100% ‘Made in Scotland’ menu puts Scottish food in the spotlight
Queensferry-based catering and hospitality firm Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events has delivered an entirely Scottish menu for more than 800 guests in a major culinary challenge.
Its craft & innovation team spent four months planning the 100% Scottish feast for international tourism executives attending the annual VisitScotland Expo at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange to showcase what Scotland has to offer.
The bespoke dinner involved meticulous planning, with staple ingredients like sugar, garlic and onions, which are not commercially grown in Scotland in the necessary volumes, having to be replaced and alternatives with Scottish provenance identified and used instead.
Head chef Tom Beauchamp said: “We wanted to do something completely different and put ourselves to the test by ensuring, down to the last grain of salt, every ingredient was grown, farmed or made in Scotland. We faced challenges at every course, for example how can you make a dessert for 850 people without sugar? But it forced us to think laterally and allowed us to really understand the amazing producers we work with.
“We foraged for wild garlic in West Lothian and harvested rosemary and thyme from the garden of one of our sous chef’s parents. Only three chefs were allowed to add any ingredients to the dishes, as even a speck of pepper erroneously being included would end our mission on achieving 100% Scottish provenance.”
Eight-hundred-and-fifty guests enjoyed the unique three-course dining experience.
Malcolm Roughhead, chief executive at VisitScotland, said: “We were bowled over by Sodexo’s passion and ambition to create an entirely Scottish menu for the VisitScotland Expo Dinner this year.
“Due to their strong relationship with Scottish producers and their undoubtedly extensive knowledge of ingredients, they delivered an incredible dinner, allowingtourism operators from across the globe the opportunity to sample Scotland’s amazing natural larder.
“VisitScotland expo is the country’s biggest travel trade event and showcases the best that Scotland has to offer in accommodation, entertainment, attractions and scenery as well as food and drink. A menu that boasted 100% Scottish provenance was therefore the perfect fit for the evening.”