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Highland duo launch first cookbook following success of street food firm The Seafood Shack

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The new cookbook celebrates the local fishing industry and lifts the lid on some of the shack’s most famous dishes.

Two businesswomen from the north west Highlands who own a popular Scottish seafood catering business have launched their first cookbook.

Having established The Seafood Shack in Ullapool in 2016, Kirsty Scobie and Fenella Renwick reveal in the book the story of the local business as well as a range of fresh, vibrant dishes that have made the venue famous among locals and tourists alike.

Owners Fenella Renwick and Kirsty Scobie.

Providing more than 80 recipes and tips for cooking white, smoked fish, and shellfish, Kirsty and Fenella’s work on the book was recognised when they were announced as winners of the Jane Grigson Trust Award for New Writers earlier this year.

The 240-page hardback ‘The Seafood Shack: Food and Tales from Ullapool’ is a celebration of Scottish seafood and outlines the journey the duo experienced in building their business which was born from a conversation between Kirsty and Fenella out at sea with their fishermen partners.

The hardback book from The Seafood Shack duo.

At the time of launching The Seafood Shack off the back of a successful Crowdfunding campaign, Ullapool had around 12 local boats fishing in The Minch with five prawn trawlers, seven inshore creel boats, two crabbing boats coming in each week and around 10 white fish boats landing regularly.

The vast majority of this huge variety of seafood landing daily was then transferred straight onto the back of a lorry, making it difficult to source it locally.

Kirsty cutting into a lobster.

Kirsty said: “Many tonnes of seafood are caught in our Scottish seas and then transported straight out of Ullapool. We wanted to play a part in keeping some of our seafood local and so the Seafood Shack was born. What we really love now is being behind the hatches, cooking away and chatting to our customers as they devour a haddock wrap or peel open some fresh buttery langoustines.

“The book tells this story and shares our approach. What makes the Shack so wonderful to us is its relaxed feel and we don’t have to be stuck in a kitchen behind closed doors, we can be involved in every aspect. The food we cook is simple, quick but most importantly fresh and delicious.”

Punctuated by the voices of local fishermen, the book nods to the fishing industry that has been the beating heart of Ullapool’s village life for 230 years.

Some of the fisherman The Seafood Shack works with.

With both Fenella and Kirsty’s partners actively involved in fishing, The Seafood Shack also reflects the debate around sustainable fishing.

Fenella added: “The people behind our seafood are a huge part of our story: from Josh’s langoustines and lobsters, Gary’s hand-dived scallops and Stephen’s white fish to the team at our local smokehouse or Joe our oyster producer. These amazing people have been a massive part of our success: at the end of the day we’re not amazing chefs, we’re just two girls who love to cook and having such fantastic and fresh produce is what makes the Shack work.”

The book is published by Kitchen Press, is illustrated by Charlotte Watters and contains photography from Clair Irwin.

Scallops dish.

It is published in hardback and available nationwide, priced at £20.

The Seafood Shack won the BBC Food & Farming Award for Best Street Food or Takeaway in 2017 and  has hosted visits from the likes of Mary Berry and Albert Roux.  It is best known for its haddock and pesto wrap, luxury lobster mac and cheese and its spicy popcorn.


For more on seafood…

From sea to plate in 24 hours – The Seafood Bothy serving up the freshest street food in Stonehaven

Have a fabulous fish Friday with this amazing pan-fried sea bream, homemade sweet potato fries and salsa

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