2017 has served up a strong start for the Kilted Chef, Craig Wilson, chef and proprietor of Eat on the Green, Udny Green.
Award nominations, food demonstrations and a new venture, the first six months of the year have been exceptionally busy and signify a growing appetite for Scotland’s food and drink.
Craig says: “I have demonstrated at the Royal Highland Show for the last seven years and the show was immensely successful this year and drew record numbers. From speaking to visitors and exhibitors there was a real buzz around celebrating the best produce from Scotland, with exciting new products coming to the fore and people taking greater interest in where their ingredients are from and how they are created.”
Craig was part of the Aberdeenshire Village at the Royal Highland Show. Working with the Rowett Institute, Craig created a variety of recipes featuring local, fresh ingredients. Scientists from the Institute then analysed the nutritional benefits of each dish, concluding that when using high quality ingredients, the health benefits are increased.
Within the Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) arena, Craig was celebrating Scotch beef, lamb and specially selected pork. He also took part in the judging of a children’s healthy eating snack box, in association with the Food Standards Scotland, with the ten year old winner hailing from Macduff.
To help budding chefs and home cooks hone their skills, Craig held a Kilted Chef Surgery at the annual Taste of Grampian event, he also created a range of delicious Scottish pork recipes, paired with Indian Summer Gin, created by Duncan Taylor Scotch Whisky of Huntly.
Craig continued: “Scottish food and drink is the envy of the world. It is renowned for its quality and variety and is a major contributor to our national economy. I am extremely passionate about using fresh local ingredients in my cooking and it was great to be part of these events which really celebrate the best of food and drink.”
July 1 saw the launch of a new venture for the Kilted Chef as he partnered with Aberdeen International Airport, on a consultancy basis, to provide a locally inspired menu for the newly created Northern Lights Executive VIP Lounge. This forms part of the first phase of the airport’s ongoing transformation project and will celebrate the North East region in all its glory.
“I am proud to be part of this exciting new phase of Aberdeen International Airport and to give people a true taste of the best of Aberdeen City and Shire. The menu features an array of products that perhaps in a flying visit you may not have the time to discover.
"Behind these flavours are food producers who put their heart and soul into creating a product which is fresh, and full of flavour and I am confident they will leave visitors with fond memories of our wonderful, natural larder," he added.