St Andrews Links Executive Chef Ian MacDonald served up more than 3000 portions of his renowned Cullen Skink at the European Seafood Exposition (ESE) in Brussels.
Ian was part of a Scottish team showcasing the delights of Scotland’s fishing waters at the annual expo, which is the biggest of its kind in the world, attracting in excess of 25,000 seafood lovers and produce from over 70 countries.
Ian, who is vice-president of the Federation of Chefs Scotland, prepared more than 300 litres of Cullen Skink before he departed for Brussels.
Using his popular recipe with smoked haddock, potatoes and onions, which he serves up on a daily basis at the Swilcan Restaurant in the Links Clubhouse, his dish was vacuum packed, frozen and shipped out to Belgium.
Ian said: “It’s a fabulous event to be a part of, it’s a lot of hard work but it’s great to be playing a part in promoting Scotland’s waters and the fantastic array of produce we have at our disposal.
“I love working with local produce whenever possible and we’re very fortunate in St Andrews to have a great natural larder on our doorstep.”
Ian’s hard work didn’t stop in St Andrews however, as on arrival in Brussels he was back grafting on a stove, working solidly from 6am until 7pm in the Seafood Scotland Pavilion.
Each day Ian and the Scotland team were expected to cater for 250 guests using a range of products, including poached and smoked salmon, hake, haddock, mussels, langoustines and many more.
As well as the day-to-day dishes for expo attendees, Ian was also part of the team serving 200 VIP guests at a ministerial reception hosted by Richard Lochhead, the Scottish Minister for Rural Affairs and the Environment.
Mr Lochhead said: “Scottish seafood is unsurpassed on the world stage for excellence and taste and is increasingly sought after. The Seafood Expo offers great opportunities to showcase produce and boost exports by gaining access to new markets.
“We have had some fantastic Scottish hospitality on show, promoting Scottish provenance, quality and sustainability.”
Ian added: “I was delighted to be part of the Scottish team at ESE. We all share a passion for cooking with seafood and working in Scotland and have some of the best, if not the best, fish and shellfish to cook with.
“It was a real pleasure to work with the team and share our expertise, experiences and stories to take back to the team in St Andrews.”