Another year whizzes by with still little sign of stability in the economy however I hope you and your loved ones are in good health and I really appreciate the support and collaboration we all give each other in these challenging times. Scottish Food Guide is one of a kind and seen increasingly by an international audience as well as our home market. Together we can do this and make a difference. So what has happened this year? Here are a few collaborations well worth a mention, and there were many more to keep me out of mischief.
The Seasonal Offers section on the home page continues to provide weekly updates for readers and is proving very popular – if you haven’t made use of it yet please get in touch. Recipes are always enjoyed – if you wish to send in a recipe for SFG it will be credited and linked to your web page. My monthly online cookery show, The Scottish Food Show, continues with several thousand views over the number of access points. Each month I feature a range of member producers and raise awareness of SFG.
There has been a fair bit of activity here at Scottish Food Studio, with artisan cheese, seasonal baking and heritage food experiences. Every event is an opportunity to promote SFG. One such event was attended by Tom Johnston who wrote a lovely piece for which I thank him https://ormidalels.com/wendy-barrie-and-a-lot-of-slow-food/
Bosse you may recall is enjoying a heritage grains project with the kind support of Ardross Farm. This year he continued, acclimatising seeds, saving and also allowing me to bake on some with delicious results. We held an open evening and book signing with a tasting of the grains. More next year.
The RHS was back with some wonderful chefs on stage including Neil Forbes, Billy Hamilton, Paul Newman, Craig Wilson and Tom Lewis. My sincere thanks to you all for giving your time so generously. We had fewer chefs this year as RHS also included food writers presenting their books. Elsewhere in the showground the Scottish Bread Championship, sponsored by the Edinburgh Bakers Trust, Scotland The Bread & Scottish Food Guide, took place with worthy winners in Wild Hearth Bakery & Company Bakery. Congratulations to John Castley and Ben Reade respectively and my thanks to co-founder Andrew Whitley for his support and enthusiasm.
A note for next year’s diary: The Scottish Bread Championship will now take place during Real Bread Week (18th to 26th February 2023). Save the Date info here with full details to follow and we look forward to accepting loads of entries from you.
Meadows: The Swedish Farmer & The Scottish Cook was printed in Glasgow this summer and is available from many members – current stockists listed here. We have had some amazing reviews and it creates another thread in the SFG tapestry, covering regenerative food production with biodiversity, cooking skills, provenance, food tourism, wild foods and recipes. It has been kindly described as “a love letter to treading more lightly on the planet, but doing so with the table at the heart,” “part cook book, part land bible,” “a smallholders handbook” and “absolutely beautiful, so full of wonderful images, knowledge, interest, wisdom and a love for the land and good food.”
My regular columns with recipe feature for The Courier and Farming Scotland continue plus various ad hoc radio, articles and features including a full programme on Scots Radio and a Scottish Field article. Arte TV was another highlight this year, in Scotland filming Cullen Skink.
It has been an active year for events and travel (not to mention a wonderful family wedding) with highlights including an invitation from Norway to Trondheim Trøndelag Platform as an IGCAT (International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts & Tourism) Expert; Guest Speaker at Menorca’s Region of Gastronomy Writers Convention; Guest Speaker at Slow Food’s Terra Madre & Salone de Gusto, Torino, and Slow Food Scania events in Sweden. Rest assured these were either funded personally or by the European host concerned – not your tax money nor membership subscriptions.
Closer to home we enjoyed participating in the Smallholder Festival, Forfar; Kelso Farmers’ markets; the Scottish Wild Food Festival and book signings across the country.
As we say farewell to some loyal members moving on to pastures new and welcome new members, emerging farm shops and passionate chefs, I thank you sincerely for your support and together we have resilience. Do keep in touch and above all, stay safe.
Best wishes for 2023 from Wendy & Bosse at Scottish Food Guide