A group of nine chefs from Fife this month embarked on a learning journey to discover what sets Scotch Lamb PGI apart and how it gets from field to fork.
The journey, which was a joint initiative between Savour St Andrews and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), kicked off a raft of St Andrew’s Day festivities to celebrate the very best of Scotland’s larder.
The local chefs met at the Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, St Andrews then travelled to a nearby sheep farm to learn more about Scotch Lamb PGI.
Host farmer George Milne, Development Officer of NSA Scotland, shared his experiences of farming in the area with the foodie fanatics. He highlighted the dedication, care and stockmanship skills behind the production of top quality Scotch Lamb PGI as well as the importance of quality assurance and the Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) status.
“We are extremely proud of the Scotch Lamb PGI we produce. To carry the Scotch Lamb PGI logo, lamb must have been reared in Scotland to very high standards,” said Mr Milne.
“It was great to meet the chefs, give them some insight into production and inspire them about lamb and what a fantastic versatile product it is. I hope that with their new understanding of all that is behind Scotch Lamb, they will take even more pride in preparing and serving it to their customers,” he said.
The chefs also travelled to Fife College Leven Campus to take part in a butchery demonstration. Master butcher Stewart McClymont, from the Smiddy Butchery, Blair Drummond, demonstrated the art of breaking down a saddle of Scotch Lamb PGI. The group then got a chance to butcher their own French trimmed rack of lamb and rolled lamb loin.
“I’m a huge Scotch Lamb fan and it was great to give the chefs a chance to get some hands-on experience of preparing different cuts of lamb which look top quality visually but are also packed with flavour for their customers,” said Stewart McClymont.
As part of the experience the chefs enjoyed a three course Scotch Lamb lunch at the Old Course Hotel, a member of Quality Meat Scotland’s Scotch Butchers Club, where they met executive chef Martin Hollis.
Mr Hollis created a lunch menu to showcase the versatility of the meat and highlight how to be adventurous with cheaper cuts.
The group of chefs enjoyed a starter of Epigram of Lamb Belly, black pudding and a deep fried poached egg hollandaise. This was followed by a “Trio of Lamb” main course which consisted of pave of Scotch Lamb herb, skewer of lamb offal pease pudding, braised lamb neck herb, crushed potatoes, parsley veloute, grilled leeks and honeyed parsnips.
Later in the month Chef Hollis will be joined by a host of top-ranking Scottish chefs for the Savour St Andrews dinner (30th November 2017). This will see around 120 discerning guests from across the country attend the five-star Old Course Hotel Golf Resort and Spa and enjoy the main course of Scotch Lamb PGI.
Ciara Etherson, Marketing Executive, QMS said: “The chef’s journey has been fantastic opportunity to help chefs understand the care and attention involved in Scotch Lamb production from field to fork. Scotch Lamb PGI is delicious, simple to cook and very much in season at this time of year making it the ideal choice for St Andrew’s Day celebrations around the country.”
For more information, inspiration and delicious Scotch Lamb recipes visit www.ScotchKitchen.com or visit us on Facebook and Twitter @ScotchKitchen.
For information on foodie events in St Andrews or to book a place at the St Andrews Day Dinner, visit www.SavourStAndrews.com.
To book a place at the St Andrew's Day Dinner at The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa on November 30th Email - firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44(0)1334 468181