in the following pages and read our interview with young Ethan Forsyth,

crowned Grampian Seafood Chef of the Year. The team at The Ballathie House Hotel, on the banks of the River Tay, are inviting one lucky reader (and guest) to join them for an overnight stay with dinner and breakfast in an easy to enter competition and we visit Sutherland and the Isle of Skye in our Breakaway section. We also have lots of ‘News Bites’ to keep you informed of what’s happening in the kitchens and front of house in our local restaurants, so remember to keep this handy pocket-size magazine with you as you explore what our gifted chefs and producers have to offer. Editor


Steve Mackintosh T: +44 (0) 1224 288981 E:

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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The Best BBQ Burger Ingredients • 1 large red onion • 500g beef steak mince • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce • Handful chopped fresh parsley • 80g piece mature Cheddar, cut into 4 equal cubes • Olive oil, for brushing • 4 ciabatta rolls, split in two • 1 Little Gem lettuce, leaves separated • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced • Tomato relish, to serve

Method 1: Preheat the barbecue. Cut half the onion into rings and set aside. Finely chop the remainder and put into a large bowl, along with the mince, Worcestershire sauce and parsley. Season and mix well with your hands. Shape into 4 burgers, push a cube of Cheddar into the centre of each, then re-shape to fully enclose the cheese. 2: Brush the burgers with a little oil and cook on the hot barbecue for 10 minutes, turning halfway, until just cooked through and charred. Set aside to rest for a few minutes. 3: Meanwhile, brush the cut side of each ciabatta roll with oil. Barbecue, cut-side down, until toasted. 4: Put some onion rings, lettuce and tomato onto the base of each roll. Top with a burger, spoon over some relish and top with the remaining ciabatta halves. Serve with extra relish on the side and some oven chips, if you like. Tip: Don't buy lean mince as you need a bit of fat to help keep the burgers juicy. You can shape the burgers the day before and chill overnight. Bring up to room temperature before cooking. To cook indoors: Cook the burgers on a hot griddle or frying pan for 10 minutes, until cooked through. Toast the ciabatta rolls under the grill.


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ingredients A celebration of North-east food and drink ISSUE 03, 2013




Eat Alfresco


How to ensure your barbecue doesn’t sizzle out!

Farmer’s Markets


News from the local Farmer’s Markets.

Wines Uncorked


Carol is Inspired by Lebanon Wines.

Antonio Carluccio




The Godfather of Italian Cooking.

Chef of the Year?


Who Cleared the Table at Grampian Chef of the Year?






Win Dinner and B & B at the Ballathie House Hotel.



Breakaway in Sutherland and the Beautiful Isle of Skye.

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Eating with Mum and Dad

News Bites...

La Dolce Vita is Coming to Aberdeen meat and vegetarian mains plus decadent desserts. As well as great quality, authentic Italian food, Carluccio’s prides itself on its sensible prices, with two courses costing as little as £15.

Children who eat the same food as their parents have healthier diets, according to a new study. The University of Edinburgh research looked at the family meal habits of more than 2000 five-year-olds. It also found that an "unpleasant atmosphere" during mealtimes could negatively affect a child's diet. The report called for more to be done to help parents establish good eating habits in childrens’ early years. The report suggested that "child-friendly" alternatives to adult food were likely to be nutritionally inferior. Valeria Skafida, author of the paper, said: "Offering separate 'children's food' for a main meal may often result in children missing out nutritionally. "It is likely that in cases where children eat different foods, they are eating a less nutritious option. "This is already known to be the case with kid's menus in restaurants, so children are best off eating the same foods as their parents."


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Locals and visitors to Aberdeen are now able to enjoy genuine homemade Italian food in relaxed surroundings, with the arrival of Carluccio’s. Carluccio’s will offer an all-day Italian restaurant, food shop and deli, making it the ideal destination for breakfast, coffee and pastries, a light lunch, a three-course meal with wine or even a spot of retail therapy.

THE RESTAURANT Using the freshest seasonal ingredients, the varied restaurant menu will offer something for everyone. Look forward to a satisfying selection of appetising Italian dishes, from delicious antipasti and fresh handmade pasta, to seasonal fish,

Carluccio’s deli will be brimming with freshly made dishes available for lunch on-the-go, including tasty ciabatta sandwiches, Piadina (Italian flat bread), light salads and sweet treats. Head to the food shop to browse shelves bursting with beautifully packaged Italian products, many sourced directly from small artisan producers in Italy, including oil, wines, coffee, biscuits, pastas, polenta, rice, antipasti, sauces and handmade chocolates. Simon Kossoff, CEO of Carluccio’s, says: "We have been keen to open in Aberdeen for a number of years now and are delighted to have finally found the right site for us." (See our interview with Antonio Carluccio on pages 28 & 29)


Bag Your Leftovers most of the wasted foods are side dishes such as chips, vegetables and salad. A number of suggestions are made to help reduce food waste in the hospitality sector, which costs the sector £722m a year. They include offering a variety of portion sizes and asking customers Half of Scots are too embarrassed to ask for a doggy bag to take home their leftover food when they eat out.

whether they actually want side orders. Iain Gulland, Director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "Knowing what diners feel

Three quarters of those surveyed for Zero Waste Scotland said they wanted doggy bags to be offered by restaurants in Scotland and said they believed portions were too big.

about the amount of food they are

The report, produced by WRAP, shows


ordering and paying for when they are eating out in Scotland is really important as we continue to work to tackle food

Fine Food at Dining Event

News Bites Elgin to Host Festival City of Elgin BID Ltd are delighted to be hosting the 3rd Food and

Members of the Grampian Food Forum, including local restaurateurs, chefs and food producers, held a successful dining club at Strichen last month.

with 54 food and drink producers and

Drink Festival, as part of Scottish


Food & Drink Fortnight. The festival

The Forum’s Dining Club is an initiative aimed at promoting greater use of local produce in the region's hotel and restaurant menus.

speak at the Dining Club as it not only

It provides a forum for hoteliers, restaurateurs and chefs to meet with producers and suppliers to build relationships and explore opportunities to work more closely together.

producers, whose produce I would like to

Co-ordinator of the Grampian Food Forum, Elizabeth Mathie, described the latest event at The Lodge at Strichen as “an excellent evening with superb food and many new contacts made”. Guest speaker for the evening was chef Kevin Dalgleish of The Chester Hotel, Aberdeen (formerly Simpson’s) who shared his experience of over 20 years





networking event.

has grown in size since it first started in 2011 and they are

Kevin said: “I was pleased to be invited to

delighted to be continuing that expansion in 2013.

gave me the opportunity to let people know about our plans for the hotel but it is also a great way to meet new local see incorporated into our menus when we reopen early next year."

The festival, to be held on Saturday 14th September, will host a large Food and Drink Street Market which will be located throughout the city centre, as well as a dedicated craft and gift market. In 2012 more than

Grampian Food Forum members enjoyed local produce consisting of a sumptuous selection of Lodge canapés including locally sourced beef, crab, scallops and

80 exhibitors attended. They are introducing some new activities in 2013 to add to the vibrancy of the day.

chicken. Throughout the day there will be These were followed by succulent loin of Aberdeenshire lamb and rounded off with an iced rhubarb crumble, served with poached rhubarb and accompanying




children’s entertainment and handson activities for members of the public.


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Successfully hosting a good barbecue is fun and rewarding. This article offers some useful tips for having a good BBQ party. Advance preparation is the key to a successful barbecue. Most importantly, people should make sure they have plenty of charcoal to last the duration of the party, or bottled gas if a gas barbecue is to be used. guests. Refreshing summer cocktails, such as caipirinhas or Pimms cocktail always go It is always good to have pre-barbecue down well in the summer heat and most snacks available for guests as soon as they of the preparation for these can be done arrive, to keep them going until all of the in advance. delicious char-grilled food is ready.

Barbecue Snacks and Drinks

Snacks such as cured meats, marinated olives and light cheese are perfect preBBQ snacks. Less is more, as it is advisable to whet but not spoil the appetites of the


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Pre-cooking chicken in the oven is advisable, particularly if the host is using a basic coal barbecue where the level of heat can be quite hard to control. Chicken can be roasted at 200째C for between 25 minutes (wings) and 45 minutes (legs), Advance Barbecue Preparation simply brushed with olive oil and Several things can be done in advance of seasoned with salt and pepper. This the barbecue so that hosts are free to leaves the chicken safely cooked through, spend more time with their guests. but still able to be crisped-up and charred

09 stuffed mushrooms, or cooks could make interesting vegetarian kebabs with fresh can easily be prepared in advance. Small vegetables and Greek halloumi cheese, potatoes, boiled until tender, mixed while which is delicious when grilled on a warm with mayonnaise, crème fraiche, barbecue. chopped spring onions, salt and pepper It is important to cook the vegetarian make a delicious and simple potato salad. food first on the barbecue, as vegetarians Proper oven cooked jacket potatoes are are unlikely to enjoy their food tainted always a good barbecue accompaniment with meat. on the barbecue. Salads for the barbecue

and just require washing, piercing in a few places and placing in an oven at

Barbecue Desserts

230°C for one hour. These can even be If there is still heat left on the barbecue, finished off wrapped in foil in the embers there are many delicious desserts that can be prepared over the coals. Whole of a charcoal barbecue. bananas can be thrown onto the grill and served when soft and mushy with syrup, cream and a dash of rum. Certain fruits also work very well grilled on skewers, such as pineapple, banana and strawberries. Served with a good vanilla ice-cream, these make a delicious light dessert to follow the BBQ feast. However many people are attending a barbecue party, these tips, along with

some advance planning, will make the barbecue a fun experience for all, including the host! WHERE TO FIND THE BEST PRODUCE FOR YOUR BARBECUE: A.E. BROWN & SON 14 Main Street, Turriff JOHN DAVIDSONS Burn Lane, Inverurie DOBBIES (John Davidson) Lang Stracht, Aberdeen ANDREW GORDON 35 Chattan Place, Aberdeen HAIGS 45 Schoolhill, Aberdeen HERDS 277 Rosemount Place Aberdeen High Street, Insch McGregor Farm Deli Whiterashes by Oldmeldrum Charles McHardy 11 Market Street, Stonehaven The Store Foveran, Newburgh, Ellon Watson Family Butcher 34 Main Street Newburgh, Ellon

Barbecue Cooking Cooks not experienced in BBQ cooking can invest in a meat thermometer to ensure they do not poison their guests! Preparing as much food as possible in advance means the cook is free to concentrate on grilling the food when the time comes. Food that can take really high heat, such as vegetables, steaks, burgers and whole fish can go on first. Pork, sausages and chicken do well at a lower heat so are better cooked slowly once the heat has died down, or at a lower heat setting in the case of a gas barbecue.

Barbecue Considerations for Vegetarians It is likely there may be vegetarians amongst your guests, so it is good to make sure they are well catered for. There are many recipes available for things such as homemade vegetarian burgers or

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More Awards for Artisan Producer The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse based at Methlick in Aberdeenshire, created by John Cooper in 2011, has won yet another highly coveted award. Just added to an already impressive trophy wall is the “Best Fish and Seafood Product 2013” award presented to John at the recent Scottish Food and Drink Excellence Awards. They are widely recognised as the ‘Food Oscars’ and the Fish and Seafood Product

of the Year 2013 is one of the highest accolades.


The Smokehouse produces a range of artisan hand-made gourmet delights including smoked salmon, sea-trout, game, nuts, black pudding and lots of new innovative products. All of their products are prepared, smoked, sliced and packed by hand in small batches to guarantee a distinctive quality and flavour. The salmon is sourced from sustainable Scottish farms and the game is from local estates.

and Seafood Product is an absolute scoop

There are no preservatives or artificial colour and flavourings in any of their products, just Scottish sea-salt, Scottish whisky barrels and Scottish peat, adding depths of flavour to the best Scottish

Haddo Estate, Nr Tarves, which he runs as




commented, “We are ecstatic! Best Fish for us. It’s a major prize and I’m certain we are now in a unique position as this award has some real global presence and we intend to make the most of it!” John is also the businessman behind Formartine’s, a hugely successful £1m visitor centre with food hall, restaurant, woodland walks and play area which opened last year on the edge of the a joint venture with Lord and Lady Aberdeen who are proprietors of the estate. Products from the Smokehouse are also available at Formartine’s.

Hot Smoked Trout Pate on Crostini... Here is John’s suggestion for enjoying his award winning Hot Smoked Trout Pate on Crostini...

Method 1: Make some crostini by thinly slicing a day-old baguette, drizzle with olive or rapeseed oil and bake in a moderate oven until golden and crisp. When cooked place on a rack and sprinkle with course sea-salt to cool. 2: Prepare a small side salad with a lemon dressing of your choice To plate the dish: 1: Make small quenelles of pate and place on a crostini (3 or 4 per person). Put a small portion of dressed salad on the side of the plates. Place the crostini next to it so they look pretty. You can garnish each quenelle with a small sprig of dill. (It’s ready to go...) 2: Use for a starter or to accompany a buffet lunch

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in season Every fruit or vegetable has its season, the time of year when you can enjoy it at its best. Eating with the seasons means more money in your pocket and better tasting ingredients on your plate. During July and August the best tasting and cheapest fruit and veg are likely to be perfect for picking.

Pack a hamper and escape to the country this July. Grilled artichokes, fennel, salads and mackerel couscous all travel well; plump cherries and luscious peaches are a fail-safe finish.



Make August meals al fresco. Start with delicate scallops, then fire up the grill and barbecue sea bass, homemade burgers or courgettes. Finish with a simple plate of ripe apricots.


August savour

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No relation to the tuber-like Jerusalem artichoke, the globe artichoke is considered to be the 'true' artichoke and is the bud of a large member of the thistle family. The tender ends of the leaves and the base (or 'heart') of the bud are both edible; the tough outside leaves and the furry central choke and its surrounding leaves aren't. Availability: Globe artichokes are available all year round, but are best from June through to November. Outside of this they're quite puny and dry. Choose the best: Go for specimens with tightly packed, crisp green or purple leaves with a slight bloom. Fresh ones should feel heavy for their size, and the leaves should 'squeak' when the bud is gently squeezed. In smaller artichokes, the leaves are more tender (baby artichokes may not even have a choke); in larger ones, the hearts are bigger.

Prepare it: To serve whole, cut the tough tips of the leaves off with scissors, holding the stalk to keep the artichoke steady. Using a knife, slice the base off, so that it will sit upright, before trimming off the pointed top (the younger the artichoke, the less you'll need to cut off). Pull the pale centre leaves out, then scoop the choke out with a spoon, without disturbing the heart underneath.

but will keep in a perforated plastic

To prevent browning, drop each one in a bowl of water to which a little lemon juice has been added. Cook them in a pan of boiling salted water for 35-45 minutes (When they're ready you should easily be able to pull out a leaf). Drain upside down.

through your teeth to remove the

Iron, copper and aluminium cookware may cause artichokes to discolour; stainless steel, glass or enamel is better. Store it: Globe artichokes are best eaten on the day they're bought,

bag in the fridge for a couple of days. Cook it: Artichoke hearts are easily available bottled in oil, and are great as part of an Italian antipasti course. Otherwise, boil or steam the whole artichoke head, then pull the leaves






hollandaise sauce, melted butter or garlic butter, drawing the leaf tender flesh before discarding the rest. Or boil the head, pull out the central leaves, scoop out the choke and stuff with chopped garlic and parsley, grated parmesan and bread crumbs before drizzling with olive oil and baking in the oven. They can also be barbecued or grilled: cut in half lengthways, remove the choke, brush with olive oil and grill for 30 minutes, until tender.

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Stonehaven Farmers’ Market Stonehaven Farmers' Market was established by the Stonehaven Business Association in 2005 and can be found in the town’s iconic Market Square. The market offers the very best of local food and gives producers the opportunity to showcase Stonehaven and the wider surrounding rural area in all its glory. The market takes place on the first Saturday of the month commencing at 9.00 am and operates until 1.00pm. Suppliers include: Alan Bruce Cakes, Cambus O'May Cheese Co, Castleton Fruit, Cocoa Ooze Chocolates, Crannach Coffee Shop & Bakery, Granite City Fish Co Ltd, Ingram's Homecure, Fernieflatt Farm, Ola Oils, Pam's Tablet, The Devenick Dairy, The Store, From Scotland, Poppys, Wow Dog Bakery, Dunnottar Nurseries and Rob Powell - Photographer. The market usually hosts an additional market on the Saturday prior to Christmas. Why not plan a visit to Stonehaven and grab a market bargain whilst speaking to the producer - and experience the passion behind the product. Further information is available at and you can follow us on facebook and twitter.

Featured Producer – Granite City Fish Granite City Fish is one of Scotland’s most dynamic fishmongery businesses catering for a range of retail and wholesale businesses (it is a specialist wholesaler of lemon sole) as well as private and corporate customers the length and breadth of the country. Operating from processing premises at Poynernook Road, Aberdeen - the heart of the city’s maritime area, the company’s name is redolent of Aberdeen’s history when it was synonymous with the fishing industry – building the vessels and providing both their crews and the workers who processed the catches landed at the bustling fish market. Granite City Fish sources most of its comprehensive and diverse range of fish and shellfish products from Peterhead and Fraserburgh, but casts its net from Shetland to Cornwall and as far afield as Malaysia for the very best produce. The company, which celebrated its golden jubilee two years ago, is a second-generation family firm headed by Managing Director, Ed Fletcher, son of the firm’s co-founder Gina Fletcher. You’ll find Granite City Fish’s superb fish counter stand at a very wide range of local monthly markets including Huntly, Stonehaven, Inverurie, Balmedie, Banchory, Turriff, Fraserburgh, Torphins (every Wednesday) and Aberdeen Country Fair, as well as at other special events across Scotland. You can find more information on


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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. BALMEDIE – 2nd Saturday of the month 10 am – 12 noon, White Horse Inn. 4. BANCHORY – 3rd Saturday of the month 9am – 1pm at Scott Skinner Square. 5. FRASERBURGH – 3rd Saturday of the month 9.30am – 12.30pm from June to Sept inclusive). 6. HUNTLY – first Saturday of the month 9am – 1pm in Market Square. 7. INVERURIE – 2nd Saturday of the month 9am – 1pm at Market Square. 8. MACDUFF – last Saturday of the month 9am – 12.30pm at The Fish Market. 9. PETERHEAD – first Saturday of the month 10 am – 3pm at Drummers Corner. 10. STONEHAVEN – first Saturday of the month 9am – 1pm in Market Square. 11. TORPHINS – every Wednesday at 10am – 2pm at Platform 22. 12. TURRIFF - 3rd Saturday of the month 10.30am – 3pm Balmellie Street. 13. WESTHILL – first Saturday of the month 9am – 1pm at Ashdale Hall.

Simple seafood chowder A chunky, creamy soup with salmon, haddock, smoked haddock, mixed shellfish and potatoes a hearty meal

Ingredients • 1 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 large onion, chopped • 100g streaky bacon, chopped • 1 tbsp plain flour • 600ml fish stock • 225g new potatoes, halved • pinch mace • pinch cayenne pepper & salt to season • 300ml milk • 320g fish pie mix (salmon, haddock and smoked haddock) • 250g cooked mixed shellfish • 4 tbsp single cream • small bunch parsley, chopped • crusty bread to serve.

Method: 1: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and bacon. Cook for 8-10 mins until the onion is soft and the bacon is cooked. Stir in the flour, then cook for a further 2 mins. 2: Pour in the fish stock and bring it up to a gentle simmer. Add the potatoes, cover, then simmer for 10-12 mins or until the potatoes are cooked through. 3: Add the mace, cayenne pepper and some seasoning, then stir in the milk. 4: Tip the fish pie mix into the pan, gently simmer for 4 mins. Add the cream and shellfish, then simmer for 1 min more. Check the seasoning. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve with some crusty bread.

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The Mitchell family own and run Castleton Farm which they bought in 1992, inheriting a soft fruit crop of 15 acres. In 1999 the family took the decision to stop dairy farming and increase the soft fruit production to a commercial scale. Since 1992 the acreage and production has grown each year to the current 100 acres of strawberries, 32 acres of raspberries, 60 acres of blueberries and 10 acres of cherries. Situated in the rolling countryside of the Mearns, they showcase local produce at its best and are one of the most northerly leading soft fruit growers in Scotland. Castleton Farm supply their produce to multiple retailers, with the majority of the fruit going to Marks & Spencer, Tesco and, of course, local shops and delicatessens. The Farm Shop was established in 2004, in the old filling station in the village of Fordoun. For the next 4 years, the shop was open seasonally from June until October with the range of produce being sold increasing each year. In 2008, they moved to new purpose built premises at the end of the farm road. The shop supplies delicious local produce, fine foods, gifts and more. The cafe proves very popular with a wide variety of dishes, ranging from breakfast, light lunches, paninis, salads, and an extensive specials board and desserts. Their Berrylicious range of homemade jams are made from berries grown, picked and preserved on the farm and have already achieved many plaudits including a silver award in The Grampian Food Innovation Awards 2013 for the Best New Retail Product. The jams come in four delicious flavours – strawberry, raspberry, blueberry and trio of berries. Savour’s editor picked his way through the fields where he met family member Anna Mitchell who was happy to discuss the family business….and allow him to taste a berry or two!!


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Q: Why was the decision made to cease dairy farming and concentrate on fruit production? A: The decision to stop dairying was made due to the poor milk price at the time and there seemed to be more potential for the business to concentrate on growing soft fruit. Q: Your strawberries are legendary but the fruit season is such a short period. How are you able to prolong the length of the season? A: The introduction of growing berries under polytunnels has allowed us to increase the fruit season to begin picking in May until the start of November. Q: What other fruits are grown on Castleton Farm? A: We grow strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries. Q: You recently launched Berrylicious Homemade Jams. Has this been a successful venture? A: The jams and our more recently launched Blueberry Chutney have been well received by our own customers and other retailers in Aberdeenshire and Angus. We launched our Blueberry, Apple & Ginger Chutney at The Taste of Grampian this year and it was very well received! In fact we sold out before lunchtime and had to get more stock brought to us. Q: What can customers expect from your custom built farm shop and café? A: We pride ourselves on offering customers an exceptional shopping and dining experience based on excellent customer service and local foods. Q: Any new products or ventures we can expect from Castleton Farm in the future? A: In a few months we are extending the building to increase the number of tables in the cafe, increase the shop floor space and add to our kitchen production space to develop our Homemade range to include salad dressings and coulis – all made with fruit grown at Castleton Farm.

into other areas, not necessarily their own shop, for their customer base. They were delivering occasionally into Aberdeen so increasing this daily service to another retail outlet would work well for them and, importantly, secure a fresh daily supply of fish for customers.”

Mitchells, the gold award winning independent retailer of the year in Inverurie, have always worked closely in partnership with their customers and suppliers. Their latest collaborative venture with another long established family run business sees them working to bring something exciting to Inverurie, to the benefit of both companies and local shoppers. Mitchells, who were established in 1928 and specialise in the very best locally produced and sourced products, have united with Downies of Whitehills, another award winning business to fulfill the needs of customers with a fresh fish counter in Mitchells. Keith Whyte, business partner at Mitchells commented: “The national outlets have counters within their stores but we at

Mitchells know from customer comments that people wanted to engage with more products from the local area which, after all, does have one of the largest white fish landing ports in Europe.” As both businesses are relatively small, they can respond quickly to new ideas and changes. They are still family owned and run so any of the decision-making is immediate if need be. This speed of change percolates through the organisation with everyone working hard to achieve the new improved goals. “Mitchells are always looking at ways to expand their local range and provide something that the multiple competition are not, so knowing Downie’s interest in Inverurie as a site, we approached them and had an initial discussion and found that they could see a natural progression

Downies already have a successful retail business in their home village of Whitehills and knew that many of their customers made the drive there on a regular basis to source their fish. Expanding that customer base through another accessible outlet in a more central location seemed a logical step forward. In addition to this, Mitchells have around 4000 customers each week coming through their doors, which Downies could tap into immediately. The attraction of a new venture with Downies into Mitchells would only help to strengthen Mitchell’s place in the local market in Inverurie. “This partnership allows us to work directly with the merchant and thus gives us peace of mind that we are able to source the best quality at the best market prices.” Seasonality is a key factor and both Downies and Mitchells aims to promote produce that is local and in season. “These shopping principles are being adopted by more and more customers now which suit both our sourcing and selling policies. As always Mitchells are listening to their shoppers and aim to provide a level of product and service that is second to none. With strong family values to the fore for them and for Downies, this partnership is paying dividends and offering yet more great value, local foods. “Standing still is never an option!”


Fruity Chicken, Apple and Cheese Pies These surprising fruity chicken, apple and cheese pies work well.

Ingredients • 350g plain flour • 175g lightly salted butter • 175g rindless smoked back bacon, diced • 2 chicken breasts, about 350g, diced • 100g mature Cheddar, finely diced • 6 tbsp Bonne Maman Apple Compote • Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs • 1 medium egg, beaten • 1 tsp rock salt

Method: 1: Put the flour and butter in a food processor and whizz to fine breadcrumbs. Add 5-6 tablespoons cold water until the mixture comes together. Chill for 15 minutes. 2: Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Press out 9 x 11cm circles and use to line 9 holes in a muffin tin. Roll out the remaining pastry and cut out 9 x 8cm circles and set aside. 3: Cook the bacon and chicken in a pan for 8 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Cool slightly before adding the cheese, apple compote and leaves from 1 thyme sprig. Divide the mixture between the pastry cases, packing in firmly. Brush a little water around the pastry rim. Put the remaining pastry circles on top and press together to give a good seal, rolling any overlapping pastry back to cover the rims. Brush with egg, scatter with the remaining thyme and rock salt and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with extra apple compote, if you like.


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Smoothie trio recipe Making smoothies only take a few minutes. Pour them into cleaned, old fruit juice bottles and pack with a straw.

Ingredients For the tropical mix: • Orange or pineapple juice • 1 mango • Canned or fresh pineapple, or 1 passion fruit For the pink milk: • 2 glasses of milk • 1 ripe banana • Raspberries or strawberries • Honey For the green juice: • 2 glasses apple juice • 1 ripe kiwi • 1 banana

Method: Tropical mix: Pour 2 big glasses of orange or pineapple juice into a jug or food processor. Cut a mango either side of the stone, peel and roughly cut the flesh and add to the juice. Add a few pieces of canned or fresh pineapple or the pulp of 1 passion fruit and blend until smooth, either using a hand- held blender or in a food processor. Pink Milk: This will need to be kept cold – invest in a flask. Pour 2 big glasses of milk into a jug. Add 1 ripe banana, peeled and chopped, 2 big handfuls raspberries or strawberries and a little honey, then blend until smooth. Green Juice: Pour 2 glasses of apple juice into a jug or food processor, peel a ripe kiwi and cut into pieces, then add to the juice with 1 peeled and chopped banana. Blend until smooth using a hand-held blender or food processor.

Curried Scotch Eggs This is a million miles away from the rubbery commercial versions. The key to enjoying a Scotch egg lies in leaving the yolk creamy rather than totally hard boiled.

Ingredients • 8 fresh free-range eggs • 400g coarse ground pork mince, made from the belly and shoulder • 125g streaky bacon, rind removed and finely chopped • 1 tsp ground black pepper • 1 tsp mild curry powder • Flour, for dusting • 250g fresh breadcrumbs • Sunflower oil, for deep-frying

Method: 1: To boil the eggs, put 6 into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for 4 minutes, then plunge into cold water for another 4 minutes. Peel immediately and set aside. 2: Mix the mince, bacon, pepper and curry powder in a large bowl. Season, dust your hands with the flour and pick up about 50g of mince. Flatten the mix in your right hand and, with your left, grab an egg and wrap the mince around it until it is fully encased. Repeat for all 6 eggs. 3: Beat the remaining eggs and roll each Scotch egg in the remaining flour, then dip in the egg and roll in the bread crumbs. 4: If you have a deep-fat fryer, set it to 160°C. If not, fill a deep pan two-thirds full with oil and put over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Test the oil by adding a cube of bread. If the bread turns golden after a minute, you are good to go. Fry the eggs in batches of 3 for about 10 minutes, until the coating is golden brown. Cool completely on kitchen paper before packing them for your picnic.

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New Sauce Success Story just how popular the product would prove with the public! We were completely sold out of Lime & Ginger by 1.30pm! That included two trips back to the farm to get more stock! The demand was just incredible and we had some customers buying two or even three bottles of the sauce alone!

Taste of Grampian was an incredible success for Inverurie company Ola Oils. Ola, the producers of Scotland’s original cold pressed rapeseed oil, launched their new product, Lime & Ginger Sauce at the event and also scooped the Best Large Food Stand award. John Sorrie of Ola Oils said: “We developed our Lime & Ginger sauce for several months prior to its launch at Taste of Grampian and we were happy with the flavour balance and the versatility of the product. What we underestimated was


Issue 03 2013

“In addition, our entire range sold really well, including our revamped range of salad dressings which now come in ‘easy pour’ bottles, as unveiled in the previous edition of Savour magazine”. On top of this success, Ola were awarded the Best Large Food Stand prize, as judged by Simon Cousins of BBC1’s Landward programme. Mr Cousins praised the ‘buzz’ around the stand. John added: “The buzz was all down to our customers so this prize was very much thanks to them! We do plan our stand layout in advance

and always try our best to have plenty of stock but the rest is down to our customers!” Ola Oils have been producing their cold pressed extra-virgin rapeseed oil on their farm just outside Inverurie since 2008 and have expanded their range from the original regular oil to now include 5 infused oils, 4 salad dressings, Ola Aioli (a very garlicky mayonnaise), Ola Chilli Jam, Dark & Spicy Marinade and now Lime & Ginger Sauce. Both JG Ross and Mitchells Dairy make oatcakes using Ola Oil in place of butter of other types of fat. Ola has a very high smoke point and is ideal for all types of cooking as well as making an excellent base for salad dressings. The oil has half the saturated fat of olive oil and ten times the level of Omega 3.


Butcher Back to City Centre Court

McCombies Court, in the heart of Aberdeen, has been home to a family-run butcher for the better part of 20 years. But the closure of century old Laidlaws Butchers last year saw a gap develop for a top quality family butcher.

John Davidson, of Davidsons Specialist Butchers in Inverurie, noticed that his mail order customer base in Aberdeen City was growing at a phenomenal rate, and, after speaking to some of these customers, he realised that there was great demand for a top-quality family-run butcher right in the city centre. Opened in early July 2013, the new Davidsons Butchers outlet at McCombies Court continues the outstanding service and range of award-winning products

that earned Davidsons Butchers the title of UK Butcher Shop of the Year in 2011/12.

The butchery team is headed by Andrew Peter, who was recently crowned Scottish Young Butcher of the Year by the Scotch Butchers Club. There are also a number of new employment and apprenticeship opportunities within the company. For his recent competition win, Andrew was coached by his Manager, Steven Cusack, who is overseeing the new Aberdeen premises. Speaking about his protégé, Steven said: “Andrew put on a faultless display at the Meat Skills Competition. Everyone here at Davidsons was exceptionally proud when he lifted the title. He has worked very hard since

starting as an apprentice with us back in 2010. Dedicated to the butchery business with his outstanding customer service, Andrew is a great asset at our new Aberdeen store where we are confident he will do a sterling job leading the team.” John Davidson is delighted to be able to bring butchery back to McCombies Court. “Laidlaws was a well-known, respected and exceptionally popular butcher’s shop and its closure was felt by all of their customers. We are very excited to get the opportunity to take over the premises, continuing where Laidlaws left off. Our commitment is to top quality products and outstanding customer service, and we’re delighted to be able to bring these values to Aberdeen City Centre.”

Butcher’s Skills Just Champion Andrew Peter from Davidsons Specialist Butchers in Inverurie became the Young Butcher of the Year picking up the Under 22 prize. Andrew (20) was coached by his manager Steven Cusack and put on a faultless display to triumph in the final of four.

A young Inverurie butcher has shown his meat mettle by beating off stiff competition to scoop the Scotch Butchers Club Meat Skills Scotland Championship. Butchers from throughout Scotland gathered in Perth to showcase the skills that are bringing people back to their shops.

The competition attracted 45 entrants from all over Scotland including two from the Western Isles. The final four fought out the final, conducted in front of a large and critical audience of their peers at the Scottish Meat Trade Fair at the Dewars Centre, Perth. Supported by the Scotch Butchers Club, the Meat Skills Championship is held every second year in the search for the most skilled and creative butchers

in Scotland. Organisers of the event, Scottish Meat Training, are committed to the training and development of people engaged within the Scottish meat industry. In pursuit of this goal they organise this event to give butchers the opportunity and experience of developing their skills and assist to promote their employer’s business. Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of Scottish Meat Training explained:“Using their acquired skills in a competitive environment gives young butchers a chance to demonstrate how much they have learned and measure themselves against their fellow competitors.”

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As the national drink of Scotland, whisky conjures up images of rolling hills and majestic glens and valleys. It’s not a drink one would normally associate with the seaside, but at The Ship Inn in Stonehaven, a dram of whisky trumps sailors’ favourite rum as the top tipple. With over 105 bottles of single malt whisky to choose from at the Aberdeenshire hostelry, it might take a while to decide on a favourite. The extensive collection has been added to through the years and includes various malt whiskies from different regions across Scotland. One of the most exclusive drams on the menu is a 30-year-old bottle of Glenfarclas – a classic from the Speyside region. It’s one of the most expensive on the whisky shelf at £15 per nip, but there’s also real value in the ever-changing malt of the month


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deal. The whisky shelf, which takes pride of place in the recently refurbished bar, is packed full of different malts and blends to suit everyone from first-time whisky drinkers to the real aficionados. Simon Cruickshank, who owns The Ship Inn, says: “Every year we have visitors who travel from all over the world to visit Scotland and many of them want to sample traditional Scottish whisky. Due to the fact that this part of the country is not associated with whisky, visitors are genuinely surprised when they see just how vast The Ship Inn’s whisky collection is. “We have in excess of 100 bottles on display, and we are always trying to build on the collection so there is something to suit every taste. Our staff are knowledgeable about whisky, and they are able to guide

people through the different regions and the characteristics of the different malts. “Stonehaven is such a wonderful holiday destination and with The Ship Inn near the harbour, it is the perfect base to sit back, relax and enjoy the view with a glass of your favourite dram.” The bar also serves a wide range of draught beers including real ales which are changed regularly for variety. The bar is directly adjacent to the hotel restaurant, the Captain’s Table, which specialises in locally caught, fresh fish and seafood specialities. Built in 1771, The Ship Inn is a cosy coastal haven offering a warm, friendly atmosphere with fine dining and exceptional service. All of its ensuite bedrooms have recently been refurbished.


“Loving Life in Lebanon” As thoughts turn to barbeques and alfresco dining, I can’t help but be inspired by my recent trip to Lebanon where I experienced the journey of food from field to plate. From the fields in the south came za’atar, sometimes known as wild thyme, which was dusted on to flat breads and even brewed with beer. From the fat tailed sheep came lamb kebabs and sfiha (spiced lamb pastries from the Baalbek region) and from the Mediterranean, just landed fish, straight on to the barbeque. My week long Taste Lebanon tour was an immersive, unforgettable experience and of course I managed to sneak in a fair amount of wine tasting too.

as Rhone meets Bordeaux with the elegance that growing at altitude brings. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Cinsault often feature.

With around 40 wineries, mainly in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon plays host to a range of terroirs inspired by limestone soils, altitude, terraced vineyards and in the Batroun region, the moderating Mediterranean. /taste-lebanon-tour-2013

Rose wines often seemed appropriate to accompany the vast range of meze and many Lebanese producers include one in their repertoire. The flavours imparted by barbequing food work well with fruity reds, avoid anything tannic or high in alcohol as they can clash. With white wines, keep it unoaked and fruity and go for grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino and Viognier.

In the Aberdeen area, wines from Chateau Musar are fairly widely available from independents and Majestic, M and S list wines from Chateau Ka, Domaine des Tourelles and Chateau Ksara, Oddbins have Chateau Ksara. A number of restaurants also include Lebanese wines on their lists. To read more about my Lebanese experience as well as lots of wine notes, head to

Carol Brown is an Aberdeen based member of the Association of Wine Educators and the Circle of Wine Writers and runs a range of WES courses and workshops, WSET wine training, corporate entertainment and wine dinners and can be contacted on 01224 312076

Luckily, Lebanese white wines are often funky blends of grapes and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and aromatic Muscat all sit happily together. Imagine that with simply barbequed sea bass or king prawns. Red wines again are often blends although I did experience some single varietals as well. Think of them

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Bids Galore for Whisky Two bottles of whisky salvaged from the shipwreck that inspired the book and film Whisky Galore have been sold for £12,050 after an online auction. They were part of the cargo on the SS Politician, which sank off Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides in 1941.

News Bites...

Etiquette for Inspecting Wine

Scotch Whisky Auctions, which sold the bottles, said they had gone to a buyer in the UK after worldwide interest. They were among eight bottles recovered from the wreck in 1987 by Donald MacPhee, from South Uist.

2. The server will then remove the cork and put it on the table in front of you. Pick it up, examine it and squeeze it to determine if it is dry and crumbly or completely wet – both clues that air may have reached and spoiled the wine.

The whisky is not thought to be fit for human consumption. The SS Politician was headed for Jamaica with 28,000 cases of whisky when it ran aground on the northern side of Eriskay in bad weather. Islanders recovered hundreds of cases of whisky from the wreck and some of the bottles were buried to keep them hidden from customs officers. Other bottles have since been found washed up on the island's shores and also recovered by divers. Scottish author Compton Mackenzie, published the novel Whisky Galore in 1947, which was loosely based on the SS Politician wreck. It was adapted for the cinema in a 1949 Ealing comedy starring Basil Radford.


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It is commonly the host’s responsibility to order wine for the table. At some point after you place the order, the sommelier or server will return to your table with the bottle for you to sample. You simply inspect the wine to confirm that you received the wine you ordered and that it does not have any flaws. Here is what will happen: 1. The server will offer the wine bottle for your visual inspection. Look at the label to ensure it is the wine and vintage you ordered. If it is not, tell the server.

3. The server will then pour a small amount of wine into your glass. Look at it against a white background. Swirl it, put your nose in the glass, and take a deep breath. Take a sip and roll it around in your mouth before you swallow. If you don’t detect any flaws, nod to the server. That’s it! If the wine smells like wet cardboard, tastes like vinegar, or is otherwise flawed, you should send it back. Simply say: “I am afraid this is a bad bottle, I’d like to send it back.” Even if you are the only one that notices a flaw, the server should replace the bottle. The restaurant will send the bottle back to the distributor for a free replacement.



Mojito literally means 'something wet' - try making this minty, lime-packed cocktail at home for a party

Ingredients • 1 tsp white sugar • a good squeeze of lime or lemon juice • a handful of mint sprigs, (don't cut off the stalks as these contain essential oils vital for the flavour of the drink) • ice • soda water , to serve • 50ml white rum • a dash of Angostura bitters • Lime slices to serve.

Method 1: Put the sugar in the bottom of a glass and pour the citrus juice over to just cover it. Add 2 long sprigs of mint. Muddle (gently pound) the juice, sugar and mint 2: Add ice to the top of the glass and fill the glass two-thirds full with soda water. 3: Add the rum. 4: Stir and add a dash of Angostura bitters. 5: Top with slices of lime.

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Spring Onion Ham and Mustard Tart

Impress your guests at a barbecue or perfect for packing in your picnic basket.

Ingredients • Flour, for dusting • 300g shortcrust pastry • 300g small potatoes • 3 large free-range eggs • 125ml single cream • 100g Cheshire cheese, grated • 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard • 6 large thin cooked ham slices • Bunch of spring onions, trimmed and halved lengthways

Method 1: Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Place a 23cm square (or round) x 4cm deep fluted tart tin on a baking tray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry to a square (or round) about 5cm wider than the tin. Carefully lift the pastry into the tin and gently press into the base and sides, taking care not to stretch the pastry. Trim any excess pas try and prick the base with a fork. Chill for 20 minutes. 2: Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well and set aside to cool 3: Place a sheet of baking paper on top of the pastry case, scrunching in the edges to fit, then fill with baking beans or rice and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before removing the beans and paper. 4: Slice the potatoes into 5mm slices and arrange in the base of the tart case. Beat the eggs, cream, cheese and mustard in a bowl and season to taste. Arrange the ham on top of the potatoes with the spring onions. Pour over the egg mix ture and cook for 15 minutes until set but still a bit wobbly (it will set further as it cools). Stand for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.


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Spring onions are one versatile veg! Mellower

an egg, some chopped ham and peas. Stir-fry for

than onions, they make the perfect finishing

a few more minutes, add a splash of soy sauce

touch to salads and jacket potatoes and can

and a handful of chopped spring onions and

even be grilled whole. Rinse, trim off the root


and the very top. Finely slice both the white and

Spring onions go lovely and sweet when gently

green part if using chopped; or keep them

fried in a little butter for a few minutes. Add a

whole to grill or sautĂŠe.

splash of white wine and a little thyme if you

Spring onions are also brilliant in dips. Make a

fancy and serve alongside chicken or fish.

creamy dip with equal portions of sour cream

Did you know?

and cream cheese mixed together with spring onion. Season and serve with sliced raw vegetables.

Spring onions are also known as salad onions, green onions, scallions, shallots and in Scotland the sybie or syboe. They are a key ingredient in

They are also great for adding a mild onion

Japanese, Chinese and Mexican dishes and are

flavour to salads. Make a potato salad with

best stored in the salad drawer of the fridge.

boiled new potatoes, chopped boiled eggs, chopped spring onions and mayo. For supper make a speedy egg fried rice by heating oil in a wok or frying pan then adding cooked rice. Stir-fry for a few minutes then stir in

savour Issue 03 2013


Godfather Of

y m o n o r t s a G In September 2008, Antonio Carluccio, the much loved and respected Italian cookery writer, celebrated 50 years of championing, cooking and eating genuine, regional Italian food and wine. Now, known for his gentle manner, gruff voice and his wild crop of white hair, Antonio is regarded as the Godfather of Italian gastronomy. Antonio took over the Neal Street Restaurant in Covent Garden in 1981, which traded for 26 years. In 1991 Antonio opened a deli next to the restaurant and in 1998 started the first Carluccio's Caffè in Market Place, London. Now the famous name is soon to be found in Aberdeen when they open in Union Square this summer. Savour’s editor met with Antonio to see what he really feels about the British food scene and asks him if he’s thought about hanging up his apron. Q: What’s your view on the state of British cuisine today? A: Here in Britain you have really good produce, but I’m not sure these ingredients are always used to full effect. One of my favourite English dishes is a really tasty steak and kidney pie. We had it on the menu when I was at the Neal Street Restaurant. Q: Do you think some chefs have abandoned traditional cooking in a bid to achieve ‘celebrity’ status? A: I think celebrity chefs have done the opposite actually; in fact they’ve helped to


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make ‘traditional cooking’ and techniques accessible to the masses, encouraging more people to get into cooking which is a wonderful thing. Obviously, the commercial aspect, which can have slightly negative connotations, comes hand in hand with celebrity status, but I believe as long as endorsements promote a lifestyle that encourages freshly prepared healthy homemade food then it can be positive. The fact that cooking is big business shows that people understand the importance of eating well and this keeps traditional cooking alive. Q: When Jamie’s Italian opened in Aberdeen I had the good fortune to cook with your great friend, Gennaro Contaldo. Are you hungry for another series with him? A: Never say never, I know the fans would like one! We will have to see if we both have time in our busy schedules. Q: You are no longer a director of Carluccio’s but still involved with the company. In what capacity? A: I founded the company in 1991 and guided it for almost 15 years. I now work as a consultant focusing on the menu, the products and chef training. My name is above the door and I work very hard alongside the fantastic team at Carluccio’s to ensure that we offer a quality and genuine Italian dining and shopping experience at affordable prices. Q: Can you run a chain of delis/shops/restaurants and still maintain that traditional local feel and quality of produce? A: I can only speak for the quality of the food at Carluccio’s, but we work very hard to ensure that the quality of our offering does not decrease as our business grows. We only use the best ingredients in our dishes (many sourced directly from Italy), and the products in our deli are carefully selected by our expert team of buyers and are sourced from authentic producers in Italy. Q: In your younger days you enjoyed foraging for mushrooms and funghi. Are you still able to pursue this much loved activity? A: Foraging for mushrooms is a great passion of mine. I often go to the New Forest to pick mushrooms and will continue this hobby for as long as I can. Q: You’re now 76 years young. Is the day looming when you will hang up your apron and perhaps return to Piedmont? A: I seem to be busier than ever and that’s the way I like it. For as long as I am fit to do so, I will continue to cook. I am, after all, first and foremost a cook and I love food so I have no plans to hang up my apron just yet!

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Carluccio’s Tuna Stuffed Eggs

A simple dish with plenty of flavour, perfect for picnics. This recipe is from Antonio’s book ‘Simple Cooking’ and serves 4 – 6 people.

Ingredients • 6 Large eggs • 150g Canned tuna in oil, drained and finely chopped • 12 Salted capers, soaked, drained and finely chopped • 1 Gherkin, finely sliced (optional) • 2 Egg yolks for mayonnaise • To taste Salt and pepper • 1 teaspoon French mustard • 100ml Olive oil (not extra virgin) • Juice of half the lemon Tip: salted capers are much better than vinegared ones, but they have to be de-salted. Soak in cold water for about 15 minutes, spoon away any remaining salt and dry well.

Method 1: Put the eggs in a small pan of cold water, bring to the boil and hard-boil for 15 minutes. Drain and leave to cool. 2: To make the mayonnaise, beat the egg yolks with a pinch of salt and the mustard in a bowl until creamy. Slowly pour in a little of the olive oil, whisking constantly until amalgamated. Keep adding the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while, until the mixture has thickened and all the oil has been used. Now add the lemon juice and mix well. Taste for seasoning and cover until needed. 3: Peel the eggs and cut in half. Remove the yolks, place in a bowl and, with a fork, reduce to a pulp. Mix this with the tuna, capers (reserving a few to use as garnish) and enough mayonnaise to be able to form balls the size of the origi nal yolks. Place these in the holes of the halved egg whites. 4: Arrange the eggs in bowls, cover with some more mayonnaise and serve topped with the gherkin slices and reserved caper pieces.


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Superbe Restaurant Français Great news! If you’re a lover of exquisite French cuisine (and who isn’t?), it need not mean a trip to the legendary city of Paris.

Montmartre. The staff are professional and courteous yet unobtrusive, allowing you to enjoy the convivial and relaxed ambience.

You can enjoy a unique, French, gastronomic experience right here in the heart of Aberdeen.

It’s clear the team at this cosy and romantic restaurant have a great love of fine French cuisine yet skilfully entwine fresh local produce and a wine list to complement their superb dishes.

Montmartre, in the city’s bustling Justice Mill Lane, offers a true boutique dining experience where fresh locally sourced products are lovingly selected and prepared by talented chefs. You can even experience the charm and character of the bygone era of 1890’s Paris as the décor is inspired by the streets of the incredibly unique district of

There’s a smart and easy to navigate website displaying all menus and a wine list so click on now at and make that reservation! Tres bon!

Why is French cuisine so famous? way of cooking had kings and queens to please so failure was not an option. This tradition of quality and perfection and attention to detail has not been lost as techniques in the cooking changed. With Haute (high) or later, nouvelle (new) cuisine, the trends in preparation and the ingredients changed but the pursuit of perfection never has.

The French have always been known to have a passion for food. It is revered and considered an art form like a fine oil painting, or high fashion. The cuisine itself has evolved through the centuries but the dedication to excellence has never changed. The forefathers of the French

Nouvelle cuisine isn’t really “new.” It has been around since the mid 1700’s with early French chefs Chapel and Menon and later in the late 1800’s with the famous Auguste Escoffier. With the standards set by royal tastes early in their history the great French chefs of today and the nation itself pride themselves on quality

food. The French will typically take a 2 hour meal (and usually wine) break in the middle of the day and as a result the towns do as well. Love, life and food are central parts of their culture. Although the classic French cuisine is rooted in discipline and culinary procedures handed down for many years, the younger French trained chefs today are innovative and move the form in new directions. They use the classical French idea of using locally available ingredients and prepare them with the traditional sauces with new twists. One thing for certain is that French cuisine is famous for quality combined with style and it sure tastes good!

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Local Chefs Create Award Winning Dishes

The final of this year’s Grampian chef’s

Scotland, Donald McInnes, Executive

pleasure and a privilege to have Michelin

competition took place on the 27th of

Head Chef, Ayr Racecourse, Ian McDonald,

starred Chef Bruce Sangster, and UK

May at Aberdeen College. Thirty five of

Executive Head Chef, St Andrews Links,

Masterchef Jeff Purves help judge these

Aberdeenshire’s top chefs took part in a

James Murphy, Executive Chef, Glasgow

categories. They have an encyclopaedic

cook off to identify the winners from the

Grand Central Hotel, and George McIvor –

knowledge of food and know what it

5 competition categories, Grampian Chef

The Full Range Ltd

takes to run a successful food business”.

The judging of Grampian Restaurant of

Bruce is the proprietor of Sangster’s in

the Year, Grampian Hotel Restaurant of

Elie, Fife which was awarded one Michelin

the Year, and Grampian Bar Food Award

Star in 2009. Bruce is one of the UK’s

took place in May. Four finalists were

most respected chefs winning British Chef


selected for each category to be judged

of the Year in 2000. He said “Running a

MacGillivray President of the Federation

by means of an unannounced visit to the

successful restaurant is no easy task; it

of Chefs Scotland, Joe Queen, Vice

finalist’s establishment. Karen Black,


President of the Federation of Chefs

Hospitality Training said: “It was a

determination. But for every customer

of the Year, Grampian Young Chef of the Year, Grampian Contract Chef of the Year, Grampian Seafood Chef of the Year, and Grampian Pastry Chef of the Year. The



Issue 03 2013







33 coming










expectation of the winner of the

Manager said: “The competition provides

Restaurant and Bar Food categories will

our sector with an opportunity to

be the same. Great food, value for money


and a welcoming, friendly service at all

Grampian. The competitors have been


preparing for months for todays cook off

The winner of Grampian Hotel Restaurant of the Year was the Royal Deeside Restaurant at the Tor Na Coille Hotel,






and we were most impressed with the standard of dishes using locally sourced ingredients that were presented”.

Banchory. The winner of Grampian

Kevin MacGillivray, said: “The contenders



rose to the final challenge exceptionally


well. I have been very impressed with the

Aberdeen, and the winner of the Bar

young chef category. We tasted some

Food Award, The Cape Horn Bar at the

cracking dishes, deserving of gold

Mariner Hotel Aberdeen.









The competition aims to forge strong

Hospitality Training, Scotland’s only

links between chefs and local suppliers


and producers.







The winner of the Grampian Chef of the Year Category was Kevin Johnston, Banchory Lodge Hotel. The winning menu consisted of:

The winning menu for the contract section was presented by Rikki Pirie, Entier.

• Confit belly of salmon with crème fraîche, dill pappardelle, spiced pea mousse, tomato caviar, crisp skin & peashoots • • Carved loin of lamb with braised shoulder, honey & Madeira jelly, crisp potato cake, glazed shallot, sautéed mushroom and red wine reduction • • Double chocolate mousse with salted caramel, orange purée and

• Pine nut crusted seabass, sage jelly, red pepper, orange and charred courgette • • Slow cooked gigot of lamb, crispy meatball, sweetbread, confit new potatoes, broad bean purée • • Rhubarb macaroons, coconut and rhubarb cake, frosted almonds and coconut ice cream •

crisp praline shell •

Andrew Clark of the Cock and Bull, Balmedie won the Young Chef Category. The menu consisted of: • Charred asparagus ribbon, sautéed green and white tips, pea purée, buttered shelled peas, Ingram’s smoked bacon crisps and crispy quail’s egg • • Pan roasted with black pudding crumbs, Jersey Royal new potatoes, sautéed spring cabbage, natural jus and apple purée and smoked bacon airbags • • Vanilla set cream, strawberry jelly, shortbread, mint sherbet and lyo dried strawberry •

Grampian Seafood Chef was won by Ethan Forsyth of the Tor Na Coille Hotel, Banchory. The winning dish was: • Steamed North Atlantic fillet of halibut accompanied by smoked Johnshaven mussel, basil and saffron tortellini, wilted spinach and chilled tomato consommé •

Grampian Pastry Chef of the Year was Addy Daggert, Glenfiddich Distillery, and their menu: • Hot vanilla scented rhubarb and apple streusel tart with yoghurt custard and condensed milk jelly • • Tasting of fresh strawberries, buttermilk and mint •

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The Ship Inn Turns Up The Heat

Nowhere in the North-east quite does

to grill or barbecue fish, meats and

summer like The Ship Inn in Stonehaven.

vegetables as it is both quick and easy.

The hotel and restaurant is a mecca for

Fallon says: “Our grilled dishes are really

both locals and visitors during the summer months thanks to its prime location overlooking the harbour and outdoor seating area. Customers love to dine alfresco on a summer’s day, and

popular during the summer months and I think this is because people enjoy eating food which is really light and healthy at this time of year.”

head chef Fallon Oliveira loves to treat

On the opposite page, Fallon shares one

them to dishes created using the very

of her favourite barbecue recipes which

best in local produce.

are becoming increasingly popular with

One of her favourite cooking methods is

customers at The Ship Inn.


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Citrus Marinated Mini Chicken Kebabs Ingredients • 1 red onion • 1 green pepper • 1 red pepper • 1 lime • 4 tbsp olive oil • 1 chicken supreme• Sprig of flat leaf parsley

Method 1: Peel and finely chop onion and peppers. 2: Add lime zest and juice to the onions and peppers. 3: Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes and add to the onions, peppers and lime. Mix well and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour. 4: Once marinated, thread the chicken pieces onto 2 wooden skewers (4 chicken pieces on each). Place the kebabs on the barbeque and cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Turn the kebabs frequently and baste with the marinade until evenly cooked. 5: Garnish with flat leaf parsley and serve.

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Have you ever wondered why some brands of ice cream are more expensive than others? Why does Ben & Jerry's cost so much more than grocery store brands? Actually, there are a number of different reasons why brands like Ben & Jerry's cost so much more. Let's take a closer look at what makes ice cream high quality. Have you ever noticed how some of the less expensive brands of ice cream taste like frozen milk? This is because they are made with dairy products that contain less butterfat. High quality brands of ice cream, often referred to as premium and super premium, contain anywhere from 13% to 17% butterfat. What difference does butterfat make, besides making ice cream taste more like cream than milk? Butterfat actually makes the product have a creamier texture. As you may have guessed, this also makes the ice cream more expensive. High quality ice cream is made with some of the best ingredients available. If you've ever looked closely at less expensive brands, you may have noticed that they say, "Vanilla flavoured, chocolate flavoured, etc." This is because they don't contain


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real vanilla or chocolate. High quality brands, on the other hand, are made with high quality vanilla, nuts, chocolate, fruit, and other mix-ins and flavourings. Speaking of mix-ins. Have you ever noticed the amount of mix-ins in high quality brands compared to less expensive brands? You almost can't stick your spoon into them without hitting a piece of candy, nut, or whatever mix-ins they contain. With some of the less expensive brands, you almost have to dig for the mixed in goodies. Ice cream mixtures actually have air whipped into them as they freeze. Air is essential, because it prevents the ice cream from being rock hard, but the amount of air is important. The less air added to ice cream, the higher quality. If you were to melt a pint of a less expensive brand of ice cream and a high quality brand, you'd find that there was less of the inexpensive brand. In other words, high quality brands may cost more, but you're paying for more air in less expensive brands. If you've ever had ice cream that has an almost fluffy texture, you can bet it has a lot of air mixed in. High quality brands are thick and creamy, thus giving them a better texture.


Secret recipe for a long career we take a lot of pride in what we do, so nothing is put out of the kitchen if we are not happy. Isobel doesn’t mind the early mornings and will often stay later to help out in the busy periods if required. She said: “I prefer working when the restaurant is busy as there is a real buzz in the kitchen and we all pull together to get the job done. It’s also very rewarding to cater for large functions such as corporate parties or weddings and I love hearing the positive feedback from the guests.” Isobel works four days a week from 9am-12pm in the kitchen and will sometimes help front of house, but she still has plenty time to enjoy her afternoons and weekends.

Life is sweet for dessert chef, Isobel McIntyre, who has worked at the Lairhillock Inn for an impressive 32 years. Although Isobel has had no formal training, she is a natural in the kitchen and developed her passion for baking at a young age, (learning many of her special recipes and skills from her mother) and has perfected the craft of making her trademark seasonal desserts. During her time at the Lairhillock Inn, which is based at Netherley, the restaurant has been owned by a number of different families, and Isobel has remained loyal to the business, proving she is an irreplaceable member of the team. As the restaurant is passionate about using only the finest Scottish produce and fresh seasonal ingredients, Isobel

has been able to create a delicious dessert menu all year round, including fresh summer fruits meringues and her famous sticky toffee pudding – a recipe that remains a closely guarded secret. Isobel said: “The sticky toffee pudding at the Lairhillock Inn is a favourite with the customers and I often get asked for the recipe, but as it is a secret family recipe passed on from my mother, I want to keep it that way for now. I have made it so many times now that I never have to look up my recipe book - I could probably make it with my eyes closed.” Being an experienced member of the kitchen team, Isobel isn’t afraid of a bit of hard work. She said: “I enjoy the challenge of trying out new recipes and I’m glad that I have the freedom to add my own flair to the desserts. The team are very hard working and

She said: “I’ve always enjoyed working at the Lairhillock Inn and living within one mile of the restaurant means I can walk to work when the weather is good - it is probably one of the reasons I’ve stayed at the restaurant for so long.” When Isobel is not working, she enjoys entering baking competitions at summer shows including Banchory show, and Women’s Rural Institute events, where she has had several winning entries in the baking competitions over the years. Isobel said: “Although I spend most of my working week baking, I still like to try out different recipes in my spare time and also bake for my family and special occasions. I loved watching the Great British Bake Off when it was on television, but I have yet to try out some of their challenging recipes. However, I must be careful to not get carried away as cakes and sweet treats are not very good for your waistline.”

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Diary Notes

Now is the time to write in your diary an entry for Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight with hundreds of events being held throughout the country beginning on 7th September. That’s fourteen days of the very best Scottish produce with something for everyone to get involved in. Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is a celebration of the best that Scotland's vibrant larder has to offer. It has grown

every year as more people across the country get involved: The website listed over 220 events in 2012, from foraging to farmers' markets, cooking demos to butchery classes. The Fortnight, managed by Scotland Food & Drink, is for everyone who wants to share in the success of this country's produce, whether you grow, sell, cook, make or simply eat and appreciate it! This year the plan is to make it even bigger! Pay a visit to the ever popular Huntly Hairst – Food Festival on 7th & 8th September. There are some great and rather unique competitions to enter including the World Stovie Championship and shortbread and tablet competitions. Plenty of music and song and enticing stalls make for a great few days out. Join

Doctor Prescribes Noodles Asian food fans in Aberdeen were delighted to welcome Dr Noodles, the quick food-fix chain when they opened their doors in Union Street recently. Priding itself on a healthy image, noodles are stir fried without oil to keep the calorie content low, with extra vegetables available to hike up the nutritional value. The noodle and rice box restaurant has taken over the old Jaeger site on Union Street, transforming the interior to a sleek black, red and slate grey colour scheme, with the ceiling dotted with dozens of spherical Chinese lanterns. Customers can come to relax in the contemporary surroundings or take advantage of the speedy service by heading out into the sunshine to devour their lunch elsewhere. Either way, its clear Dr Noodles is just what the doctor ordered. Fans have quickly taken to the social media site to express their excitement at the chain opening in the city.


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local chef Craig Wilson from the Eat on the Green restaurant and Huntly-dwelling Nutrition Scientist Dr Baukje de Roos from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute for an interactive cooking demonstration. The Kilted Chef will prepare traditional fare including tasty Scottish salmon and the audience can quiz the nutrition expert about the food on the menu.


Above Par Dining Less than a two minute walk from Union Street, in Aberdeen’s bustling city centre, you’ll find one of the best dining experiences in town. Housed on the first floor of the flagship Gamola Golf store in Market Street, The Locker Room serves delicious food in a unique and relaxing environment. Whether you just want to grab some breakfast, a burger at the bar or want to be wined and dined in the evening, this is the place to be. Using only fresh locally sourced ingredients the chef has created a finely tuned menu with

exciting dishes complemented by a terrific collection of beverages whether you love wines, ales, whisky, beers or fancy cocktails. There are a number of special offers and promotions during the week which change regularly so keep checking the menu to find out what goodies are on offer. It’s a haven for golf enthusiasts but everyone is welcome and clearly they have worked hard to achieve the plaudit as one of the best eateries in Aberdeen. From 10am you can tuck into a full Scottish breakfast, meet your mates

for a tasty lunch (the steak and ale pie is amazing!) and return in the evening for a magnificent Scottish rib eye steak – not, of course, missing out on the chance to unwind with a couple of yummy sharing dishes. The Locker Room can also create hot and cold buffets for corporate events and group bookings. Great food, terrific atmosphere and the perfect city centre location make this a ‘must visit’ any time of day!

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An Aberdeenshire fish and chip shop is celebrating after winning a prestigious award from one of the UK’s leading supermarkets searching for Britain’s best eateries. Owners of Hornblower’s, based on West Quay, Gourdon, were unaware their loyal customers had nominated them for Morrisons Magazine’s annual great grub awards. Following the visit of secret taste testers from the nationwide competition, Hornblower’s was voted the winner in the ‘best fish and chip shop’ category scoring 10/10 for the quality and flavour of its fish and chips along with service and value for money. Husband and wife team Alex, 37 and Ruth Grahame, 44, have seen the reputation of Hornblower’s catapult since taking over the restaurant in April 2011. Alex said: “We’re absolutely delighted to win. It was a complete surprise to hear that our customers had nominated us. To get such feedback means the world. We offer a unique experience to diners who get to enjoy their fish and chips while overlooking a working harbour.” Ruth said: “Knowing that so many of our customers put us forward for this award is fantastic and we can’t thank them enough. We have a great local team and fantastic local suppliers. Alex buys the best fish that is on sale on the day, every day. In the mackerel season we buy mackerel from local people who have been out fishing, including our waiters.” One taste tester said: “The flesh of the haddock was firm and flaky and the batter had that satisfying crunch. The chips held their own, too – dark golden and perfectly done. This small gem acts like a magnet, pulling in hungry punters. It offers wonderful views over the picturesque harbour.” Lisa Herriott, deputy editor of Morrisons magazine, said: “Britain really is home to some fantastic dining experiences and it’s great to see so many people supporting their local businesses. We were impressed with Hornblower’s ethos for serving up locally-caught, sustainable fish at affordable prices.”


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Classic Coleslaw

Perfect for a summer picnic or accompanying a delicious barbecue, Making your own is easy and tastes delicious.

Ingredients • 450g/1lb white cabbage • 1 small onion (optional) • 1 small carrot (optional) • 30g/1oz sugar • a pinch of cayenne or chilli powder • 30g/1oz plain flour • 2 eggs, yolks only • a good knob of butter • 175ml/6fl oz whole milk • 55ml/2fl oz red wine vinegar • 1-2 tsp English mustard • salt & pepper to season.

Method 1: Grate or shred the cabbage and carrots and onions (if you're using them). Put them in a big bowl and set aside. 2: Mix the sugar, cayenne and flour in a bowl that will go into your large pan. Season well with salt and pepper. Now whisk in all remaining ingredients except the mustard, in the order in which they are listed. In the meantime, heat the water in the bottom of the large pan. 3: Put the bowl over the heat and start whisking. Do not stop for more than a few moments while the mixture is cooking. Cooking will take something like 15 minutes, and you will know that the sauce is done when it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain into a clean bowl to eliminate any lumps, and whisk in the mustard. (Use the larger amount if you want a hotter result, the smaller if you want just a mustardy accent.) 4: Toss the slaw with half the dressing. If it needs more, add it in small doses till you've reached the desired consistency. Serve immediately or leave, covered, in the fridge, for 1-2 days with 1 or 2 tosses every day.


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Bag a Baguette There's more to a baguette than you might think, here's how to do it a la Francaise. The French will tell you that a good baguette needs to look, feel, sound, smell and taste the part; with a golden-bronzed crust and holey ivorycream centre, a thin, crisp shell that cracks with a little pressure, a faint hollowness when tapped underneath, a fruity, cereal aroma and a soft, chewy dough with hints of butter and caramel.

Serving etiquette:

Eating etiquette:

1: Look like a local and eat the end of the baguette on the way home from the bakery, its called le quignon, the heel.

1: Soften your baguette by dipping it in your morning coffee.

2: No self-respecting Frenchman uses a chopping board as they've either perfected the cutting in the air technique or they tear off pieces by hand.

2: Although most French people eat baguette without butter, those from Normandy and Brittany insist on a thick layer of unsalted or salted butter.  

3: Traditional Catholics use the bread knife to lightly mark a crucifix on the back of a baguette before cutting it.

3: A popular children's afternoon snack or goûter involves cutting a baguette in two, then lengthways and filling with Nutella.

4: Serve pieces of bread alongside a main course and then again for the cheese course (served before dessert).

4: Day-old bread can be salvaged by using it to make pain perdu, translated as lost bread or French toast.

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Ethan Mussels in on Award

Young Ethan Forsyth is Chef de Partie at the beautiful Tor–Na-Coille hotel in the heart of Deeside and he has just been crowned Grampian Seafood Chef of the Year 2013. He has always had a keen interest in cooking and has been working in the catering industry for four years. Following a period as Kitchen Porter at the Tor- Na -Coille while still at school, he became full-time Commis Chef before graduating to Chef de Partie, a position he has held for two years. He is a former student of Hospitality Training and the Grampian Seafood Chef of the Year competition was his first individual competition although he helped the TorNa- Coille team soar to bronze position in the Scot Hot 2013 restaurant challenge. Ever eager to chat to award winning chefs, Savour’s editor caught up with Ethan in the busy kitchen. Q: Firstly, congratulations on your win in the Grampian Seafood Chef of the Year Award. Can you tell us what you prepared for the judges at the competition?


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A: For the competition my dish consisted of steamed North Atlantic halibut accompanied by smoked Johnshaven mussel, basil and saffron tortellini, tomato consommé and wilted spinach. Q: What was the atmosphere like in the kitchen at the competition? A: It was a very tense atmosphere at the competition; everyone was looking to do the best they could in the time we were allotted. Q: Is seafood your personal favourite or are there other dishes you enjoy making? A: Although I do enjoy cooking seafood, I also have a passion for pastry – something I hope to work on more in the future. Q: What’s the ‘must have’ ingredient in the kitchen you simply couldn’t do without? A: My ‘must have’ ingredient in the kitchen would have to be butter. I find that it adds richness to food and a gloss to help presentation.

Q: The Tor-na-Coille has really come to the fore in the last few years. Tell us about the kitchen brigade and what diners can expect on the menu? A: I work with very talented chefs who have worked at some of the best restaurants in Britain and we all strive to achieve a menu which offers traditional style cooking with a modern twist. Q: What advice would you give other chefs who may be thinking of entering the competition in the future? A: Preparation is key to success, in my opinion. I had been practising my competition dish since the beginning of the year, constantly looking for ways to improve it so it was at the best possible standard by the time of the competition. Q: Rick Stein Whittingstall?




A: I prefer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall because of the way he takes food back to basics and tries to use not only local produce, but also his own.


Smoked haddock served with a sweet chilli and cheese sauce spring onion mashed potatoes and a poached egg

Ingredients • 4 smoked haddock fillets • 6 potatoes • 1 bunch spring onions • 150ml milk • 120g butter • 600ml double cream • 80g grated Mull of Kintyre cheddar • 8 tbsp sweet chilli sauce • salt/pepper • 4 eggs

Method 1: Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 20 mins. 2: Meanwhile roll up the haddock fillet so the top and bottom are tucked under the fillet. Place on a oven tray with a little water and put in oven at 180C for 10 mins or until cooked. 3: Peel and slice the spring onions and lightly sauté in a frying pan with a little butter. 4: When the potatoes are cooked, drain them then place through a ricer. Add milk, butter, spring onions and season to taste. 5: Bring the double cream to the boil and add grated cheese and sweet chilli sauce. Mix through and season to taste. 6: Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Crack the eggs in and simmer for 2-3 mins. Remove with a slotted spoon. 7: Spoon mashed potatoes into the centre of a plate. Top with smoked haddock and a poached egg and drizzle sauce around side and serve.

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BBQ Pineapple with Rum and Raisin Ingredients • 1 ripe pineapple peeled • 1oz butter • 2oz light muscovado sugar • 1oz raisins • 2fl oz rum • Vanilla ice-cream • mint • Pecan nuts

Method 1: Remove ‘eyes’ from pineapple and cut in half length ways. 2: Remove the centre core from the pineapple and slice into wedges 3: Melt the butter on a griddle pan, add sugar, raisins, and pecan nuts and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture becomes syrup like. 4: Add the rum and mix in well. 5: Grill the pineapple on the barbeque until golden brown (approx 2 minutes on each side). 6: Serve the pineapple wedges with the rum and raisin sauce spooned over and garnish with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream and a sprig of mint.


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The Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, run in partnership with the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, have been recognising and rewarding the very best in Scottish food and drink for many years. The Excellence Awards 2013 saw the event sell out in record time with 20 awards being presented on the night. The awards recognise excellence in products and businesses across a diverse range of areas including skills, research and sustainability. Product awards range from healthy eating and foodservice to seven retail categories. Local winners included Dean’s of Huntly, The Smokehouse, Methlick, Plenta Foods Ltd, Mackintosh of Glendaveny Ltd and The Store, Foveran.

The full list of winners for the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2013 are: Soup, Preserves & Accompaniments (sponsored by Asda): Hebridean Sea Salt Ltd. (Hebridean Sea Salt), Outer Hebrides

Fish & Seafood (sponsored by Rowett Institute): The Smokehouse (Hot Smoked Trout Pate with Horseradish & Dill), Aberdeenshire

Bakery & Cereal Based Product (sponsored by Asda): Dean's (Mary Steele Speciality Biscuits), Aberdeenshire

Meat - Red, White & Game (sponsored by Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight): Rannoch Smokery (Dry-cured Smoked Wild Scottish Venison), Perthshire

Drink - Alcoholic & Non-Alcoholic (sponsored by Asda): The Orkney Brewery (Dark Island Reserve), Orkney

Confectionery & Snacking (sponsored by Asda): Iain Burnett - The Highland Chocolatier (Velvet Truffles and Spiced Pralines), Perthshire

Healthy Eating (sponsored by Food & Health Alliance Food Standards Agency): Plenta Foods Limited (Pulsetta Rolls), Aberdeenshire

Profiting through Research (sponsored by Interface Food & Drink): Plenta Foods Limited, Aberdeenshire

Environmental Sustainability (sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland): Mackintosh of Glendaveny Ltd, Aberdeenshire

Food & Drink Tourism (sponsored by VisitScotland): The Store, Aberdeenshire

Product of the Year (sponsored by RHASS): Velvet Truffles and Spiced Pralines (Iain Burnett, The Highland Chocolatier)

The Outstanding Achievement in Food & Drink: Paul Grant MBE, Mackays

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Noël et Gastronomie

News Bites... Mackie's Plan a Chocolate Bar

Montmartre Restaurant Français, the small intimate French Restaurant in Justice Mill Lane AB11 6EP has launched their Christmas Menu, enabling you to experience something a little different this Christmas. On arrival guests will enjoy an apéritif of Kir Royale or Vin Chaud (Mulled Wine) to set the festive mood, before being offered dishes from a range including hors d’oeuvre of ‘Coquille St Jacques en Croûte’ or a Duck Liver Parfait, served with a confit of dates and an orange reduction. As a main course why not try ‘Oie Farcie’, traditionally prepared stuffed goose with accompaniments and finished with a pomegranate jus or ‘Filet de Boeuf en Croûte ‘ The management and kitchen team strive to cater for a variety of palates and dietary requirements and invite you to join them this Christmas to sample fine festive fare, French style.

Vive la différence! For bookings contact 01224 584599 or email Visit to see the full range of menus on offer


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Mackie’s of Scotland revealed that they are working on a new indulgent treat. At this year’s Royal Highland show visitors were asked to try a piece of Mackie’s chocolate and taste test it against some of the market leaders. Kirstin Mackie reports that “the results were very encouraging with a high preference for Mackie’s new chocolate recipe and others finding it hard to choose between Mackie’s and their favourite. With this first trial we will now be able to fine tune the recipe and aim to bring Mackie’s chocolate bars to the UK market later this year. We also have good interest from our export partners.” Mackie’s want to add new products to

their range of “indulgent treats” and chocolate fits the bill for a new treat with similar brand values to Mackie’s ice cream. Mackie’s will also be able to use their new chocolate as a speciality ingredient for Mackie’s ice cream. The cocoa beans will be imported from Ghana and Equador, and then Mackie’s will refine and conch the raw ingredients. Mackie’s will ensure that the process is carefully done over a particularly long period to make “chocolate the way it should be”. Mackie’s are working together with MacIntyre, chocolate manufacturing equipment producers in Arbroath. The range will be announced later this year but we can expect both Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate – with a new Mackie’s cow in the design.

Simon Rimmer’s Winner Some delicious modern dishes are about to be created in North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen. Congratulations to Arthur Durno who is the winner of Simon Rimmer’s new book ‘Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus’ as promoted in the last edition of Savour.


North-east restaurant toasts opening of exclusive Champagne lounge

News Bites Butter Fingers One of the North-east’s finest restaurants has launched the first members-only Laurent-Perrier Champagne lounge in Scotland. Eat on the Green, located in Udny Green, near Ellon, has teamed up with the worldrenowned champagne brand to unveil the exclusive lounge, which they have named Le Salon Vert. The lounge, which overlooks the awardwinning restaurant’s garden, offers members the chance to enjoy a selection of Laurent-Perrier champagnes with their guests. Le Salon Vert will also serve freshly prepared canapés and an artisan chocolate menu by Highland Chocolatier, Iain Burnett, to compliment the various champagnes. Eat on the Green, which is run by leading Scottish chef Craig Wilson and his wife, Lindsay, has secured the first exclusive Laurent-Perrier champagne lounge in Scotland and will be one of a handful of sites in the UK, alongside Birmingham

and London. There will be a range of membership tiers with a variety of incentives. Director at Eat on the Green, Lindsay Wilson, said: “Craig and I are beyond excited with our new venture and we are extremely delighted to be partnering with such an iconic and well-respected market leader such as Laurent-Perrier Champagne. We are the first in Scotland and that alone is something we are incredibly proud of, considering we are based in a small Aberdeenshire village. Le Salon Vert is an opportunity to offer something rather special for our most loyal and supportive customers.”

Eat on the Green is approaching its 10 year anniversary, and along with the new Champagne lounge, the award winning restaurant now boasts a private chef’s table with a live kitchen camera, along with additional private dining rooms and champagne afternoon teas.

Little did Helen Dean know that when she started selling her shortbread to raise money for the Huntly Pipe Band 30 years ago, she would launch a brand, which is now famous for its 'melt in the mouth' taste and texture. Still family owned, Deans reputation as a producer of luxury biscuits with that sought after 'home baked' quality, is growing every year. Using Helen's original recipe, their range of traditional shortbread fingers, petticoat tails and rounds has been added to with more contemporary items such as their award winning Petit Fours, and Fruit Preserve flavoured shortbread. Deans have enormous experience of supplying major retail and foodservice customers with both brand and own label products being found in major stores such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Co-op, Asda, Morrisons and Harrods. Innovation is central to their growth strategy, and they are continually seeking to 'raise the bar' aiming to be the best in everything they do.

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Smoothie ice lollies

These ice lollies are really healthy, with only a little bit of an optional chocolate coating. If there is any leftover smoothie, just add a little more apple juice for a healthy drink

Ingredients • 1 large banana, or 2 small bananas • 300 g frozen mixed berries • 50 g porridge oats • 400 ml pure organic apple juice honey, optional • 200 g good-quality white chocolate, broken up, optional.

Method 1: Place the bananas, berries, oats and apple juice in a liquidizer. Blitz for a few minutes until the berries and banana are completely smooth and the porridge oats are whizzed up. Taste for sweetness – if the bananas are lovely and ripe the mixture should be sweet enough, if not, add honey to taste. Divide the smoothie mixture into 12 ice-lolly moulds and freeze for at least 2 hours. 2: To give the lollies a chocolate coating, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a small pan of simmering water. Make sure the water isn't boiling and the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water, or you will burn the chocolate. Stir until completely smooth, then take off the heat and leave for 5 minutes.  3: Wiggle the lolly sticks to loosen the lollies and lift them out. One by one, dip the tips of the lollies in the white choco late and leave to set for a few minutes before serving. 


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With food and drink a key component of a great short break or weekend getaway, it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing to visit the Highlands and Islands – home to the finest, local produce including delicious seafood, prime meat and game, artisan cheese, fresh fruit and vegetables and, of course, malt whisky. The Highlands and Islands, with its many inspiring and dramatic landscapes, is an area of natural beauty where visitors can savour a unique combination of land and sea, and with it a much-lauded larder serving up amazing seasonal produce that can be enjoyed everywhere from Michelin-star and fine-dining restaurants to country inns, hotels, B&Bs, bars, pubs, cafes, tearooms and farms shops. As visitors to the Highlands and Islands soon discover, the emphasis is firmly on fresh food that is both local and seasonal, and food that is simple, beautifully cooked and bursting with natural flavour. Food here is also inspired by its location – and topped off by the great service and hospitality for which the region is renowned worldwide and right here at home, where the high-profile Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards recognise and reward the businesses which are displaying best practice, achieving exceptional standards and pushing boundaries. The great thing about the Highlands and Islands is the way in which competing producers and hospitality providers have decided to collaborate to help put the area on the

map. Take The Seafood Trail, for example, a truly culinary adventure along the beautiful west coast allowing you to sample mouth-watering cuisine in the area’s top hotels and restaurants where the chefs have access to a rich bounty of langoustines, mussels, scallops and oysters. Another collaboration has seen the creation of brands such as Wild Argyll Venison, Argyll Hill Lamb, Argyll Angus, Argyll Pork Producers and Argyll Free Range Eggs – all delivered across the West Highlands and Islands. John Forteith, the Oban-based food distributor who has worked with the local producers involved in the initiative, comments: “We have a huge larder here in Scotland, be it wild off the hills, growing on our land or in our seas, or speciality produce. It’s this rich diversity of local produce that visitors want to experience.” So if you love great food and drink and are planning a much-needed break, you’ll find your paradise in the Highlands and Islands. The following two pages introduce you to two of the foodie finalists in the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards 2013. This year’s finalists will be announced in September and the winners on 25th October at the Awards Dinner and Ceremony at the Drumossie Hotel in Inverness. For further information check out:

When people want to escape the stresses of their daily routine, they often opt for a taste of the great outdoors – and a quick chat with the owners of the Kylesku Hotel will soon convince you that nowhere is the outdoors greater (nor the tastes better) than in the North West Highlands.

might just spot the local fishermen unloading the catch of the day on the former ferry slipway down by the shore – locally caught fresh fish, shellfish, crab and lobster are just some of the possible ingredients that will be gracing the hotel’s popular platters at the next service.

“This is the real Highland wilderness – the perfect antidote to modern life,” explains owner Tanja Lister.

While the dining room does offer some dishes with a trademark twist, the focus of the food at the Kylesku is always on the freshest and the finest: “To a certain degree it is about the simplicity,” Tanya explained. “It should be the quality of the produce that speaks for itself.”

With this in mind Ms Lister and partner Sonia Virechauviex (a couple of selfconfessed foodies) make it their mission to offer visitors to the Kylesku a real flavour of the local area, priding themselves on providing an exciting and authentic Highland dining experience in a superb Sutherland setting. Nestled at the neck of Loch Glendhu and Loch Glencoul, set just a stone’s throw from the sea at a former staging point for journeys to and from the far north, this old coaching house boasts eight beautifully appointed rooms and is now earning a reputation as a gastrodestination in its own right. Arrive at the hotel with the tide and you

And quality produce is something that the area has in abundance – from locally-grown salads and veg courtesy of the nearby Croft 16 to Highlandreared Hebridean Lamb, Tamworth Pork and wild venison, for those who don’t fancy the fish. “We do focus very much on the fish and seafood,” Tanya freely admits – and with dishes including ‘Locally Landed Fish in Beer Batter’, ‘Loch Glendhu Creel Caught Langoustines” and “Local Rope Grown Mussels’ it is easy to understand why – some things just feel right in certain settings.

“It all fits together,” enthuses the owner, whose attitude contributed to the awarding of a Real and Local Food gold medal last year as well as a runners-up commendation in the prestigious Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Awards. “People can try the produce of the area whilst sitting looking at the view.” And while that view is indeed spectacular, the Kylesku team are not willing to rest on their superb-location laurels, with owner Sonia’s hospitality experience shining through at every service. “Food, setting, service – all three have to be right,” Tanja asserts. It’s a combination we are willing to guess that guests will be happy to drink to, with a selection of local beers and whiskies on offer from the licensed bar the perfect accompaniment to the delicious dishes and stunning setting Sláinte! Rooms from £92.50. Main courses start from around £9. Seafood platters £25. For more information visit:

When Kirsty Faulds and Simon Wallwork got married this year, they knew they wanted somewhere special with amazing food for their wedding, so they chose The Glenview. With its stunning setting on the Isle of Skye and reputation for local, sustainable, seasonal food this five room hotel was an easy pick for the couple – not least because they own it. “It really was the natural choice,” explains Kirsty before adding: “Of course, Simon did all the catering himself.” That the groom was ‘getting his cook on’ in the kitchen on the day of the celebration will not come as any surprise to those that know The Glenview – since feeding people fantastic food with full-on flavours is, in Kirsty’s words: “Simon’s passion”. Indeed it is passion that brought this talented chef across the oceans from Australia to settle on Skye, where he now prides himself on serving up delicious dishes using only the best locally sourced ingredients. Having spent time as a seasoning chef, offering sustenance to skiers while Kirsty provided the warm welcome of a chalet host, a year spent living and working on Colonsay convinced Simon and his then would-be wife that what they really wanted was their own

“restaurant with rooms” ideally on a Scottish island. And so it was with air-punches of joy that they finally happened upon The Glenview, with its mountainous backdrops and setting that is at once rural and idyllic. “On the trip to view it we saw dolphins in the sea, spotted wild orchids flowering and heard cuckoos,” explained Kirsty when asked what it was about the traditional croft building that so appealed. “It was just a B&B when we bought it, but it had the kitchen – we just knew it was the place for us,” she adds. The couple weren’t wrong, and in the six seasons since have found their efforts rewarded with two rosettes and a selection of awards and accolades, including the Food Link Award for their dedication to local produce. Menus in the eclectic vintage-inspired dining room change daily, with two choices on offer for each course and full flexibility for those with special dietary requirements. Guests can choose from locally sourced meat, fish and game all accompanied by the best locally grown fruit and vegetables – from suppliers including Skye Vegetables and Glendale Salads. Other ingredients are found and

foraged locally – with Simon’s specialities including a nettle soup using nettles from the garden together with hand-dived scallops collected off the Skye shores – while all breads, crackers and cakes are made from scratch on site. “When Simon serves up a meal he has made everything on that plate, as I say, it is his passion,” Kirsty reiterates. And whatever the diner orders, they should know they will be getting a real experience. From encouragement to watch the dedicated chef at work through the dining room’s special viewing window to discussing their meal’s ingredients and the island that offered them up with the Glendale owners – who are happy for guests to linger after eating. “When you get a table here we don’t try and turn it over,” Kirsty assures us. “You are in for the night!” And a wonderful night it will be as well, we expect. Rooms at the Glenview Hotel start at £45pp for B&B. A 3 course dinner, B&B starts from £80pp. For more information visit:


If you’ve managed to shake off the kids for a couple of hours all well and good, but, if not, don’t worry as The Archibald Simpson in Castle Street has something for everyone. There is an amazing rack of ribs and Peri Peri chicken for mum and dad and what I like about this place is that, as well as the usual kids’ chicken nuggets and pasta, they offer a children’s roast of the day, usually beef or chicken breast. The adults’ pancake with ice cream and strawberry and blueberry compote is delicious. The impressive Soul Bar in Union Street has an amazing Cajun blackened fillet of seabass on the menu, which is superb. If you’re more of a carnivore, try the rump steak teriyaki noodles or choose something from the ‘Soulful Eats’ menu which is 100% locally sourced with dishes showcasing what Scotland has to offer. If you haven’t the time to chill over lunch, they offer an awesome express lunch. I have to say the Illicit Still in Netherkirkgate/Broad Street is one of my favourite pub grub haunts. When winding down to the basement bar, you’d never think you were in for such a gastronomic treat. It’s modern gastro food at its best. The Fritto Misto Basket (scampi, calamari and haddock) is superb as is the classic steak ciabatta. There’s also a great kids’ menu. As you may have guessed I’m a frequent visitor and this hidden gem has some of the best pub food around. There’s a great all day menu at Enigma Bar in the Academy Centre. Tasty fajitas and nachos but I have to say the salmon fillet with leek and egg cream sauce is to die for. There are also some tasty salads including Scotch egg, black pudding and red chard salad. It’s also really convenient for city centre activities. Now the weather is, at last, a little warmer, I love eating outdoors and where better than in front of the imposing Old School House in Little Belmont Street. You get a refreshing free pint of Carling with your beef burger and chips……and that’s any day of the week. It’s plain but good pub food and the staff are really nice. A great place to lunch in the open air.


Issue 03 2013

Savour issue 03 2013  

At last summer is here! Make the most of sunny days by enjoying a sizzling barbecue or tasty picnic. It’s also the perfect time to ‘pick you...