View Full Version : Catering chefs see Scottish seafood for themselves

Davie Tait
26th June 2013, 16:26
http://www.fishupdate.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/19778/Catering_chefs_see_Scottish_seafood_for_themselves .html

Seafood Scotland helped to organise a highly successful trip to the northeast seafood industry last week for the executive chef and five head chefs from Baxterstorey Catering, in a joint initiative with fish processor George Campbell & Sons of Perth.

The visit was planned as an introduction to the wealth and quality of seafood available from Scotland.

The chefs, who jointly cater for around 2,500 people every day, were welcomed with a presentation on the Scottish industry and a discussion on the merits of sustainable, seasonal and top quality local supply. This was reinforced by a screening of the Seafish film, “The Business of Fishing.”

Over dinner, John Buchan Snr, skipper of the Ocean Venture, answered numerous queries about life at sea and how the fishing industry has developed into a responsible, accountable business over the past few decades.

Of particular interest to the group was a trip to Peterhead market, on one of its busiest days this year, where they were impressed by the variety, quality and freshness of the fish. This was followed by a visit onboard the Lunar vessels Harvester and Ocean Harvest, which enabled them to discuss the merits of modern fishing technology, to learn about single and pair trawling techniques, and to understand the steps fishermen take to land a consistent, high quality catch.

“We couldn’t have taken this group to the market on a better day, as they saw 7,000 boxes of fish for sale, including 2500 haddock, 900 cod, 1200 hake and 800 squid, which was a good illustration of the bounties of our seas,” said Jess Sparks, environmental and technical manager for Seafood Scotland, who organised the visit.

To illustrate the shellfish processing sector, Sandy McRobbie, general manager of Laeso, hosted the party to a tour of the Peterhead-based processing unit, where they saw langoustine and scallops being prepared for UK and export sale.

Iain Campbell, MD of George Campbell & Sons, was delighted with the organisation of the visit for one of his major customers and impressed by the diversity of seafood shown to them. “As the middle link in a chain that goes from the sea to caterers and consumers, we felt it was important for the two ends to meet. The trip allowed the chefs and catchers/processors to gain an insight into what each other does and the challenges they face on a day to day basis, and also to understand Campbell’s part in the supply process,” he said.

Baxterstorey are committed to sourcing local Scottish seafood and believe that that this type of learning journey with their key supplier is a great way to stimulate knowledge and increased usage.

“My chefs were overawed by their visit and fascinated by everything they heard and saw. They were especially impressed by the passion of all our hosts for their industry. It certainly exceeded our expectations and has inspired everyone to come up with innovative new dishes for their customers. We are already planning a summer promotion on hake and will also be cooking more with fish such as ling, coley and pollock in the future,” said Keith Donaldson, Regional Executive Chef Scotland.