As Glamis Castle prepares to welcome visitors to explore the many food, drink and craft stalls for its inaugural Autumn Festival on October 9th and 10th, we are excited to be welcoming professional chef, author and Fife Food Ambassador, Christopher Trotter to the event.
Over the two days, Christopher will be presenting cookery demonstrations and promoting his latest book, Coasts & Waters: The British Seafood Cookbook. We caught up with Christopher ahead of the event to chat about all things food and his passion for following the seasons to find the best ingredients for his dishes.
“Angus, the home of Glamis Castle, is a bit of a hidden gem when it comes to quality ingredients,” says Christopher. “The potatoes are particularly good here, the Ogilvie Vodka is exceptional and the fruit grown here is very, very good.”
“In France you can source specific ingredients from specific regions. I always think Scotland is the same. For example, the best asparagus in Scotland is from Glamis, but it’s out of season just now.
“Having worked in England, I realised how easy it is to take the food up here for granted. I’ve always been struck that people are not aware of the food on their doorstep. The quality of produce in Scotland in second to none.
With days to go until the Autumn Festival kicks off, Christopher isn’t committing firmly to the dishes he’ll create during his cookery demonstrations. “I have an idea of which recipes I might demonstrate from my new recipe book, although I like to react to what ingredients I can find on the stalls at the event. There’s always inspiration found when looking around and speaking to the local producers. I’m sure fish will be incorporated and possibly Ogilvie Vodka for a sauce.”
Having attended hundreds of events over the years and met many cooking enthusiasts, the questions Christopher is asked, more often than not, remain the same. “People often say to me “I’d like to cook this recipe, but can’t get the ingredients.” My advice is always to look around first before you decide what you’re going to cook. Consider what’s seasonal and available and follow a recipe on what tastes best and is available at this time of year. I love how cooking changes with the seasons. For example, you might cook some fish with seasonal broad beans and asparagus in the summer. Then, in the winter, cook a heavier sauce or make a fish pie.
“If you can, go to your local farmers’ markets, farm shops, butchers and fish mongers. Shop local and you’ll be amazed by the quality of the ingredients and the flavours you’ll bring out in your cooking. It just makes my day if I can help people think differently about the way they cook and consider what’s being produced locally. By supporting local producers, we are all promoting sustainability.”