The Scottish red meat industry is pulling out all the stops to ensure visitors to the 2014 Royal Highland Show leave the showground with a better understanding of what makes the beef, lamb and pork produced in Scotland stand out from the crowd.
Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is set to deliver an unprecedented range of activity at the show – from top celebrity chefs showing just how simple it is to cook delicious, low-cost meals using Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and Specially Selected Pork from scratch to butchery demonstrations showing the skills and innovation of some of Scotland’s top butchers.
On the opening day of the show (Thursday 19th June) the QMS stand will host the finals of a national school Commonwealth Burger competition, which is being run in conjunction with the Scotch Butchers Club. Pupils were challenged to create a delicious burger with a Commonwealth twist using Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI and/or Specially Selected Pork.
Ahead of the final selection, local butchers have been visiting each of the shortlisted primary schools to give the children a special masterclass on cooking healthy meals from scratch as well as helping them refine their tasty ‘Commonwealth Burger’ recipe.
The final will be announced live on the QMS stand at 1pm next Thursday (June 19th) by judges including singer Max Murphy from BBC’s The Voice who will also be getting behind the microphone to play an acoustic set on the stand after the judging!
A trio of top Scottish chefs will also be entertaining the crowds on the ringside stand over the four days. The irrepressible Lady Claire Macdonald will be in the QMS cookery theatre on Thursday and Friday (19th and 20th June) and Jaqueline O’Donnell, who has been starring in BBC’s Great British Menu, will take to the stage on Saturday (21st June).
On Sunday (June 22nd) Nick Nairn will be jetting in from the USA to rustle up delights such as Scotch Beef Cheek Casserole with Arran Mustard Mash and Buttered Kale and Spiced Pork Medallions with Homemade Pasta and Crispy Sage.
The Dykes family, stars of this year’s highly successful BBC Lambing Live, will be bring some “celebrity” ewes and lambs which featured in the show, hosted by Kate Humble and Adam Henson, to the stand.
Hamish and Susie Dykes and family of South Slipperfield Farm, West Linton will be answering questions during “An Audience with the Dykes” Q&A session at 1.30pm on Saturday (June 21st), hosted by television presenter, Cat Cubie.
Reporters from The Scottish Farmer magazine will take on their counterparts from Farmers Guardian at 3.15pm on Saturday (June 21st) in a head-to-head cook-off which is sure to see the temperature rising in the QMS cookery theatre!
The three skilled young butchers who will be performing butchery demonstrations on the QMS stand are Jamie Syme of Alex Mitchell Butchers in Glenrothes, Gary Raeburn of Forbes Raeburn and Son, Huntly and John Davidson of Davidson’s Specialist Butchers, Inverurie.
The health and education area of the QMS stand has also been refreshed and, as well as hearing more about the production of livestock, and the industry’s quality assurance schemes, the public will also find information about career opportunities in the industry and its importance to Scotland’s economy and environment.
QMS will also be working with the Royal Highland Education Trust to cook with around 1000 children in the Discovery Centre where youngsters will be having fun while learning how to cook tasty, healthy meals.
Key journalists and bloggers from some of the Scottish red meat industry’s most important markets will also be attending the event, as part of trips supported by QMS.
’Uel Morton, QMS Chief Executive, said: “The Royal Highland Show offers an unrivalled opportunity for our industry to get its messages across to the general public and the QMS team will be pulling out all the stops to do so at the event next week.
“We hope that as many as possible of the 170,000 or so visitors to the show take the opportunity to hear about the dedication and commitment of those who work in the different parts of our industry and the hard work required and pride taken in producing beef, lamb and pork which have earned a global reputation for quality, taste and trust.”