Food lovers cook up a storm in Martin Wishart Cooking Challenge

Food lovers have been cooking up a storm at Shetland College in a bid to win a top cookery gong.

Five cooks and their helpers prepared a three course meal today, with a panel of local judges having the enviable job of tasting a range of mouth-watering dishes.

The five contestants entered the Martin Wishart Cooking Challenge, being held as part of this year’s Shetland Food Fair.

Up for grabs is an all-expenses paid trip Martin Wishart’s award-winning restaurant in Edinburgh, with a chance to see behind the scenes.

Chris Percival works away at the hob. Photo: Dave Donaldson.

Jenny Fraser, Neil Beattie, Caroline Tait, Chris Percival and Lindsay Tonner all took part. Three chefs then went through to the final which will be held at the Shetland Food Fair, held from the 28th to 30th of this month.

Nicola Johnston of The Shetland Fudge Company has been involved in the organising of the event.

A range of local produce was used in the dishes, including Papa lamb, beef, Shetland Gin and Sunday teas.

“It’s all been local produce and most of it has been seasonal. There’s been a lot of beef dishes and a lot of seafood and vegetables,” she said.

Mrs Johnston explained her eyes had really been opened to local produce and how much effort goes into sourcing food.

“I think times are changing. People used to go to Tesco but now when they know where it’s [food] is coming from.

“It’s really important to understand why Shetland has done all this and support producers.”

Chairman of the Shetland Food and Drink Association, Marian Armitage was one of the judges and is an organiser of the food fair.

She said: “The whole thing is just so impressive with the way folk have been creative with Shetland ingredients. For example combining cucumber and gin in a sorbet was really clever.

“Folk have sat there and thought outside of the box and there’s a range of cooking skills as well.

“Quite a few things have been long cooked and some have been flash cooked, which reflects the Shetland ingredients.”

Top chef Martin Wishart was on a sailing holiday around Shetland in the summer.

He was interested in Shetland food and visited an abattoir and fish market in the isles.

Despite being unable to come to the Shetland Food Fair he kindly donated the impressive prize.

For more see Friday’s Shetland Times


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