At the end of last month I went down to Eden Court to enjoy the Highland and Moray Food and Drink Festival. There were some different stalls compared to November’s festival (more about this later), but such favourites including Highland Cordials, Walkers Shortbread and the Loch Ness Brewery were all back out in force.
This time was also great because I was finally able to meet Melanie from Melanie’s Food Adventures! It was great to wander around the stalls with another foodie and talk about blogging (and egg each other on to get pictures with the demo chefs!)
There were three demo slots. The first was taken by Graeme and Sean from Eilean Dhu restaurant in Fortrose on the Black Isle. They made a delicious sounding loin of venison dish with a beetroot fondant and horseradish mash potato. Eilean Dhu are renowned for how they source their food and have recently won awards… definitely one that’s been added to my “must visit” list!
The second slot was taken by Jamie Scott – head chef at Rocca in St Andrews and also winner of the most recent season of Masterchef: The Professionals. Jamie made three dishes; scallops with a Bloody Mary butter, a wagu beef tartare and a rib eye beef steak with a vegetable salad. Not being a watcher of Masterchef recently, it was great to hear his story and it sounds like he will have an interesting journey ahead in his career.
Finally, we saw Norman Calder – well known from last year’s season of the Great British Bake Off and resident in Buckie, north-east Scotland. Not having an oven on the demo stage didn’t impact Norman as he had brought his bakes with him (including a huge box of shortbread). He constructed a strawberry cake filled with creme patisserie and homemade marzipan, and a cake made with Cointreau which we managed to snag a piece of after the demo had finished! He had some great anecdotes and revealed that he has a book coming out at the end of the year… maybe one for the birthday/Christmas list!
As for stalls, I mentioned that there were a few new finds. One to bookmark for the future is Marvellous Mustard – kits to make your own flavoured wholegrain mustard, The Inside Scoop bakery which we’ll definitely be checking out next time we head to Nairn, and Crazy4Cocoa – chocolate that definitely didn’t taste like it was “free-from” anything!
My buys were:
A mutton pie from The Well Hung Lamb Company (sorry no picture – Mr B and I polished this off for a very late lunch once I got home)
Raspberry and Mint cordial from Highland Cordials
A white chocolate and cranberry traybake slice from The Inside Scoop (half-eaten… whoops!)
A couple of cans of Super!Natural energy drink, this was yummy, I was really surprised to get a lovely clear blueberry taste from this, despite it being some of the minor flavourings!
Slices of various cheesecakes from the Devenick Dairy (I only intended to buy one but the owner was selling them off cheaply at the end of the day!)
It was a great afternoon out and I’ll be looking forward to the next event in the autumn!