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Year of Food and Drink

You still get the odd, sometimes very odd, anachronistic and misguided comments about Scotland’s food and drink scene. Forget about deep fried Mars Bars though. Scotland these days has emerged as one of the world’s top food and drink destinations and this is being fostered and celebrated in 2015. The year has been designated the Year of Food and Drink Scotland, with a year long programme of foodie fun for everyone.

Year of Food and Drink 2015 – Scotland’s Natural Larder

Forget the old clichés, Scotland today offers from its land, rivers, lochs and seas some of the world’s finest produce, from superb seafood through to its famous beef, and on to the likes of seasonal fresh game and an emerging smorgasbord of fine cheese producers. Then there are Perthshire soft fruits, Borders lamb, Arran Oaties – the list goes on and on. Our whisky is not half bad either.

It is fair to say that in the past not all of Scotland’s pubs and restaurants have always mirrored the quality of the natural larder that the country boasts. That has changed in recent years with standards up across the board as people, thanks in part to both visitors and Scots now brought up with TV chefs and best selling cookery books demanding more.

This new emphasis on quality local produce and its preparation is reflected everywhere from fresh seafood stalls on West coast ferry piers and relaxed organic cafes, through to slick bar restaurants and on to a flurry of Michelin starred gastronomic temples – Edinburgh these days boasts five Michelin star restaurants alone. In Perthshire Andrew Fairlie is the celebrated local boy made good at the helm of his renowned two Michelin star eponymous restaurant at Gleneagles.

Idea Behind the Year of Food and Drink 2015

The idea behind the Year of Food and Drink is to get people excited about Scottish food and drink, both visitors from other countries and also people who live here. The food and drink sector is huge in Scotland, with visitors alone said to spend half a billion pounds a year on eating and drinking in the country. The theme year is a Scottish Government initiative that is being led by EventScotland and Visit Scotland with a full programme of events throughout the year planned. It aims to build on the Year of Food and Drink in 2010 and 2014’s Year of Homecoming.

If you are a business owner in the food and drink sector you can get involved too whether it be running your own event, joining up with other businesses to stage one or taking part in one of the larger signature festivities like a whisky festival. Levels of funding are currently available to encourage participation. More details for getting involved can be found on the EventScotland website.

Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 Events

After the maelstrom of one of the biggest years in Scotland’s tourist history EventScotland and Visit Scotland have so far been a little tight lipped on the spread of festivities that will burst through 2015. What they can confirm at this stage is that there will be myriad events up and down the country throughout the year. These will range from one man bands showcasing their own local produce, through to farmers’ markets and massive events with global brands involved.

The Year of Food and Drink 2015 will have plenty of brand new dedicated happenings. It will also bring existing events under the theme year banner and give them a boost. These are set to include the likes of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which will be part of a Whisky Month. Homecoming’s Whisky Month was massively successful and this is slated to be replicated in May.

Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 – Watch this Space!

Rest assured we will be here to bring you all the key events when they are announced. Visit Scotland have also set up a dedicated website. With so much world class food and drink produce and such a dizzying array of venues to enjoy it around the country, the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015 cannot fail to be anything but a success. It is making us hungry just thinking about it! We hope you to will join in what should be a tastebud tingling treat.

We’ve got a flurry of foodie blogs for you to get you in the mood too:
Top 7 Restaurants in the Scottish Isles
Top 10 Remote Places to Eat
Different Ways to Discover Speyside’s Whisky
Edinburgh’s Michelin Restaurant Revolution
Gleneagles, A Real Foodie Escape

© Robin McKelvie