Food from Fife was well and truly in the spotlight at the BBC Good Food in Glasgow over the weekend.
Fife Food Network and Visit St Andrews had a prominent role as they jointly sponsored the show’s three day Seasonal Tasting Theatre, where around 800 people were able to learn about the area and its produce in nineteen separate sessions.
The network’s “Food from Fife” initiative brought producers, chefs and local delicacies together in the Tasting Theatre. The Food from Fife stand, in a prime spot close to the main entrance of the show, attracted many hundreds more.
One of the network’s directors, Viv Collie, said that the event provided a wonderful opportunity for showcasing Fife’s natural larder while highlighting activities planned for the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival from November 23rd – December 2nd.
She said that the businesses/producers that took part in the Tasting Theatre were the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, Rocca Bar and Grill, St Andrews Farmhouse Cheese Company, Luvians, Eden Brewery, St Andrews Brewing Company, Balgove Farm Shop and Butchery, Spencerfield Spirit Company, Seriously Good Venison, Puddledub Buffalo, and the SRUC Elmwood Campus.
Produce was also supplied for use in the theatre by Cairnie Fruit Farm, and Cupar based bakery business Fisher and Donaldson.
Working behind the scenes and front of house for the three full days of the Tasting Theatre were chef/lecturers Willie Balfour and Vikki Munro from the SRUC Elmwood Campus. They brought along a team of eight highly motivated and enthusiastic hospitality students.
In addition a number of people provided invaluable help on the stand in the main hall, including representatives from Fife Farmers Market, the Royal Highland Education Trust, Fife Chamber of Commerce and Crail Food Festival.
“Many good contacts were made by our participating businesses, and we were able to spread the word about Fife food far and wide. Both the stand and Tasting Theatre had visitors from all over the country and abroad.
“Now, again in partnership with Visit St Andrews, we will move on to the St Andrews Food and Drink Festival, and the programme is currently being finalised.
“Activities will include events across the town including free chef demonstrations, food tours, a Food from Fife dinner, a very special event with StAnza, and an extended farmers market and pop up restaurant.
Patrick Laughlin of St Andrews Partnership, which manages the Visit St Andrews initiative, said that the presence at the BBC Good Food Show helped to serve as a taster for the forthcoming 10-day programme of food and drink events.
“This will add a whole new dimension to the long-established St Andrews Festival.
“Food and drink is becoming a major selling point for St Andrews, particularly during the quieter months.
“It will form an important part of our emerging plans for promoting St Andrews to different segments of the UK visitor market throughout the year,” said Mr Laughlin.
The photograph shows some of the action in the Tasting Theatre. Left to right are compere Marie Clare James (Federation of Chefs Scotland), Vikki Banks (Seriously Good Venison, Willie Balfour chef/lecturer (SRUC Elmwood Campus)