Crusty Sourdoughs & Seasonal Conversations

Last week the Scottish Bread Championship was held in the new Members’ Pavilion at Ingliston. For as long as I can remember, June is synonymous with the Royal Highland Show and for over twenty years I’ve been involved in their Cookery Theatre. When teaching, I even had it put in my contract that I was excused for RHS week! Over the years, many of my students have worked alongside us at the theatre before spreading their wings into their own world of work – a London cook school, hospitality in Toronto, running ski chalets, cafes and much more. Not all my students entered the world of hospitality. One particular stalwart has a career in animal behaviour (I couldn’t possibly comment if there is a connection there!) and we follow her progress with great fondness. 

Yes, strange days with no 190K folk heading for Ingliston but at least this year we are having an online version…a step towards our reunion in 2022. In the meantime, the hotly contested competitions are all back and as we gathered for the Bread and Dairy judging, so too arrived ponies, cattle, sheep and handicrafts!

The new Members’ Pavilion at Ingliston. photo credit Douglas Scott

The Scottish Bread Championship is held annually at the Royal Highland Show, in association with Scottish Food Guide and Andrew Whitley of Scotland The Bread. Since our inaugural event in 2017, the categories have been tweaked with two new additions this year: Breads Reflecting Scotland’s Food Culture & International Influences, and, for home breadmakers who have embraced breadmaking during lockdown, The Lockdown Loaf. 

We had a fine line-up of entries across all categories and an impressive standard of loaves – a wonderful showcase of artisan breads in the ring!  In the Food Culture category there were recipes inspired by entrants’ friends and family roots from Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Tasmania, Wales and Germany, all influencing their style of bake and ingredients used resulting in delicious fruit breads, ancient grains and creative combinations in addition to fine classic sourdoughs. The Lockdown Loaf was another popular addition this year. Both the loaves and descriptions were inspiring, bringing families and communities together through good food and real bread. My sincere thanks to all the fabulous breadmakers, without whom it would not have been possible, to Douglas Scott and my husband Bosse for their invaluable assistance on the day, and our congratulations to the winners who will be announced this week, along with ‘the movie’ on the RHS website.



Our Judging Panel along with Wendy Barrie & Andrew Whitley. photo credit Douglas Scott

Our diligent and enthusiastic judges who gave so generously of their time were:

Giovanna Eusebi, Eusebi’s

Neil Forbes, Café St Honore

Jock Sharp, Woodlea Stables & double past Champion

Ameena Nur, Jeju’s Bakehouse & Real Bread Ambassador

Stephanie Mander, Senior Project Officer, Nourish Scotland

Maria Scholten, agriculturalist with an interest in rye and sourdoughs

Like many of you, we shall be following and supporting the online Royal Highland – indeed perhaps we shall see even more of it than usual as those who know us will know we are to be found throughout in the close vicinity of the Cookery Theatre! 

I shall be particularly looking out for the results of the Scottish Dairy Championships and Scotland’s Larder Live Chefs on screen with their imaginative range of marvellous recipes for you to enjoy so look out for Craig Wilson of Eat on the Green, Paul Newman of Errichel, Neil Forbes of Café St Honore, along with Billy Hamilton & Gareth Gilder of Buccleuch Arms, all online over the week on Royal Highland Show.

Billy Hamilton & Gareth Gilder of Buccleuch Arms filmed at Hardiesmill

Elsewhere I have been virtually out and about taking every opportunity to spread the message of the importance of sustainable ethical local produce, the producers who grow, rear or create it and the wonderful chefs who use it on their menus. Here are a few of the many activities…

  • Slow Food Training Croatia, for Slow Food International, on Connecting Chefs with Ark Produce.
  • Agritourism Monitor Farm Meeting, on Price, Promotion & Marketing.
  • IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts & Tourism) as one of their Global Experts Network, on Sustainable Gastronomy & Green Labelling.
  • Food Tank – talking local produce, sustainability, food culture & sovereignty with Eve …available online here 
On Food Tank Instagram Live with Eve Gleeson in USA (from 6minutes in)

So keep in touch folks as I love to hear from you and when Scottish Food Guide Members keep me posted, I can share their news. There is a weekly update & offers link on the home page, new recipes and Member entries continually updated. At Scottish Food Guide we are here to support each other.

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