SCOTLAND, UK - In a first of its kind collaboration, industry trade body Seafood Scotland and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society have joined together to put on seafood and whisky pairing events in Edinburgh and London, to show guests just what a good combination these two bed fellows make.
The Edinburgh lunch took place on Tuesday 11 March at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Dining Room, 28 Queen Street, Edinburgh, and the London dinner on will take place Wednesday 12 March at Boisdale of Bishopsgate, Swedeland Court, 202 Bishopsgate, London.
“Seafood and whisky are two of Scotland’s best known exports, and our aim is to encourage more people from within the UK to enjoy them, both on their own and together,” explained Graham Young, head of Seafood Scotland. “By holding celebratory tutored tasting events in the two capitals with food service buyers, food writers, journalists and bloggers, we hope to get the message out far and wide.”
Scottish seafood is worth more than £1 billion per year and is exported to more than 100 countries around the world. In 2012, seafood exports were estimated to be worth £600 million.
The booming Scotch whisky industry is now worth over £4.3 billion to the Scottish economy, a record high accounting for a quarter of the UK’s food and drink exports.
Joining guests at their tables to discuss the quality, sustainability and provenance of Scottish seafood, will be representatives from the Scottish fishing, processing and fish farming industries.
“We think it’s really important to get industry directly involved in these events, and for those at the heart of the business to share their experience and expertise with the media and seafood buyers. We’ve had a great response from all sectors, and are pleased that they are keen to get involved,” said Graham Young.
The events pull together fine Scottish products with some serious talent behind them. Celebrated Scottish chef Mark Greenaway, who has twice represented Scotland on the BBC2 show Great British Menu, is working alongside James Freeman, head chef at The Scotch Malt Whisky Society’s Dining Room for the Edinburgh event, and Neil Churchill, head chef at the Scottish restaurant and bar, Boisdale of Bishopsgate in London.
“Mark has created a menu that highlights the great variety of seafood available from Scottish waters, and each dish is paired with a hand-picked single cask whisky. He has focused on top quality ingredients and transformed them with modern techniques, to showcase fish and shellfish in exciting new ways,” said Graham Young.
Guests will also take home a ‘Scottish Recipe Kit’, with all ingredients included to recreate one of Mark’s signature dishes, Cullen Skink with a twist, along with a special miniature bottle of whisky.
“This project has enabled us to form some exciting new partnerships with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society and Boisdale, and I am sure there will be more of this type of activity to come,” said Graham Young.
Tasting notes will be provided for each of the whiskies, and diners talked through the pairing process. “Some are a complementary match and some will challenge the taster, and we look forward to their comments,” said chef James Freeman.
“As experts in whisky and food pairings, we were delighted to work alongside Seafood Scotland in pairing two of Scotland’s finest products to create exceptional results,” said Mark van der Vijver, UK Sales Manager for The Scotch Malt Whisky Society.
“We have a wide range of whisky to choose from as the Society bottles the finest single cask whisky from around 350 single casks every year, from over 130 distilleries. The nature of the single cask means that each bottling offered by the Society is rare and limited.”
Katie Ingall, Operations Director of the Boisdale group is thrilled to be working on this event with Seafood Scotland and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, whose whiskies already feature at Boisdale of Canary Wharf.
“This celebration of the best of Scottish seafood and the finest single malt whiskies epitomises the Boisdale commitment to heritage and provenance. We feel that our restaurants are some of the world’s best for sampling whisky, with a range of almost 2,000 malts including own bottling limited editions, produced for us by Berry Bros & Rudd,” she said.
TheFishSite News Desk