With great pleasure, I recently attended the press launch of this year’s exciting Budding Chefs programme to hear all about it from co-founders Fred Berkmiller (Escargot Bleu/Blanc) and Vincent Guérin, (director of the Institut Français d’Ecosse), as well as Craig Sandle (head chef at The Caledonian Hotel) and Alex Renton (journalist and food writer).
This is what it is all about:
“The fourth edition of the Budding Chefs in Scotland will see a new group of 16 French budding chefs and waiters come to Scotland from 18 to 22 March. The young chefs will experience the Scottish larder, meet Scottish producers and chefs and run a Pop-up Restaurant at The Hub with their mentor Craig Sandle. The other highlight of the week will involve a series of talks on food and will gather some of the greatest names of the food industry from France, Great Britain and Scandinavia: Nicholas Lander (restaurant critic, England), Roderick Sloan (sea urchin diver, Norway), Michael Booth (journalist and writer, Denmark),Hervé Mons (cheese affineur, France), Erica Randall (gardener, Scotland), Loic Bienassis (historian, France), Tom Kitchin (Chef, Scotland), Craig Sandle (Chef, Scotland) and Fred Berkmiller (Chef, Scotland) will follow one another on The Hub’s stage to talk about gastronomy, larder, restaurants andall other things food. The talks will be chaired by food writer and journalist Alex Renton.”
Hearing about this exciting programme, I almost wish I could stand in one of these youngsters’ shoes and embrace the culinary Auld Alliance! Both events will take place on 22nd of March in the Hub and promise to offer a fantastic day for anyone interested in food. I went to the pop-up restaurant last year and must say, it’s been one of my most memorable dining experiences in 2013! The food was utterly delicious (and plentiful!), the atmosphere great and I met lots of interesting and lovely people including last year's budding chefs.
Tickets can be booked here. This is an opportunity not to be missed! I say that because unfortunately, I am going to miss the event due to my mum’s 60 birthday celebration in France. This, I suppose, is a good excuse, but I would have loved to attend the “Talking Food” series and sample what I’m sure will be a great dinner, especially after having been told that Fred and Vincent are planning a few innovations. Here's the tentalising menu:
Drink on arrival
Amuse bouche Barley and winkle risotto
Starters Pollock Fish Quenelle, Squat Lobster à l’Armoricaine; Whelks Mayonnaise; Rillette of Hot
Smoked and Cured Salmon; Julienne of Seasonal Roots Vegetables, Vinaigrette; Beef Cheeks and
Tongue Pot-au-Feu en Salade; Green Lettuce Salad
Main course Lamb Selection Slow Cooked au naturel, Lamb Jus, Seasonal Roasted Vegetables
Cheese Selection of Cheese by Hervé Mons: Camembert, Roquefort, Selles-sur-Cher
Dessert Gateau Opéra
By attending the dinner, you not only experience the best what Scotland's Larder has to offer in a unique setting but crucially, you support this valuable programme. I look forward to hearing all about it soon!