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 Aberdeen, 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 Aberdeen event was hosted last night by Craig Wilson, AKA ‘The Kilted Chef’ of Eat on the Green at Ellon, when he took a group of influencers through a recipe for his ‘Corn on the Cod’ using meaty Scottish cod, with fresh flavours.
The guests, which included ‘Foodie Quine’ Claire Jessiman, the Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon MSP, Julia Bryce of the Press and Journal, Northsound’s Lauren Mitchell and singer songwriter Fiona Kennedy, were there to learn the dish and can share the recipe, video and tips they have picked up. Consumers will also be able to access the recipe materials directly at www.seafoodfromscotland.org
Further Seafood Supper Club events are planned for Dundee, Edinburgh and the West Coast, 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.
Chef Craig Wilson said: “ What a great night! Everyone did really well cooking along, and their dishes looked amazing. We made a simple but delicious recipe called Corn on the Cod, which any level of home cook could master. That’s what this is all about- encouraging everyone to have a go at cooking fish themselves. We have amazing fish on our shores- let’s make the most of our World Class Scottish Seafood!”
Minister for Rural Affairs and the Natural Environment Mairi Gougeon MSP “We can all do our bit to support our fishing industry and seafood sector in Scotland by buying and consuming more fish and shellfish.
“The seafood supper clubs are a fantastic initiative and I was delighted to take part, the one key thing it highlighted to me was just how simple it is to cook and prepare fish at home, so my advice would be don’t feel intimidated!
“Our seafood in Scotland is the envy of the world and I would encourage everyone to give it a try or simply experiment a bit more at home. Not only is our seafood nutritious and versatile, by supporting your local fishmonger, mobile fish van or even buying more seafood at the supermarket you will also be playing a vital part in sustaining our seafood sector in Scotland.”
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