Fifers urged to share their food memories

Scottish chef Shirley Spear, owner of the world renowned restaurant, The Three Chimneys, in Skye with  Darcy Burnham (7) from Troon
Scottish chef Shirley Spear, owner of the world renowned restaurant, The Three Chimneys, in Skye with Darcy Burnham (7) from Troon

Fifers are being urged to share their food memories as part of a nationawide appeal to uncover Scotland’s most treasured tastes.

Shirley Spear, Scottish chef and food enthusiast, has teamed up with VisitScotland to find out the nation’s favourite family meals and recipes that have been handed down through the generations.

Whether it is helping granny make her special raggy biscuits or enjoying a plate of fish pie - made from a fresh catch by fisherman in the East Neuk - VisitScotland wants locals to highlight the places and the people behind our favourite dishes.

As part of the Year of Food and Drink 2015, a number of these food memories are being compiled in a unique one-off recipe book called “You’ll Have Had Yet Tea? - Treasured Tastes of Scotland.”

The book, which is due to be published later this year, is set to take readers on a culinary journey from the shores of Shetland all the way down to the rolling hills of the Scottish Borders.

As well as showcasing traditional food and drink, the book will help shine a light on the personal stories behind family recipes, inspiring readers to revive some great home-cooking as well as encouraging them to come and sample Scotland’s wonderful natural larder.

The nationwide appeal was officially launched at the Taste Our Best accredited Willow Tearooms, based in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, recently by Shirley Spear - who owns the renowned restaurant, The Three Chimneys in Skye - and is chairman of the Scottish Food Commission, along with Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland.

Shirley said: “It’s such a pleasure to be involved in this delightful project.

“I’ve long been an ambassador of family cooking. Some of my most cherished memories are of spending time with my mum, baking jam tarts and fairy cakes, followed years later with teaching my own children how to cook simple, basic things at home.

“Now I hope to pass on stories about where our all our delicious ingredients come from to my grandchildren.

“We all have these food memories that instantly transport us back to a precious time in our lives.

‘Treasured Tastes of Scotland’ will provide a voice for these recipes and the stories behind them from all over the country so that people both now and in the future are inspired to visit Scotland and sample its amazing local produce.”

She added: “I‘m very much looking forward to reading the entries and as many people as possible will take part in this nationwide search.”

Manuela Calchini, VisitScotland regional partnerships director, said: “Everyone has a delicious unforgettable meal they remember.

“My personal favourite is homemade scones smothered in strawberry jam.

“It reminds me of going to one of Fife’s many pick-your-own farms armed with a small basket full to the brim with berries freshly picked that morning.

“The recipe book idea is a way for us to inspire people across Fife to discover more about the culinary offering on their doorstep and be proud of the traditional tastes created in their hometowns or family holiday destinations.”

Recipes must be submitted along with a story about the location or circumstances behind the meal. Entries can be sent either online on the dedicated webpage or by post.

All entries will be placed in a prize draw to win a one-night B&B stay for two at the Three Chimneys and The House Over-By in Skye.

Entries can be submitted until July 3.

Full terms and conditions are available on the VisitScotland website.

To submit your entry or for more information visit: www.visitscotland.org/Treasured-Taste.aspx