Food competition organisers urge folk to take part in rural hall cook-offs

Shetland Food and Drink’s cooking competitions for this year are now open for applications – with this year’s show going on the road.

Following the success of last year’s Peerie Bites competition for bairns the adult competition has been renamed “Muckle Bites”.

Six community halls will each be hosting a heat of the competition and holding a supporting event on the day. They are: Bigton on 29th September; Whalsay on 5th October; Vidlin on 19th October; Unst on 26th October; Skeld on 2nd November; and Sandwick’s Carnegie on 10th November.

The Muckle Bites competition is open to over-18s and participants can apply to one hall only.

Spokeswoman Joanne Williams said: “Applicants select and prepare an interesting two-course meal of their choice – it can be a starter and main course or a main course and dessert.

“They should be able to complete that in 30 to 35 minutes. We are not looking for haute cuisine – just good imaginative home cooking.

“In some cases, and after discussion, it will be fine to have a ‘here’s one I made earlier’. They should cook for one to two people.”

The Peerie Bites competition is in two parts: junior – for bairns currently of primary school age; and senior – for those of secondary school age.

All bairns are very welcome to apply. Applicants must plan and make one savoury dish using Shetland produce for the key item. In addition, they should also submit a very short film clip – no more than two minutes – on a phone where they show what they are doing and why.

All entries should be emailed to at the latest two weeks before the date of the heat to which they are applying.

Ms Williams added: “We really encourage the Shetland public to get behind the contestants and support their local cooks. Some folk have already said that they intend to attend all six heats.

“One winner from each category will go through to the finals at the Taste of Shetland Festival on 23rd and 24th November at Islesburgh.

“We hope for lots of friendly local rivalry. Watch the press and check out our website for more details.”

For Muckle Bites the prize, for two, is a six-course tasting dinner with matching wines at Restaurant Martin Wishart in Leith with flights and an overnight stay in Edinburgh. Winners from the junior and senior sections will have places at Gary Maclean’s Saturday Cook School at the City of Glasgow College for a day of activities including lunch, as well as flights and accommodation.

For full details of how to apply visit


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