Jak O’Donnell takes to the net to catch seafood lovers

In a bid to encourage more Scots to get fishy in the kitchen, and at the same time support the ailing Scottish seafood industry, Seafood Scotland has brought its virtual Supper Club to Glasgow, putting chefs and budding cooks together online to create restaurant quality seafood dishes at home. 

Foodies that are missing their favourite restaurants can use the treasured recipes gifted by celebrated Scottish chefs, along with step by step instructions and video content designed to make cooking seafood easy and accessible for all.

The Glasgow event was hosted last night by Jak O’Donnell, Chef Parton of The Sisters restaurants, when she took a group of influencers through a recipe for her ‘Super Steamed Fish’ using Scottish salmon, or Scottish white fish, with Thai flavours. 

The guests, which included Dougie Donnelly, Fred MacAulay, social media influencer Lauren Gourlay, Catriona Stewart of The Herald and fitness entrepreneur John Valbonesi, will share the recipe, video and tips they have picked up with their social audiences along with discount codes for local seafood suppliers that can deliver to the door.  Consumers will also be able to access the recipe materials directly at www.seafoodfromscotland.org

Further Seafood Supper Club events are planned for Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, all using fish and ingredients that are easy to find as part of an essential shop. 

The initiative is designed to provide market support for the seafood sector in Scotland, which is suffering greatly as a result of the current coronavirus pandemic.  With 80% of Scottish seafood usually destined for international markets the industry is hoping that people will take advantage of the increased availability of fresh Scottish seafood, now often available direct to the door through the many businesses that have taken up contactless home delivery, or via existing fishmongers and retailers.   

Around 60% of the seafood we eat is imported, but now is the time to ‘eat local, buy Scottish’. 

Donna Fordyce, Interim Head of Seafood Scotland, said: “The harsh fact is that the seafood sector in Scotland is in a dire situation.  Businesses and communities along our coasts are on the brink of collapse after their markets all but disappeared overnight.  Families that have for generations depended on the fishing sector are contemplating a bleak future. 

“The one thing that is keeping them going is the local consumer market.  If people buy Scottish seafood to cook at home, businesses may survive.  We know people are sometimes a bit hesitant of cooking fish and shellfish at home, but it’s pretty simple when you know how, which is why we’ve asked Scotland’s chefs to lend a helping hand.”

Scottish seafood is available in supermarkets and direct from fishmongers, processors and in some cases, the fishermen themselves as many have diversified to provide income through the crisis.  consumers can search for local providers of all types of produce – seafood included at an online hub created by Scotland Food and Drink – www.supportlocal.scot.

Jak O’Donnell said: “Scotland has the most wonderful seafood, and so many people shy away from cooking it at home because it seems difficult and complicated. But really, there are so many easy, quick recipes that make it a joy to cook and eat.

“Last night was brilliant. It was like getting into people’s homes to show them how best to make a healthy, delicious meal which only took four minutes to cook. The Scottish seafood industry is so important and we simply must go on supporting by buying and cooking local.”

Broadcaster Dougie Donnelly said: “Last night’s supper club was brilliant – I can now add an easy and delicious fish recipe to my vast repertoire! We’re missing going to our favourite restaurants, so this was really enjoyable. I love Scottish seafood, it’s world class and it’s really important to support the industry.”


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