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The food and drink tastings not to miss at this year’s Taste of Grampian virtual festival

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With around 75 virtual events taking place across the festival weekend, jumping online for the first virtual version of Taste of Grampian will be the place to be for foodies.

The north-east’s biggest one-day food and drink festival is getting a bit of a virtual makeover this year.

The foodies’ favourite will now run over two days, from Friday September 18 to Sunday September 20, with both regulars at Taste of Grampian and newcomers still able to appreciate the real festival feel the event brings to the local area.

Usually attracting around 14,000 people to the highly-anticipated event, the festival has gone online this year to ensure fans of Scottish food and drink can still get their festival fix.

And with up-and-comping and well established bands and artists from Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire entertaining us throughout the weekend, not to mention a whole host of action in the kitchen taking place with top chefs cooking up a storm, there’s plenty to get excited about.

Did we mention the range of local food and drink producers who will also be showing off their produce, taking us through tastings, talks, workshops and more?

With around 75 events lined up, you can expect whisky, gin, seafood, beef, lamb, beer, chocolate and more to all feature.

To help you make the most of the weekend, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite events taking place during Taste of Grampian next weekend.

Saturday:


How to cook the perfect Christmas turkey with Barra Bronzes (Aberdeenshire tent) – 11.30-11.35am

Christmas may still be a few months away, but there’s no time like the present when it comes to learning how cook your turkey to perfection. Owner of Aberdeenshire’s Barra Bronzes, Craig Michie, will talk virtual festival-goers through the process, revealing his tops tips on how to get a succulent well-cooked bird on the table this Christmas Day.

Get top tips to cook up the ultimate Christmas Day turkey.

Meet the Highland Chocolatier – 11.15-11.20am (Tayside and Fife tent)

Find out all about Iain Burnett’s signature velvet truffles which have won more than 40 prestigious awards as he shares what treats you can discover when visiting his chocolate shop in Grandtully, Perthshire.

Also known as the Highland Chocolatier, Iain is a world-class chocolate artisan who specialises in a range of sweets and chocolate. Order a box of his delectable treats to enjoy while tuning in.

Iain Burnett, the Highland Chocolatier.

71 Brewing Co – Engineers of beer – 1:15-1.20pm (Tayside and Fife tent)

Learn all about Dundee’s 71 Brewing Co Ltd.’s products and the way the brewery works in this quick and insightful talk. You’ll uncover facts about the site and will get a look into what crisp lagers and seasonal beers, inspired by progressive new-world flavours and our favourite traditional classics, they are working on just now. Grab a beer or two in time for the chat.


Choose the City of Aberdeen Distillery’s official gin – 3-3.10pm (Have a Tipple tent)

If you love gin, then this is the event for you. Help choose the City of Aberdeen Distillery & Gin School’s official signature gin by purchasing a special tasting pack of four 5cl gins which you’ll taste and then vote for your favourite. The gin with the most votes will become the distillery’s official gin.

You will also find out about the new Scottish bramble gin launching especially for Taste of Grampian and will be able to sample for yourself as the team talk you through the process of making it, by purchasing a bottle. At 40% ABV, it is a delicious in-season fruity number. The miniature (5cl) is priced from £4.99 with a 70cl priced at £34.99. The team will also reveal a top secret project, too!

Co-owner Dan Barnett leading one of the gin school experiences. (Photo taken prior to lockdown/Covid-19)

Bake along with the Vegan Bay Baker – 4.25-4.40pm (Have a Tipple tent)

Ever wanted to know how to make tasty vegan bakes but haven’t managed to master them? Steve Buchan of the Vegan Bay Baker in Aberdeenshire is on hand to show you how to make his signature apple pie and apple crumble. Be sure to tune in to steal all of his top tips on how to make the best vegan goodies.

Steve Buchan from Vegan Bay Baker.

Whisky tasting with Mike Stuart of the Inverurie Whisky Shop – 5-5.25pm (Have a Tipple tent)

Explore the secret malts of Aberdeenshire as Mike Stuart takes you on a whisky journey through the rolling hills of the north-east. Enjoy five different expressions (30ml) which have been hand-selected to showcase the unique offering the area boasts.

Mike will talk you through nosing techniques, how to get the best from your glass and a host of other tips and information on your golden drams.

The tasting costs £20 and will feature brands inducing Glen Garioch, Glendronach, Glen Deveron, anCnoc and Glenglassaugh.

He said: “Those signing up for the virtual tasting will be sent a 30ml measure of each of these whiskies. Once you have your Aberdeenshire whiskies all you need do is log on to the festival, get yourself a few glasses, pull up a chair and sit down and enjoy the experience.”

Sunday:


How to make porridge like a world champion with Hamlyns of Scotland – 10.30-10.45am (Aberdeenshire tent)

Watch as 2019 World Porridge Making Champion, Lisa Williams shows viewers how to make her championship porridge using a combination of Hamlyns‘ Scottish Oatmeal and Hamlyns’ pinhead oatmeal.

Lisa suggests trying a range of toppings to make toffee apple porridge, bannoffee porridge, fruit and nut porridge – and her own personal favourite, savoury porridge with ham, cheese and chives.


From Shore to Door: Behind the scenes with Amity Fish Company – 11.15-11.30am (Aberdeenshire tent)

Tag along with skipper Jimmy Buchan as he gives you a glimpse into what a day at Amity Fish Company is like. Experience the journey from sea to plate as the team shows how the finest Scottish seafood is carefully selected, packaged and shipped across mainland UK.


Verdant Spirits – The Spirit of Dundee – 1.15-1.20pm (Tayside and Fife tent)

Fancy learning about the only gin which is distilled in Dundee? Be sure to tune into this session where you’ll find out more about the gin, and the distillery where it is made. Not to mention you’ll hear about the different botanicals used and why the team at Verdant Spirits has picked them to feature in the gin.


Whisky tasting with Tomintoul Whisky – 1.40-1.45pm (Highland tent)

Hear all about the Tomintoul Whisky brand and find out about their latest new release – a limited-edition single malt Scotch whisky called Tomintoul Seiridh.

A beautiful, rich full-flavoured expression, it has been matured in American oak bourbon casks before being finished in specially-selected oloroso sherry butts from Jerez in Andalucia, Spain.


Cooking with Succulento: Nigerian Beef Suya – 5.35-5.45pm

Cook-along with the team at Aberdeen’s Succulento as they show you how to create the most delicious Nigerian beef suya.

Specialising in a range of sauces inspired by African culture, you can pick up a few bottles ahead of the event here.


For more on Taste of Grampian…

Taste of Grampian: Chefs to showcase sweet treats

Cook-off for livestock auctioneers at Taste of Grampian

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