Food&Drink St Andrew’s Day For more food and drink visit

Saints and Dinners Plenty of countries celebrate their national food on their national day, so what should we be tucking into on 30 November in Scotland?

M ost of us agree that our national dish is haggis, but it gets its chance on Burns Night in January. So how else might we mark St Andrew’s Day? The Scottish government has put their weight behind a campaign to make Scotch lamb the centrepiece of a celebration feast. They invited two Michelin star chef Andrew Fairlie to

suggest a recipe celebrating local, seasonal food that would have families eating together around a table. You can read the recipe he came up with (slow-roasted lamb shoulder with potatoes and onions) at Meanwhile, we’ve asked some other Scottish food personalities for their St Andrew’s Day dishes.



I love St Andrew’s Day because it is a fantastic excuse to celebrate Scotland’s finest produce. Guests are served in our most stylish eaterie, the Sands Grill, and the feast opens with the classic Cullen skink, a creamy Orkney smoked haddock, leek and potato soup. The main is chicken Balmoral - free-range chicken stuffed with haggis, served with skirlie potato, roast root vegetables and a delicious whisky sauce. The saintly experience concludes with clootie dumpling - a decadent steamed fruit pudding with vanilla custard. Simon Whitley is Food & Beverage Director at The Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa in St Andrews. St Andrew's bones were part of the Medieval relic trade, and some of his remains ended up in my dad's home town of Amalfi. Since Andrew came from the Middle East, should we use chick peas and lemons in his honour? Lacking an obvious connection on a culinary front, we propose a great Scottish ingredient, beetroot, be taken on a pilgrimage from its home in Ayrshire to central Europe to make the classic soup borsht. I'm sure a wee dram too many will be had in honour of the saint, and beetroot pays respect to your liver. Domenico del Priore is a co-owner of Cookie in Glasgow.

A plate of hand-dived king scallops is a very special thing. The effort and bravery that is needed in gathering the scallops from the seabed make them the ideal choice for a celebratory feast. Such fantastic seafood means it is best to do as little as possible: shuck and clean, season, and sear for 45 seconds each side in hot olive oil, and finish with a squeeze of lemon that's it! I think St Andrew would surely approve not only is it a classic Scottish ingredient, but he must see St James up there whose symbol is the scallop shell. Guy Grieve runs the Ethical Shellfish Company, based on the Isle of Mull.

Cullen skink Scallops



At L’Artichaut, we present a marriage between classic French cookery and vegetarian cuisine, naturally with a Scottish twist for celebrating St Andrew’s Day. To commemorate the day, our head chef has taken the classic dish of haggis, neeps and tatties and transformed it into vegetarian haggis croquettes with neep puree. Mashed potatoes are mixed with the haggis before being shaped and coated in breadcrumbs then fried until golden. It is a suitable saint’s day feast for vegetarians and vegans. Catriona Spence is restaurant manager at L’Artichaut vegetarian restaurant, 14 Eyre Place, Edinburgh. To celebrate St Andrew’s Day we would serve three classic Scottish dishes, all centuries old and still among the nation’s favourite national dishes. Scotch broth, warm and welcoming, full of seasonal vegetables; followed by venison casserole with a rich sauce, served with roast potatoes and carrot and fennel mash. The top choice for dessert was cranachan, the most delicious combination of iconic Scottish ingredients raspberries, oatmeal, whisky, heather honey and cream. Food Trust Scotland ( promotes the culture and heritage of Scotland’s food.

Having spent my teenage years in St Andrews, this particular sainted individual has significance for me. Setting aside memories of school dinners, I think a trip to the East Neuk of Fife, a brisk walk along the beach and then piping hot fish and chips eaten on the harbour wall, looking out to sea would be a good celebration. Plenty of time to reflect on how we can resolve the issue of enjoying fish more sustainably! Jo Macsween is a director of Macsween Haggis.

24 THE LIST 18 Nov–2 Dec 2010


WIN a lamb carving set courtesy of Scotch Lamb. See page 6.