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Taste of Grampian: Virtual food festival hailed success

Craig Wilson aka The Kilted Chef from Eat On The Green, Udny Green.
Craig Wilson aka The Kilted Chef from Eat On The Green, Udny Green.

A popular north-east food and drink festival which was held virtually for the first time has been hailed a success.

The Taste of Grampian, held in association with QMS, Opportunity North East (One) and ANM Group had to be held online this year due to the Covid-19 crisis.

But that did nothing to dampen the spirits of those getting involved in the celebration of all things local.

A huge variety of events took place over the weekend with interviews and question-and-answer sessions, cooking demonstrations and special offers.

Elizabeth Mathie, food drink and agriculture project manager with One, said: “Taste of Grampian has been running for over 20 years and clearly, with the restrictions placed on us in 2020, the food and drink festival had to take place virtually for the first time this year.

“We saw the festival as an opportunity for north-east food and drink producers to engage with consumers, raise awareness of their brand and sell their products to a wider audience, which aligns with the aims of Opportunity North East to help grow food and drink businesses.

“Consumers have really got behind this idea and, over the weekend, have watched and taken part in a variety of tastings, tutorials and demos, which is great to see. We look forward to experiencing it in person again in 2021, but will likely keep elements of this virtual experience to integrate with the traditional festival next year.”

The festival included six “virtual tents” which were open over the full weekend, including the Taste of Grampian Eatwell Tent sponsored by Food Standards Scotland, the Taste of Grampian One To Watch Tent sponsored by Royal Bank of Scotland, and the Taste of Grampian Have A Tipple Tent sponsored by Anderson Anderson & Brown LLP.

Other tents included Taste of Aberdeenshire sponsored by ANM Group, Taste of Highland sponsored by Highland Food and Drink Club, and Taste of Tayside and Fife sponsored by Angus, Dundee City, Fife and Perth and Kinross Council.

A total of 95 sessions took place over Saturday and Sunday, including cooking demonstrations with Jenny Williamson from Almondine, and Graham Mitchell, the head chef of The Scullery at the Newmachar Hotel, and a glimpse into what a day is like at Amity Fish Company

Nick Coetzer, of Roots Catering, also hosted a cook-along preparing a plant-based meal.

Kilted chef Craig Wilson from Eat on the Green also hosted a session on a food journey from land and sea.

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