Settling in Edinburgh 4 years ago, I now travel around Scotland providing seasonally inspired, locally sourced catering for shoot and fishing lodges, private homes and corporate premises. Previously, I worked worldwide on yachts, this had many unique rewards and challenges along the way…
The yachts would be wintered in Europe – either Spain, Greece or Turkey. When the tourists have gone you see what the locals really eat. This would mean eating lunch or the Menu del Dia with the local boat workers in Barcelona (they really love their creme caramel), or sipping the strongest of strong greek coffee with warm sweet pastries on the streets of Athens.
Sometimes we would cross the Atlantic at the end of the European summer to the warmth of the Caribbean. The ocean crossing was an experience in determination. Preparing food in 3metre seas is no mean feat..
Once there, the joy of haggling with street vendors on Caribbean islands for the freshest fruit at the lowest prices, the warmth of bananas from the plantation, mangoes from the tree, more than made up for it.
At the end of my journey I lived and worked on a yacht in Jordan, whilst there I developed an insane love for the middle eastern spices, and learned to truly cook with the seasons, when nothing else is available you have no choice!
Before this I travelled and worked as a scuba diver instructor, I hand dived for Scallops, battled with Crayfish and Lobster as well as wrestling with Octopi in New Zealand. I am a whizz at shucking Oysters and can gut and prepare fish no problem!
To all these experiences, I now add my love of Scottish produce; so much is available and beautiful on our doorstep, the best Scotch Beef, tender Lamb, wild Salmon, Trout, loch reared Mackerel and hand dived succulent Scallops. Add to this the Highland cheeses – Lanark Blue, Clava Organic Brie, Isle of Mull Cheddar and Crowdie soft cheese. The Asparagus produced in Scotland has a shorter season, but produces tender tasty stems from the harsher winters. then the Perthshire soft fruits; raspberries, strawberries, redcurrants and gooseberries. Then of course all the amazing artisan creators that utilise this produce.
I combine all my food knowledge and experience to create healthy, unique and seasonal food combinations, with the emphasis on enjoyment.
No shouting or stress is ever involved in the creation of my dishes….