What a great few days at ScotHot! Scotland’s leading hospitality event, the largest of its kind for hospitality with over 7000 people flocking to the event held at the SEC Glasgow.
Now in its 46th year, the show offered exhibitions from over 200 different suppliers. It included talks and live demonstrations from leading professional chefs, culinary competitions to showcase Scotland’s up and coming new chefs, as well as educational seminars discussing the latest trends in food and drink. For everything liquid related from craft beer to artisanal sodas, there was The Liquid Academy Live, who bought their creative expertise, expert knowledge to their live stage. New for this year was the ‘The Covered Market’, introduced to celebrate local and independent product suppliers. ScotHot has increased in size by 10% since the previous show in 2017. The atmosphere and buzz that filled the room was unmissable.
Positioned right opposite The Staff Canteen stage, where throughout the course of the two days we got to see eight leading professional chef create masterpieces to share with the live audience. This allowed any passers-by, or members of the audience to get to not only watch the creation happen, but to sample the end result – with the addition of a few prizes here and there.
In case you weren’t able to attend, here’s a roundup of who we saw:
Opening the stage, we had Peter McKenna from The Gannet who wowed us all by cooking Scallops two-ways in under the allocated thirty-minute time schedule. Peter added Lemon Sorrel from our Micro Leaf range to his raw scallops giving a splash of green as well as a juicy lemon sourness.
Lorna McNees from Andrew Fairlie restaurant created a simply stunning dish for her live demonstration. The way she presented her Roe Deer with sauce poivrade and salt baked celeriac was impeccable. Lorna won Game Chef of the Year in 2016 and she certainly showed us why she was worthy of that title.
Scott Smith from Fhior demonstrated how he used the Skirt, a less common cut of Beef, as the main element to his dish. Paired with watercress porridge, fermented swede and pepper dulse. Our Blue Pepe Nasturtium Leaves from our inspired range complemented his dish perfectly, offering floral peppery notes without being too overpowering.
Next we had Dean Banks, a runner up in MasterChef: The Professionals 2018. Dean cooked a mouth-watering Nori Salmon, salmon roe, with three-way cucumber, wasabi mayonnaise which he made during the demo. He finished his dish with a light dusting of matcha green tea, topped off with our Wasabi Leaf and a Cucumber Flower for flavour and visual impact, yum!
Throughout the day during the live demonstrations, the audience had an opportunity to taste Westlands Micro Leaf and Edible Flowers that the chefs were using in their dishes. Many were pleasantly surprised with how the leaves were packed full of flavour and unexpected tastes, especially the edible Cucumber Flowers that Dean Banks used.
To end Day One, Jamie Scott from the Newport, winner of MasterChef: The Professionals 2014, cooked Belted Galloway Beef Cheek pan fried with our Micro Thyme and Micro Garlic Chives. These gave the Beef Cheek a bit of extra cheek with delicious aromatic flavour.
Day Two revealed the same high energy spirit as the day before. Walking around the show you were faced with endless inspiration from botanical gins to tasty cakes, luxurious bedding to fragrant coffee, and so much more.
Jonathan MacDonald from the Ox and Finch was first up. Jonathan served Lamb Neck with smoked potato and Wild Garlic Verde. With Lamb so tender it melted in your mouth, this phenomenal dish still has us dreamy about the flavours.
Aizle Restaurant owner Stuart Ralston cooked his Scottish Cod with celeriac and grapes. We loved how Stuart pan fried his Cod in potato starch for that extra crisp coating. The clash of colours from the stark white of the Cod against the greenness of the grapes, made an impact we won’t forget. Who knew you could use grapes that way.
Closing the Staff Canteen live demo stage was Nick Briggs. Nick spoilt the audience with two Scottish Calamari dishes. His first was a crisp squid ink tapioca cracker with citrus cured Calamari. His second dish was his personal take on a mushroom ‘risotto’ with St. Andrews Bay Lobster, roasted pepper and almond puree, Calamari tempura and squid ink. Nick diced the mushrooms finely to resemble risotto rice. When creating the tempura, he used vodka to replace water which gave a crispier batter.
Overall the Scottish Hospitality show 2019 was a great success for exhibitors and attendees. All of us at Westlands would like the thank the team at The Staff Canteen and all of the chefs for demonstrating their dishes on stage.
We absolutely loved meeting all the visiting chefs that came to our stand to speak to us. As a family business based in the Midlands, having the opportunity to travel the country and speak to our customers face to face about our British speciality produce is invaluable to us. The reputation of our business has been built on the relationships we’ve developed with our many customers. We loved hearing how you’ve used our products, and the feedback from you. With Westlands product knowledge and the chefs great culinary skills, together we can work toward a better tasting Britain!