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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Young Fathers, Belle & Sebastian and Idlewild to Headline Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival Music Line-Up

Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival is excited to announce DJ sets from Young Fathers, Belle & Sebastian, Idlewild and Metronomy’s Olugbenga at their Bank Holiday weekend festival in Edinburgh.

Young Fathers will headline the Friday night DJ slot with Idlewild on stage during the day on Saturday and Belle & Sebastian to play at the festival on Saturday night. Sunday’s session will feature a DJ set from Olugbenga Adelekan from Metronomy.

Over thirty internationally renowned brewers will fly in from around the world to participate in Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival; kicking off on the May Bank Holiday weekend, Friday 26th May - Sunday 28th at The Biscuit Factory in Leith.

Among them are Lervig, Firestone Walker, Dugges, Beerbliotek, Pohjala, Mikkeller HQ, Brooklyn Brewery and Sierra Nevada

For many of the participating brewers, it will be the first time they have touched down on Scottish soil where they will exhibit their beers to a festival audience of 3,000 people.

Completing the line-up, is an all-star selection of Scottish and English craft breweries, including from England, Beavertown, Kernel, Thornbridge, Magic Rock, and Northern Monk. From Scotland Tempest, BrewDog, Pilot, and Fierce Beer will be showcasing their beers.

Up to 200 beers will be available to try including new-to-market brews, cult classics and festival specials.

Tickets start at £30 (plus booking fee) and include entry to the festival, souvenir glass and the chance to explore all the special beers on offer.

Popular local street market, The Pitt will provide the food offering, including usual favourites, Umami Spice Girl and Pizza Geeks.

Speaking of the music line-up, Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival organiser Greg Wells said:

"We are beyond excited to announce our music line-up and begin the countdown to the first Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival.

We wanted our music line-up to reflect the vibe of the festival, offering both heavy hitters names and rising stars to complete the roster.

Up until now, craft beer festivals in Scotland have focused on local or up-and-coming talent. What we're seeking to do at Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival is bring together the best of beer, full stop.

Our hand-picked line-up will see superstar craft brewers from Sweden, New Zealand, America, Norway and even England pour their beers in Scotland for the very first time. Needless to say, this is not a beer festival to miss."

Tickets for Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival are available now:


Mediterranean Mezze Brings Sun-Drenched Dishes and Stunning Views to The Table

Bask in the heat of the Mediterranean – as stylish restaurant and bar Mezze has officially opened down by the Clyde. Hundreds of customers joined them on their first weekend as the restaurant brought welcomed sunshine to the city.
Set on the top floor of the Rotunda complex, the split-level bustling contemporary foodie oasis offers impressive seafood dishes, mouthwatering chargrilled meats and kebabs alongside spectacular views out across the River Clyde and SEC Hydro.
Led by head chefs, Alex Lioly and Ridi Mukja, their modern dishes shine on the menu, as Mezze showcases the diverse Mediterranean culture and landscape – with Greek, Cypriot, Ionian islands and Turkish influences that reinvent classic fare. The dishes – a combination of small and big plates have been created to share and to complement the casual, laid-back atmosphere and vibe of the space.
Sharing specialities include whole chargrilled sea bream, slow-cooked kleftiko lamb shoulder – a real show stopper, slow cooked chicken tava stews, and seafood saganaki stews that are perfect for bringing friends and family together.
Designed by CM Design Consultants, the 60-seater restaurant boasts postcard blue walls, comfortable and colourful fabric and leather booths and white washed tables and chairs that will transport you to port of Thessaloniki whilst you dine. For drinkers, a relaxing bar area is set under a spectacular Santorini-inspired blue dome feature ceiling that provides a dreamy oasis for cocktails or a quiet glass of wine before or after dinner.
Brought to you by restaurateurs, Kevin Campbell and Toni Carbajosa – who own Greek-Cypriot restaurant Halloumi and Rioja tapas and cocktail bar in Finnieston, the new restaurant will offer 20% off as an introductory welcome to diners.
Campbell says: “Modern Greek and Mediterranean cuisine is making waves at the moment and we wanted to create a dining space that pays homage to our chefs heritage. Ridi and Alex have created dishes that reinvent what they ate growing up in with a twist and the result is modern and fresh.
“Sharing is a culinary tradition and we wanted our guests to come and experience the magic of Mezze and feel as if they've stepped into the warmth of the Mediterranean Aegean sea.”
For more information please visit:

Twitter @mezzeglasgow

Instagram @mezzeglasgow

Open seven days from 12 noon until 10pm, Sunday to Thursday, and 10:30pm Friday and Saturday. Mezze is situated on the Fourth Floor of the Rotunda Complex. 28 Tunnel Street Hope St, Glasgow, and will be serving from lunch through to dinner.

Rotunda is located a two minute walk from the Hydro and SEC complex and is the newest addition to Glasgow’s thriving dining scene.

Bookings can be made on 0141 204 3144, or alternatively online at

Glass Half Full for Scotland’s Licensed Trade

Scots who have experience working in the licensed trade but have fallen on hard times are being encouraged to apply for one-off grants as part of an industry charity’s ‘Glass Half Full’ campaign.
Over the years the Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society, known as The BEN, has helped a host of beneficiaries from throughout Scotland with one-off grants of up to £1,000 for everything from essential monthly payments including rent, phone and fuel bills to one-off payments for redecoration, clothing and even funding towards a lost wallet.
Launched last year, The Glass Half Full campaign is targeting current and former members of the licensed trade who have fallen on hard times through illness, unemployment or other factors, and would benefit from financial aid for reasons both big and small.
The charity has been providing social, financial and emotional support to members, both current and former, of the licensed trade for over 150 years including regular discretionary payments as well as one-off grants.
Over 50% of one-off grants since 2011 were for redecoration or household appliances including new cookers, fridge freezers and vinyl flooring while 19% were for essential bills including mortgage payments, rent, heating, insurance and council tax, highlighting the importance of the service. During this time, grants were also provided for a new boiler, numerous household repairs as well as healthcare and travel support.
To be eligible for support, applicants must have worked in the licensed trade (incorporating bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels, wholesalers plus packaging, production and distribution firms) for at least three years on a full-time basis. The three years do not need to be consecutive.
As well as encouraging potential beneficiaries to get in touch, the Glass Half Full campaign aims to engage members of the licensed trade, and general public, to help spread the word and Chris Gardner, chief executive of The BEN, hopes it will enable the charity to support more people throughout Scotland than ever before.
She said: “Since it was established, The BEN has supported thousands of people across Scotland and we continue to strive to help as many as we can today; we hope the Glass Half Full campaign will inspire people to either recommend our services or get in touch.
“We know there are hundreds of Scots out there who are eligible for support, but just don’t know it, so we want to let them know we are here to help whether that’s emotionally or financially through our regular discretionary payments or one-off grants. Anyone can require assistance at any time of their life, and as our records show, this could be anything from tiding you over for a lost wallet to helping with essential payments such as rent or mortgage that allow our beneficiaries to keep a roof over their head.
“We understand that there can be apprehension and embarrassment, which can be caused by seeking financial support but would assure anyone considering contacting us that the application process is completely confidential and any arrangements are managed with the utmost discretion. Every beneficiary is treated individually and we would encourage anyone in the license trade looking for support to get in touch as we are here to help.”
The BEN also has a network of local Volunteers who are on hand to support those in the trade. George Reddington, BEN Visitor, added: “A lot of former and current workers of the licensed trade won’t know they’re eligible for support and we would encourage those in the industry or even those who know someone eligible for assistance, be that financial or emotional, to get in touch. We’d also urge employers across Scotland to inform their staff of the varied services that The BEN provides and the options available, even if it is just to have a chat, we’re here to help.”
Support is also provided through The BEN Pitlochry Estate, which consists of 18 bungalows, and offers accommodation for current and retired members of the licensed trade industry as well as ‘Respitality’ breaks for carers in some of the most picturesque surroundings.
To find out more about The BEN or to enquire about support, please visit or call 0141 353 3596.

Stewart Brewing's Jack Back Beer Wins Gold at the SIBA Independent Beer Awards

Leading Scottish craft brewer, Stewart Brewing, is celebrating the win of a prestigious national accolade after their popular beer Jack Back earned a Gold Award at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards.
Jack Back fought off competition from hundreds of other entrants to win Gold in the ‘Champion Keg Standard Bitters & Pale Ales’ category at the awards ceremony, which took place at SIBA’s BeerX event in Sheffield on Friday 17 March. The UK-wide competition is open to all craft brewers around the country and each year receives hundreds of entrants, with over 400 beers entered in the keg competition this year.
Jo Stewart, Stewart Brewing co-founder, commented: “It’s amazing to win this award and we are extremely proud. The competition was so fierce with loads of great beers from well-respected brewers. It’s a massive result for our whole team and our customers who continue to support us. It was also great to see many other Scottish brewers do so well in the competition too.”
Speaking about the winning beer, she added; “Jack Back pours pale straw in colour with strong citrus and tropical fruit aromas and a touch of blueberry. The taste is light, crisp & refreshing, with a smooth hoppy finish.”
Mike Benner, SIBA Managing Director, said “It is fantastic to see such high quality beers across a range of formats in this year’s biggest ever beer competition. With hundreds of entries across cask, keg, bottle and can this really was the cream of the crop in terms of independent craft beers from the UK. It’s also clear fantastic tasting beer is being produced by our members across the length of Britain, but that Scotland brewers have proved to be a particular hit with judges in 2017.”
SIBA also acknowledged that the awards have highlighted the diversity of independent craft beer that is now being brewed in the UK.
Jack Back (3.7% ABV) is available in the Stewart Brewing brewery shop in Loanhead and the new Stewart’s Dockside Tap shop in Leith, as well as in select Edinburgh pubs and bars including Deacon Brodies, The Haymarket and The Mitre.
The Stewart Brewing brewery is located at Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, 26a Dryden Rd, Loanhead.
For more announcements, follow Stewart Brewing on social media:
Twitter @StewartBrewing

Wild Island Botanic Gin Springs Into Summer

Colonsay Beverages, producers of Colonsay Beers – Pig’s Paradise, IPA and 80 Shilling – is celebrating the launch of its premium gin, Wild Island Botanic Gin infused with botanicals hand foraged on the remote Inner Hebridean island.
Wild Island Botanic Gin, distilled five times using 100% British wheat, is infused with a carefully selected array of six Hebridean botanicals, namely lemon balm, wild water mint, meadowsweet, sea buckthorn, heather flowers and bog myrtle, to give the gin a fresh, crisp and complex character. A further ten distinct botanicals - Mediterranean lemon peel, orange peel, juniper, coriander, angelica, orris root, liquorice, nutmeg, cassia and cinnamon bark – add depth to the base spirit, which is incredibly smooth to drink even at a 43.7% ABV bottling strength.
The company has already produced and sold four 750 bottle batches since its launch in December and has secured two Scottish wholesale agreements and further gains in London, which has meant bringing forward planned production to meet rising demand.
“Wild Island Gin’s characters make it a fantastic spring or summer tipple and we want to make sure we are part of the gin drinker’s repertoire on the laid back warmer weather occasions. Product availability will be key.” commented director, Keith Bonnington. “The spirit has been tailored around one of our core Hebridean botanicals – lemon balm, which is part of the mint family, but carries a beautiful refreshing citrus aroma right through to the glass in your hand. We went a bit heavier than most gins on the dried lemon peel and steeped the botanicals for an unusually long time to release the essential oils in the zest and the result is even better than we had hoped.”
Wild Island Botanic Gin’s signature serve sees a return to a classic style of gin and tonic, using sliced lemon and a twist of peel to reinforce the fresh citrus notes.
The bottle’s distinctive expressionist watercolour interpretation of the island’s Kiloran Bay has been praised by designers. The brand also recently collaborated online with Pink Sheep Studio, and produced Harris Tweed lampshades that were colour matched to the bottle design and lit up the brand’s Facebook page.
Wild Island Botanic Gin is available to buy wholesale from Woodwinters and Sutherland Brothers, online at and through all good independent wine and spirits merchants in Scotland.

Suggested Serves:

Wild Island Gin & Tonic - A simple classic, with a twist of added lemon and mint aroma.
  • 1 part Wild Island Botanic Gin
  • 2 parts good quality tonic water
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1 twist of lemon peel
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint
  • Fresh cubed ice
  • Half fill a highball glass with ice. Drop in a slice of lemon then fill the glass to the top with ice. Pour in a measure of Wild Island Botanic Gin followed by the tonic and lightly stir for a couple of revolutions to infuse the gin, the lemon, the ice and the tonic. Add a twist of lemon peel and a sprig of fresh mint for added aroma.

Wild Island Botanic Gin is on Facebook and Twitter.


Monday, 20 March 2017

5 Questions - Jason Barber, Dairy Farmer & Creator of Black Cow Vodka

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Black Cow Vodka, Vodka
Over the last few years the gin market has exploded and as a result, my gorgeous wife Nicola has switched from drinking vodka in favour of the juniper led spirit. Prior to her 'juniper epiphany', whenever we were out for drinks, we would always be scoping the bar looking for premium vodka brands in the Grey Goose, Chase or Ciroc mould, trying to find the cleanest and smoothest vodka that we could. Little did we know that there was another vodka out there that should have had top of our list - Black Cow Vodka.
Vodka is traditionally made by the distillation of either cereal grains or potato although sugar beet, molasses, grapes and rice have been known to have been used to produce the alcohol spirit.
Created by dairy farmer Jason Barber, Black Cow Vodka claims to be the world's only Pure Milk Vodka made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows and nothing else. When I first heard about vodka made from milk, I really struggled to get my head around the idea but upon digging a little deeper into the brand, it seems that Jason has come up with something quite special.
So how does it work I hear you ask. It's quite simple really, although I would love to know how many attempts it took before Jason settled on his preferred process. The milk is separated into curds and whey. The curds are used to make cheese, the whey is fermented into a beer using a special yeast that converts the milk sugar into alcohol. This milk beer is then distilled and treated to a secret blending process. The vodka is then triple filtered and finished, before being hand bottled. Black Cow is made from the same milk that is used to make Barber’s 1833 cheddar, and Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar.
Is Jason as a genius distiller, mad inventor or somewhere inbetween? I'm not sure we'll ever know but by asking him 5 Questions, I hoped to find out a bit more about this modern day 'milky bar kid'.
5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Black Cow Vodka, Vodka
Here's Jason's story;

How did you get started?

It all started when I was at school when I used to brew up orange juice for all the other pupils. My home brewing then changed to an interest and a passion to find the cleanest vodka on the planet. I think we have done it.

What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?

Pick a good partner who compliments all your weak points, I think I have done this too in Archie. (Paul Archard, co-owner) Also enjoy what you do.

Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?

I would love our vodka to be renowned for being the best vodka in the world, and being able to buy it wherever.

If you could only enjoy Black Cow Vodka one way, what would it be & why?

That's a hard one as our vodka is great neat over ice with cheese, it also makes a great martini or in a cosmopolitan. As it brings a little cream to the party. If it was one way and no other, I would have to go for an expresso martini as milk obviously goes with coffee but also you get the creamy notes without the woody alcohol you get with some vodkas.

​​You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?

Oh, that's easy! It would have to be Oliver Reed. Why? I think it would be fairly entertaining and I'm sure that he would appreciate black cow. On the menu we would have to start with oysters, lemon, Tabasco and Black Cow. This would be followed by duck with a little orange and Black Cow sauce or maybe a great British steak with a blue cheese sauce and of course a little Black Cow.

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Black Cow Vodka, Vodka

I would probably miss the pudding and move straight to the cheese board with some smelly cheeses and our cheddar, all washed down with some more black cow.

I was lucky enough to be sent a bottle of Black Cow Vodka to try out and I have to say that it is a mighty fine drink both neat over ice and as a classic vodka and tonic. Black Cow Vodka also makes a perfect base for a huge range of cocktails so keep an eye on Gerry's Kitchen for a full review of how I get on with my bottle of Gold Top.
With Mother's Day only a week away, check out these fantastic Black Cow Vodka gift packs to suit all budgets and get Mum a present to remember.
5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Black Cow Vodka, Vodka

This beautiful gift pack allows you to experience the whole milk - serve Black Cow Vodka over ice with Black Cow Vintage Cheddar, reuniting the curds and whey from the same milk.

The pack includes a 50ml Black Cow Vodka mini bottle and an 80g Black Cow Vintage Cheddar Truckle.

Price £12.00. Available from Black Cow

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Black Cow Vodka, Vodka

For something more luxurious, try the Black Cow Cocktail Shaker Gift Pack. Price from £99.00. Available from all Harvey Nichols stores and and from the Black Cow online shop.

I would like to thank Jason for taking time out to answer 5 Questions and wish Black Cow Vodka all the best for the future.

Keep up to date with news from Black Cow Vodka on Facebook and Twitter.


Thursday, 16 March 2017

Quick Review - St. Paddy's Burger at Hard Rock Cafe, Buchanan St, Glasgow

Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow, St Patrick's Day, burgers, Glasgow restaurant
I'll start this quick review by saying that prior to Monday evening, I have never been inside any of the many Hard Rock Cafe locations across the globe and also add that I'm not a huge fan of St Patrick's Day (or any patron saint) being used as a commercial vehicle. However, when I was invited along to try the St Paddy's Burger at Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow earlier this week, I jumped at the chance of getting along to see what I've been missing.
Myself and Nicola have walked by a number of Hard Rock Cafe venues on our travels and never been tempted to try them out. This is mostly down to the fact that despite the fact that Hard Rock Cafe have been trading for over 45 years, every time I see a review from friends or family who have eaten at Hard Rock Cafe, almost all of the feedback points towards overpriced food and drink coupled with mediocre service. Obviously, I can't comment on all the worldwide locations but our experience on Monday evening in Glasgow was anything but!
Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow, St Patrick's Day, burgers, Glasgow restaurant
St Patrick's Day is celebrated on 17th February and whilst the day is a tipping of hat towards the 'traditional death date' of Saint Patrick, it is a day that has become more commercialised as Irish brands use the day to promote their products.
Getting in on the St Patrick's Day act, Hard Rock Cafe launched the St Paddy's Burger (which will be served all week until Sunday 19th March), a double stack burger with two 4oz beef patties, bacon and thin sliced potatoes topped with a Guinness cheese sauce on top of bed of watercress, served on a toasted potato bun with a side of seasoned fries.
Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow, St Patrick's Day, burgers, Glasgow restaurant
Monday night is traditionally the quietest night of the week for restaurant bookings so it was no surprise that the restaurant wasn't that busy when we arrived just after 5pm on Monday evening. With the restaurant fairly empty (although it did get busier as the night rolled on), we were able to take in and appreciate some of the rock and pop memorabilia that adorns the wall of Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow including one of Bob Dylan's guitars, Amy MacDonald's coat, Angus Young's AC/DC school boy outfit and a snakeskin blazer once owned by the legend that is Keith Richards.
Hard Rock Cafe is housed inside what was The Glasgow Old Atheneum, a stunning building which dates back to 1893, and although the building no longer plays host to plays by the top actors of the modern day, at least the venue does still hold some of the original charm of the past.
Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow, St Patrick's Day, burgers, Glasgow restaurant
Anyway, enough about the surroundings, we were there to check out the St Paddy's Burger. Our server on the night was John, an excitable chap from the north of England who has been working in the Glasgow Hard Rock Cafe for the last few years. If we were expecting mediocre service, we couldn't have been more wrong. John was charming and a credit to his profession. It's rare to see a waiter/server have so much passion for their job but John's attitude was infectious and we knew that even if the food wasn't up to scratch, the service might make up for it.
When the St Paddy's Burger arrived it looked exactly like the picture. How many burger joints can do that?
Hands down, this was one of the better burgers that we've eaten in quite some time. The beef patties were cooked well with a smoky chargrilled finish, salty bacon and grilled potato slices added more texture and depth of flavour that was pulled together with the cheese sauce topping. Could we detect Guinness in the cheese sauce? Not really but that didn't matter as the overall balance of flavour was spot on. What impressed us most was that although the burger was stacked high, the toasted potato brioche bun held together until the very last bite. Normally I find that the traditional brioche burger carrier falls apart half way through the eating leaving me with messy hands as I scrabble for a knife and fork. Thankfully, this wasn't the case with the potato brioche buns and I managed to finish the St Paddy's burger relatively mess free. (Nicola ate her bugprger with knife and fork - she's classy that way)
Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow, St Patrick's Day, burgers, Glasgow restaurant
We both enjoyed our first meal at Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow but did our first visit prove the critics right?
Was the food and drink overpriced? I don't think so. The St Paddy's burger & fries cost more than I would normally pay for a burger but when you're sitting in a venue surrounded by pieces of rock and pop history, is £15.25 too much to pay? I don't think so. The food was freshly cooked and well presented, and I would happily eat there again.
Was the service mediocre? Absolutely not! We were looked after very well by John and a couple of his colleagues. They might have known that we were in to review the St Paddy's Burger but I believe that the service we received is business as usual.
We were invite to Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow in return for a review but the review above is an honest account of our evening. I would like to thank the management and staff for their hospitality and generosity and I look forward to getting back again soon.
As mentioned previously, the St Paddy's burger is being served until Sunday 19th March so there's plenty of time to celebrate St Patrick's weekend so head along to Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow and 'Get Sham-Rocked'?


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Royal Academy of a Culinary Arts Scotland to Host Unique Dinner in Glasgow's Super College

The Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Scotland is teaming up with City of Glasgow College to host a one-off gastronomic evening in the college’s new city centre training restaurant, Scholars on Wednesday 29th March. A unique four course dinner will be prepared by college students in collaboration with some of the country’s most talented chefs.

Jeff Bland, Michelin starred Executive Chef at The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh is the Chairman of the Royal Academy in Scotland and explains what the event is all about:

“One of the main remits of the Academy is to educate and encourage the next generation of hospitality professionals, so what better way to motivate and inspire some of Scotland’s young chefs than give them the opportunity to work alongside some of the best mentors in the country.

“City of Glasgow College’s new restaurant is an awe inspiring venue with chef lecturers dedicated to giving our young people the very best training and education and we are delighted that they have invited us to host this special event.”

In the kitchen will be Andrew Hamer, founder of Wild Thyme Event Catering; Alan Matthew, Executive Chef at Trump Turnberry; Martin Hollis, Executive Chef of The Old Course Hotel; Ross Sneddon, Executive Pastry Chef at The Balmoral and Roy Brett, Chef / Patron of Ondine. Managing the Front of House and service will be Alan Hill, Food Retail Director and Elaine Watson both from Gleneagles.

Each chef is responsible for one course and will be working in the kitchen ahead of the event to teach the students, who are on the HND Professional Cookery course how to create their dish. Each chef has taken inspiration from a different decade to design a course based on an iconic or popular dish from that period.

Principal and Chief Executive City of Glasgow College, Paul Little said:

“We are delighted to welcome The Royal Academy to our world class training restaurant within our incredible new City campus. These high profile events allow us to showcase the amazing talent within our college as well as giving our students a truly unique experience. I’m sure the imaginative gastro menu will inspire our many future chefs too.”


Wines and service

Elaine Watson and Alan Hill, Gleneagles



Martin Hollis, Old Course Hotel, St Andrews


Prawn Cocktail (1970s)

Home smoked langoustine, avocado, cognac sauce, Bloody Mary sorbet and langoustine fritter

Andrew Hamer, Wilde Thyme


Classic Fish Soup (1990s)

Rouille, Croutons and Comte

Roy Brett, Ondine


Supreme of Chicken Maryland (1980s)

Sweet corn soufflé, banana fritter, crisp chicken and kale crisps

Alan Matthew, Trump Turnberry


Maracaibo 65%, peanuts and passion fruit (2000s)

Maracaibo 65%, peanut nougatine and passion fruit cremeaux

Ross Sneddon, The Balmoral


Petit Fours

Kenneth Hett with City of Glasgow College HND Profesional Cookery Students

The dinner is £50 per person including wine. The evening will start at 7pm at Scholars restaurant, City of Glasgow College, 190 Cathedral Street, G4 0RF

To book a table please call Lucia Rapuano on 0141 375 5237 or email or Call 0141 375 5236


Monday, 13 March 2017

Wild Fig Announces the First Dining Event of 2017 with a Spring Menu at Bakery47

Wild Fig will be taking over Bakery47, located on Victoria Road, Glasgow, for another of their popular dining events by leading Scottish chef, Justin Maule on Monday 20 March – the 1st day of Spring.

Full menu below and here: (vegetarian option available on request)


  • asparagus panna cottta, pancetta
  • chilled pea veloute, fennel sorbet, pea shoots
  • snapper ceviche
  • poached spring chicken, pistou vegetables
  • Scotch lamb briam, feta
  • vanilla poached rhubarb, orange sable, torched meringue
  • fine cheese

The pop-up experience will be the second time that Wild Fig has held a dining event at Bakery47 after selling out their first in the bakery in August 2016 and again with their brunch takeover at the bakery in December, 2016.

Entitled simply 'SPRING | a WILD FIG dinner', this pop-up event is Wild Fig's first for 2017 and will run from 7.30pm till late. Tickets are available from priced at £47 per person and the event will be a relaxed evening of food, drink and good company. A small selection of fine wine / spirits / beer will be available to purchase on the night.


Step Inside the Latest Addition to Edinburgh's Cocktail Scene, The Permit Room.

The team behind Dishoom welcome you to the Permit Room. Named after the official term for all Bombay drinking establishments, in which, according to the Bombay Prohibition Act of 1949, only permit-holders may consume alcohol(and only ‘for preservation and maintenance of one’s health’!).

Hidden beneath the kitchen of Dishoom Edinburgh at 3a St Andrew Square, the Permit Room pays homage to the Bombay tradition of Parsi theatre. This delightful tradition saw Persian, Indian and English stage classics (including Shakespeare) reimagined in Hindu, Urdu, Gujarati and English. Known for preposterous plots and eccentric characters, Parsi theatre drew all kinds of people to the Pila House district of Bombay. (The area with the most theatres and comes from an Indianisation of the words ‘Play House’.)

The Dishoom team visited Bombay institutions like Capitol Theatre and the Royal Opera House to research the Permit Room’s design. They collaborated with Bombay author Meher Marfatia to carefully curate the artwork that decorates the walls – all authentic photos of famous Parsi playwrights, and heroes of Parsi theatre, as well as original theatre posters. The bar menu is also complete with original adverts from the period and hand- drawn illustrations giving you a detailed guide to available tipples.


Dishoom’s award-winning Daru-walla, Carl Brown, has devised a brand new list of cocktails especially for the Permit Room.

For Edinburgh’s designated drivers, expectant mothers and tee-totallers, he has concocted a truly unique selection of non-alcoholic cocktails, affectionately known as ‘copy tipples.’ These clever tipples led to the Permit Room menu being awarded ‘Non-alcoholic bar menu of the year’ for 2016 by The Spirits Business.

The copy tipples all look, feel and taste like serious drinks, but are entirely alcohol free. The range includes:

Dry Old-Fashioned – Smoked demerara, orange bitters, juniper, applewood, cayenne and orange peel. Fire in the throat, warmth in the belly. But no need of alcohol!

Sober Martini – Sophistication neatly executed with juniper, ginger and gentian root in grape and cucumber waters. Gin-like bitterness and warmth. The absence of liquor is most difficult to believe.

Virtuous Tulsi Sour – This peaty Whisky Sour has no whisky, nor any other spirit. Note the warming aromas of juniper, ginger, lemon, holy basil and secret botanicals.

For those that are after something a little stronger, the bar menu also includes some delicious, never-seen-before cocktails, which take inspiration from the Parsi theatre tradition.

Marzban’s Fizz – made with Smoked Chikoo – Indian pear – and Johnnie Walker Black Label, topped with a soda fizz. Named in honour of the foremost playwright Adi Marzban, whose audiences relished his scripts as heartily as his newspaper.

The Pila House Sling – refreshing and long, with 1800 Coconut Tequila, alluring liqueurs – Chartreuse, Cointreau, pistachio, rhubarb – and ample fresh jackfruit juice. Regulars of Bombay’s Pila (Play) House would delight of such a tipple before curtain call.

Tehmul’s Tangle – a cinnamon-tinted threesome of Hayman’s sloe gin, fresh lemon juice and ginger. Much like the mad 1968 parsi caper Tirangi Tehmul, which sees a hapless fellow juggling a trio of women. A sly Dishoom pimento soda adds a little spice to the affair.


The soundtrack to the Permit Room is confident, eclectic and surprising. Resident DJs will be playing everything eclectic and rootsy – carefully curated soul, vintage R&B, new wave gems and funky retro Indian beats. From 11pm each evening the music goes up, the lights go down and the party really starts in the Permit Room.

The Permit Room is open every evening from 5pm until 3am. Reservations are available for groups of up to 12 guests from 5pm until 1:30am every night. For all reservation enquiries please email

The team are greatly looking forward to welcoming you there.


Scottish Gas & Chef John Whaite Show How Smart Cooking Is as Easy As Pie

With British Pie Week upon us, baking guru John Whaite has joined forces with Scottish Gas to create the nation’s ‘Smartest Pie’ – a one-off culinary delight that combines our favourite fillings and is cooked using energy-saving techniques.

The Steak, Vegetable, Chicken, Pork and Apple Pie was identified by Scottish Gas and John as the nation’s Smartest Pie, based on the cost of ingredients and energy used while cooking it, as measured by smart meters. John’s gastronomic skills were pushed to the limit to create this ultimate no-compromise pie recipe that covers every aspect of a hearty meal, while minimizing energy use and keeping costs low.

John Whaite and Scottish Gas bake the nation’s Smartest Pie for British Pie Week

Coming top of the pie charts, Steak (34.31%) is the nation’s number one according to Ocado, followed by Vegetable (25.05%), Chicken (23.61%), Pork (9.88%) and finally Apple (3.61%).

Scottish Gas challenged John Whaite to mix our favourites together, using the most cost-effective ingredients as well as energy-efficient cooking methods that won’t break the bank. The GBBO champion was then put to the test on camera, showcasing the most energy-efficient cooking techniques while the smart meter monitored energy costs.

In today’s increasingly connected world, running a home economically and reducing energy costs all starts with a smart meter – an easy way to keep an eye on energy usage and put an end to unexpected bills.

More than half of us guess ingredients and approximate cooking times when it comes to baking, according to Scottish Gas research, so bringing home economics back into schools and homes is essential. With 94% of people in the UK overestimating cooking time for popular bakes, developing smart home economics skills can have a significant impact on energy bills, by avoiding unnecessary over-baking.

John Whaite, Scottish Gas Smart Chef ambassador said: “It’s so important for people to understand what they’re eating and how to use kitchen appliances efficiently – the way ingredients work together and how to produce nutritious and inexpensive meals at home for themselves.

“This is also a big part of my motivation behind my hands-on classes at my [John Whaite’s] Kitchen Cookery School. I want to teach the culinary skills needed to create tasty, wholesome meals that are also energy-efficient to cook, so it’s super easy to replicate at home.”

Sarah Scrivener, Smart Energy Expert at British Gas and an avid baker herself, added: “The principles of home economics are so central to our daily lives, but many of us don’t consider the energy used by our ovens, hobs and microwaves while cooking. Getting a free smart meter installation at home will allow you to be more aware of energy used by your kitchen appliances, so budding bakers can be savvy with energy usage and focus on what really matters – the pies!”

Top Tips for Smart Pies from Scottish Gas:

  • Keep the oven door closed while baking. As tempting as it is to take a peek at your pie, opening the oven door causes the heat to drop and use extra energy to get back up to temperature.
  • Turn the oven off 5-10 minutes before the pie is done. It will retain plenty of heat during this time and will continue to cook your pie to perfection.
  • Keep the oven clean. Grease and little pieces of burnt food in the oven can absorb the heat and make the oven less efficient. Keeping the glass clear also gives you a sneak peek while baking.
  • Bake in batches. Cooking a number of pies to cater to different family favourites? Try cooking them all in one go – an already heated oven will use less.

To find out more about energy efficiency in the kitchen, take a look at Scottish Gas’ tips here. Read more about Scottish Gas smart meters here.


Six By Nico Launches in Glasgow

This March, renowned Scottish-Italian chef and founder of the acclaimed ‘111 by Nico’, Nico Simeone, will launch his second restaurant in Glasgow, ‘Six by Nico’.

Located in the heart of Finnieston, Glasgow’s thriving new social centre, Six by Nico will be home to a series of carefully curated and constantly evolving restaurant concepts.

Pioneering a revolving culinary hub, every six weeks, Nico and his experienced and well- travelled team will re-invent the wheel – serving a brand new six-course tasting-menu – each one themed upon a different place, memory or idea.

Drawing global inspiration from places such as the fish markets of Aberdeen to the vineyards of South America, the team will combine different ingredients, flavours, and dishes, to bring their memories to life. Using food as a narrative, each menu will tell a different story, taking guests on a new and exciting journey each time they visit.

As with any great novel, each new chapter will be kept a surprise, until the time comes to turn the page. New menus will therefore remain secret and only be published two-weeks prior to the launch of each new concept.

Kick-starting the series will be ‘The Chippie’. Running from Tuesday 14th March to Sunday 23rd April, this restaurant will showcase the ‘Best of British’ flavours for which the United Kingdom is famed for worldwide.

A nostalgic nod to the past, ‘The Chippie’ will serve six dishes based on the classics found in your traditional Fish and Chip shop – each one re-imagined and re-created with a contemporary twist.

The Chippie Menu:

  • Chips & Cheese – crisp potato cannelloni with crowdie mousse
  • Scampi – Scrabster monkfish cheek, squid ink and herb emulsion
  • Steak Pie – Speyside beef shin, onion choucroute and brioche
  • Special Fish – Shetland cod with sea vegetable, pickled mussels and taramasalata
  • Smoked Sausage – Ayrshire pork with black pudding, apple and celeriac
  • Deep Fried Mars Bar – salted caramel, chocolate nougat, malt parfait

Open from midday, Tuesday through to Sunday, each six-course menu will be available from noon to night. The menu will be priced at £25 per person and diners will have the option to enjoy an expertly selected wine pairing for an additional £25. An extensive selection of world wines [served by the glass and bottle] and local beers will also be available, as well as a list of specialty signatures drinks. Alongside our traditional 'Chippie' Menu, we have our 'Chippie' themed Vegetarian Option. All other dietary requirements (i.e. Vegan, Dairy Free etc) can be accommodated in advance.

Nico Says:

“We are very excited to launch this innovative culinary venture. It is the first of it’s kind in Glasgow and one that we hope will add to the appeal of the already burgeoning restaurant scene in Finnieston.

This is a real passion project – the concept was born from our team’s love of experimenting with new ingredients and developing and creating new dishes. By challenging ourselves to do this every six-weeks we feel we have created the perfect recipe for an exciting epicurean adventure for not just our diners, but our team too.”

Split over two floors, the main restaurant upstairs will showcase an open-plan kitchen, so that guest are able to see the masters at work.

An intimate venue with forty covers, the restaurant will boast a minimal design, starkly contrasted by grand fixtures and fittings and atmospheric mood lighting. The lower floor will house a PDR, to be launched later in the year.


Stewart Brewing's Edinburgh Beer Festival Returns 'Lager' Than Ever Before

Leading Scottish craft brewer, Stewart Brewing, has announced the return of its annual Edinburgh Beer Festival on Saturday 13th May.
The one day event at Stewart Brewing’s brewery will be the biggest yet with over 40 craft beers, including favourites such as Radical Road, Jack Back, Hollyrood and Pentland IPA as well as their newly launched Stewart’s Lager. Visitors will also have the chance to taste a Stewart Brewing Cider – specially made for the festival – and limited edition beers, making it an event beer lovers should not miss.
In addition, the Edinburgh Beer Festival will showcase live music and street food vendors, including Big Blu Pizza and Fresh Revolution. There will also be a selection of wines, gins and soft drinks to ensure everyone is catered for.
Jo Stewart, founder, commented: “This is our third year holding a beer festival at our brewery and it’s set to be our best yet. We’re looking forward to introducing visitors to some of our favourite beers from across Scotland and beyond, including a few special collaborations we’ve created with friends at other breweries.
“This is clearly the perfect festival for beer enthusiasts but a love of beer is not essential. We want it to be a day everyone can come along and enjoy so, in addition to craft beer, the Edinburgh Beer Festival will offer a selection of other drinks and delicious street food, accompanied by music from brilliant local bands.”
Tickets cost £15 per person which includes entry, a souvenir glass and can of beer on arrival. Children accompanied by adults can attend free of charge.
Tickets are on sale now from the Stewart Brewing website.
The Edinburgh Beer Festival takes place at Stewart Brewing, Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, 26a Dryden Rd, Loanhead and is easily reached from Edinburgh city centre by bus, routes 37 and 47.
For more announcements leading up to the festival, follow Stewart Brewing on social media:
Twitter @StewartBrewing

Edinburgh Gin Celebrates Edinburgh International Science Festival With First Social Media Crowdsourced Gin

How can you combine social media with one of Scotland’s oldest traditions, distilling? Edinburgh Gin has the answer. Edinburgh Gin is celebrating the Edinburgh International Science Festival (1-16 April) with ‘Distilling Live’, a live gin distilling with recipes crowdsourced from three social media platforms.

The world’s first and Europe’s biggest science festival invites audiences to Get Connected this year as it explores what it means to live in the Information Age. This digital connection and the festival’s programme strand, ‘Sociable Science’ provided inspiration for Edinburgh Gin to devise an innovative distilling event connecting science with social media.

In what is believed to be a first in gin-making, ‘Distilling Live’ will see Edinburgh Gin create three new, small batch gins using the recipes crowdsourced from each social media platform.

The campaign to crowdsource the botanicals used in the recipes starts on Monday 13th March. Gin-lovers will be able to vote for their favourite botanicals via Edinburgh Gin’s social media accounts. Voting will start on Edinburgh Gin’s Facebook page and last for 7 days before moving onto Edinburgh Gin’s Twitter account for the next 7 days and then finally Edinburgh Gin’s Instagram account for another 7 days.

On Saturday 8th April at Edinburgh Gin’s Biscuit Factory distillery in Leith, ticket holders will see, first-hand, Head Distiller at Edinburgh Gin, David Wilkinson create three new crowdsourced gins during this live distilling, streamed on social media.

During the event, David Wilkinson will give a comprehensive overview of the science of distillation and host a tutored tasting of Edinburgh’s Gin range, before giving the live audience the chance to sample the specially created gins once the distillation process is complete. The event will be live streamed through Edinburgh Gin’s Facebook page.

David Wilkinson, Head Distiller at Edinburgh Gin said: “The distillery team is excited to see what the final recipes will be and what people’s preferences are, depending on which social media platform they like to use. The live audience at the Biscuit Factory will be able to try all three gins and decide which one is their favourite, after a live distilling of each gin.

We’ll be streaming the event on Facebook too, giving people around the world, a chance to learn more about the science behind distilling and feel a connection to the event at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.”

Neil Boyd, Commercial Director for Ian Macleod Distillers, owners of Edinburgh Gin, said: “Edinburgh is well known as a centre of excellence when it comes to science and innovation. We are delighted to be working with Edinburgh International Science Festival, forming a unique part of the festival programme with ‘Distilling Live.’

It makes perfect sense to showcase the science behind gin distilling and what better way to engage with our audience than asking them to suggest the botanicals used in a live distilling.”

Eilidh Dunnet, Senior Events Developer at Edinburgh International Science Festival said:

“The 2017 Science Festival is all about making connections and exploring the ways that technology can help us innovate and ultimately improve our lives. We believe that a festival is not just a place where concepts are discussed but is also a place where collaborations happen and new ideas are created.

We are delighted that the Edinburgh Gin team are putting this philosophy into practice in the most delicious way possible with the first ever crowd sourced gin.”