Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.
Food and Drink

Poppy O’Toole: We chat with self-crowned Potato Queen as she joins Taste of Grampian THIS Saturday

The Michelin-trained chef is attending with Marks and Spencer, the event's title sponsor.
Karla Sinclair
Poppy O'Toole.

Marks and Spencer’s and ITV’s Cooking with the Stars’ Poppy O’Toole is looking forward to having a “good old time” at Taste of Grampian 2024.

Ready to cook up a storm on the main stage for the second consecutive year – after headlining the one-day food and drink event alongside James Martin in 2023 – the TV presenter, best-selling author and internet sensation is attending in partnership with title sponsor Marks and Spencer.

The Michelin-trained chef and best-selling author at Taste of Grampian 2023. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Poppy, who is also known as the self-crowned Potato Queen, will be showcasing some of Marks and Spencer’s delicious Scottish produce including steak, strawberries and whisky.

Poppy O’Toole will be showcasing Marks and Spencer strawberries.

Ahead of her second Taste of Grampian appearance, I caught up with the Michelin-trained chef to chat about the north-east’s favourite indoor foodie experience, butteries and more.

If you want to see Poppy, you can see her at Taste of Grampian which is is taking place at Aberdeen’s P&J Live this Saturday (June 1) from 10am to 5pm.

Taste of Grampian 2023 highlights with Poppy O’Toole – and yes, trying a buttery was one of them

It was so much fun,” says Poppy as I ask for her thoughts on last year’s event.

“I always get nervous for these things. James Martin was there last time and I’m not as well-known. I was like, no one’s gonna want to watch me make some food.

“But everyone was in such good spirits and getting involved. The crowd was so much fun. It was just great.

Poppy during one of her live cooking demonstrations. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

“All the people on the stands [were lovely] as well. I kept going around and trying and buying different bits.”

One of the products that Poppy got stuck into was a buttery/rowie. In fact, she treated herself to two. It is a north-east delicacy, after all.

I’d be just as excited seeing that pile of butteries, too. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
She was a fan. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

She said: “They are absolutely incredible. Delicious. I don’t know why they’re not sold worldwide.”

You and me both, Poppy.

“It was addictive, carby and buttery – all the best things,” she added.

“I bought two and then… well, I got a flight that night and forgot it was in my bag, so I never got to have it warm.

“I opened my bag about a week later and was like, what’s that? What is this old thing? I need to get rid of it immediately.

“I will be going and finding one [a fresh buttery] as soon as I’m there this week. A nice hot one with more butter on it.”

The Michelin-trained chef is also hoping to try out cranachan.


‘It’d be nice to meet them properly,’ says Potato Queen on Si King and Nadiya Hussain

Poppy rose to fame during the pandemic, after she started creating and sharing videos on her TikTok cooking page Poppy Cooks.

She has since gained widespread recognition. Her TikTok and Instagram accounts are now followed by more than 4.4 million and 1 million people respectively.

The recipes shared are predominantly potato based (of course) so if you’re a spud fan, you’re in for a treat.

“I’ve always been a big fan of potatoes. I don’t know who isn’t, to be fair,” says Poppy.

“When I was working in restaurants, one of my first jobs in a pub was to go and peel the potatoes in the back, so I’ve always had a relationship with them.”

The internet sensation revealed she gets starstruck “every single time” when meeting fellow celebrities, James Martin included.

Poppy O’Toole and James Martin. Image: Darrell Benns/DC Thomson

As well as catching up with visitors and stallholders, she’s looking forward to seeing the Taste of Grampian 2024 celebrity chefs – Si King and Nadiya Hussain.

Poppy added: “I’ve met Si King a few times briefly.

I’ve met Nadia literally in passing, so it’d be nice to meet them properly this year and have a little catch up with them, see how they are, what’s going on, kind of get to know them.”

Nadiya Hussain.

What it’s like being recognised in public, and getting a call from Gok Wan…

Some highlights from the past 12 months (for Poppy) have included writing her cookbooks and featuring on Cooking with the Stars.

Her latest book, Poppy Cooks: The Actually Delicious Slow Cooker Cookbook, is out in September. It features 90 mouth-watering recipes including family favourites, curries, soups, pastas and a chapter dedicated to potatoes.

The author went on to say that she was recognised just the other night.

Poppy O’Toole.

“I went out for dinner and someone was like, I’m sorry, you’re the potato queen, can you come and say hello to my wife? I was like, absolutely!”

Her following continues to grow. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

“Then, I proceeded to eat quite a few of chips off their table – because we were talking about potatoes.

“It’s mad. I love the fact that I’m the potato lady.

“One of the funniest ones [stories] is we were away on holiday and I had Gok Wan call me. I was like, guys, guys, Gok Wan is calling me!

“He does The Golden Chopstick Awards, which is awards for Chinese restaurants around the UK, and he wanted me to go and present an award.

“He was like, are you gonna do it or not? And I was like, yeah, I’m just in Marbs, hang on. But yeah.”

In terms of Taste of Grampian 2024, she added: “I’m looking forward to Taste of Grampian to make some delicious food, talk to the crowd and have a good old time.”

Poppy at the Mackie’s Ice Cream stall. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
Marks and Spencer are the title sponsor of Taste of Grampian 2024.. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

How to get tickets for Taste of Grampian 2024 THIS Saturday

Tickets for admission are now on sale on Ticketmaster, priced at £15 (plus a £1 booking fee).

You can also purchase tickets for £18 on the day of the event at the main P&J Live entrance.

Parking in the underground car park on-site at P&J Live is free and, as previously stated, children under 12 go free.