Research & Articles
This research by Gillian MacDonald looks at sheep and the culture surrounding them in Scotland. The work culminates in a blind tasting of mutton from all the breeds we could find, to identify and develop the sensory vocabulary around mutton. A fascinating read!
RESEARCH PROJECT : The evolution of Scottish traditional dairy desserts
If the idea of a sensory tasting of 25 ‘traditional’ Scottish dairy desserts would have you banging the door down we would counsel caution. Even the team here, fans of the wild, unfettered, non-homogenised found there to be limits to our lactic acid tolerances! But Maria Garcia Vilanova did just that as the sensory element of her unique research project into the tradition of dairy desserts in Scotland.
As we peek through the door of the newly opened Noma 2.0 we see no signs of the Nordic influence on Scottish cooking - or at least restaurant cooking - waining. But is Nordic really a new thing in Scottish cuisine, or has it just been buried under centuries of other influences. Orlando Addis explores the Scottish-Nordic cuisine connections and reminds us that Buckfast, is in fact, English!
Finally, and not before time, the world is beginning to switch on to the ridiculousness of the amount of stuff we waste. Peter's experience stage-ing in professional kitchens has given him a unique insight and exploration of waste from the perspective of the kitchen, and how as chefs, we tend to want to eek the maximum out of everything so waste little in terms of raw materials. However we have zero control over the wastage if we buy things in commercially or what our diners waste...
Oats are often overlooked as simple, plain ingredients, playing deference to far sexier ingredients and dishes, however they are uniquely interwoven into the Scottish diet and landscape. In her gorgeous study, Alex Genis has picked up the humble oat and explored its unique role in our culture both past, present and future...
NO BALL GAMES
It sometimes takes a local to notice the patterns and connections of their patch, which is exactly what David McVey does in his trio of personal observations about the changing nature of his neighbourhood, Leith. It’s easy to focus on the demises of community, but here he sees how forbidden spaces to him as a child, represented by the NO BALL GAMES sign, have been put to better use by the community.
The best chefs can't cook
As people who often share our kitchen with world class chefs we get to see first hand how other people work and to experience their personal attitudes to perfection, standards and achieving your potential. Doug McMaster has cooked in the ‘best’ restaurants in the world and now runs his own. He reflects on whether 'perfection' and ‘best’ are the right things to aim for, and what the alternative is.
White Matter : Thinking about Salt
Regardless of the chef, the theme, the flavours, or any other variable, the one constant we use in our cooking is salt. So we were delighted that Amanda contacted us and suggested she explore the magical world of salt and what represents. Elisa then took Amanda’s original idea to write this piece - a springboard that might just make you think differently about this gem from the kitchen.
It’s been a busy month here with special events every weekend. There’s always a sense of anticipation as we wait to welcome our chef on a Wednesday, at times, bag bursting with treasures from their own kitchen. Our guest chefs and collaborators often bring ‘hard to find’ ingredients and in Jaime Rodriguez’s case, there were 25 different components in his bag, including big-ass ants.
The pass is the division between the front of the house and the back of the house. The pass is the point where the prepared dishes are transferred from the cooking staff to the wait-staff. It is a wall that neither group is supposed to cross.
Maybe the television chefs that do the yell and throw things are doing so for ratings. Is the audience watching this type of cooking show just to see the star chef have a tantrum? Does the same audience watch the cooking competitions not to see the winner, but to see who fucks up and how badly? This audience must really love it when the same competitor then explodes in anger.
After the chef, the dishwasher is the most powerful person in a modern kitchen.
How local is local? Peter Hertzmann explores what 'local food' means today.
Join us for a stroll down Leith Walk, from the head to the foot, picking up on some of the cultures that inform the way we eat.
We are quick to emphasise on the French influence on the Scottish kitchen, but we inherited the most important recipe of all from the Dutch: the secret of salt-herring.
Most fish in Scotland is sold as fillets. Of course it is. That’s the bit we eat. Aye, but just as a good cook would never let some beef shins or chicken bones go to waste, why aren’t we thinking about fish in the same way? What about the bones, the head, the offal? What happens to that? It seems a shame to waste it.
The Rev. George Barry in his 1805 History of the Orkney Islands describes how “the flesh of the young seals is used fresh; and, both in that state and in that of hams, is said to be tolerable.”
a little recipe on wild foraged snails I'd picked around Glasgow - a fine delicacy that is often overlooked on our home turf.
Many of our guest chefs have chosen to feature Halibut, learn how to make two beautiful dishes.
Making butter is a relatively simple mechanical process, but at every stage there are many small, nuanced choices to make. These choices are your opportunity to make the butter in your own 'style'.
‘Wasted’ is a platform for ideas, a whole bunch of connected thoughts, a cognitive extravaganza where being aware was inspiring. Wasted influences food rationalism and supersedes pessimism.
Sheep, goats and cattle were milked in Scotland since domestic animals were first introduced around the fourth millennium BC.
I was spending the month as writer-in-residence at the Edinburgh Food Studio, a restaurant and, as it says on the front window, a food research hub.