The gems hidden in Scottish pantries have been revealed in time for Eat Drink Discover Scotland, at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston outside Edinburgh on 12 to 14 September. From haggis pakoras to bee pollen topped cranachan, the most exciting and unusual suggestions on how to enjoy Scottish foods were entered into the competition to battle it out in a live cook off to win the producer of the “secret ingredient” a free exhibition stand at next year’s event. In the Saturday cook-off, the competitors will be: Joyce Brady making sea salt and caramel fudge using Hebridean Sea Salt (Highlands & Islands); David Porter making a rack of ribs from Scottish Goat Meat Company (Grampian); Viv Lumsden making stuffed courgette flowers with courgette flowers from Ardross Farm Shop (Kingdom of Fife); Liz Robinson making a champagne drink using seabuckthorn from Wild and Scottish (Edinburgh and the Lothians); Kirstie Wadwell making beef and barley casserole using braising steak from Ronnie Stalker Butchers (Ayrshire, Arran and Argyll). And yes, that is Viv Lumsden, pictured, the well-kent face from the TV. Viv said: “I live in Glasgow and travel to Ardross Farm Shop in Fife to buy my courgette flowers – they can be filled with any flavoursome, gooey ingredients but a favourite is with ricotta, garlic, basil, parmesan and a spoonful of grated ciabatta. I dip them into a tempura-style batter made with corn flour, wheat flour, salt, pepper and Italian lager then deep-fry them. They can be served as a canape or starter with a pesto mayo or a zingy salsa, or as a main on top of a simple spaghetti al ragu.”
The show itself will have a regional focus and is providing opportunities for smaller rural food producers to share centre stage with more established brands, so you can explore goats’ meat from Keith, chillies grown in Galloway, chocolate from Cowdenbeath and tea from blenders in Leith. The weekend will include demonstrations from chefs including Tony Singh, Adam Handling, Scott Davies, Mark Greenaway, Neil Forbes and Jacqueline O’Donnell. There’s also master classes such as chocolate workshops, cocktail making, game butchery and craft bakery. If you can’t manage a whole day at the show, Friday Night Feast offers a neat solution with a 5pm-8pm session and reduced-price tickets.