In the second part of my Westray foodie series today, I’ll be sharing more about the couple below who run not one but two businesses in Pierowall, Westray.
Ann and Kevin Rendall run award-winning (2016 Best Fish Supplier/Producer in Orkney) family business Pierowall Fish Ltd and also Westray Chutney from a purpose-built shop overlooking the bay in Pierowall. All of the fish is stored, smoked or salted if necessary, packed and then sold from here by Kevin, assisted by Ann. Steering clear of most shellfish (there is a crabmeat processor in Westray), they bring in most other fish you can think of, from Shetland and also Scrabster on the scottish mainland. Not only this, they operate ‘Jack’s Chippy’ a couple of nights a week in which they sell fish suppers which are extremely popular. Ann estimated that at peak times of the year, they could sell up to 200 fish suppers in one night (that’s a third of Westray residents!) so the locals definitely have been devouring all of that fish!
We had a look round the premises. I have to say that I could have stayed there all afternoon – I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much fish, and the smell of the salmon and mackerel being smoked was incredible. This sawdust comes from Kirkwall and gives a lovely warming smoked aroma.
The salting room was equally exciting. Shelves upon shelves of fish encrusted with giant seasalt flakes.
Ann and Kevin were extremely kind and sent us away with a heaving bag of goodies.
With this salt cod we (Mr B actually!) made this lovely cod and tomato stew, which we accompanied with some Westray Wife cheese and WFM Brown crackers.
He also made these chunky fishcakes from the cod which had been mixed with some Westray Wife cheese and mash from locally grown Orkney potatoes. I really should have been noting down the recipe because these were really delicious!
We also had our fair share of smoked fish – salmon and varieties of smoked mackerel. My favorite was the mustard crusted mackerel – which was a very good breakfast with scrambled eggs!
As well as assisting Kevin, Ann’s newer business is Westray Chutney. Ann takes real pride in the fact that two thirds of her 17 chutneys are Fairtrade, and several ingredients like rhubarb, red onions and tomatoes grow well on Westray so these are used in a number of the chutneys. As well as chutneys, Ann has recently developed a mincemeat recipe which is laced with Scapa Whisky. It had been bubbling away just before we arrived and it smelt amazing.
We took away jars of Pineapple and Rhubarb, and Red Onion chutney – which have been squirreled away to enjoy at Christmas.
As with Louise and Jason who we had met earlier in the day – we really got the impression that Pierowall was really well supplied with not only high quality produce in their cheese, baked goods, fish and chutneys, but four business owners who want to retain the traditional methods of their businesses for years to come.
Here’s a final picture of all the kind gifts that I received from the producers I visited. I would highly recommend a visit to Westray, it was a fabulous place to visit – even on a windy November day!
Many sincere thanks to Ann and Kevin for the time they spent with us, and the goodies they sent us away with!