ORGANISERS of the Taste of Edinburgh festival have hailed this year’s event as the biggest yet as they unveiled the presenter of TV’s original Masterchef as the star guest.
Loyd Grossman will join leading chefs from across Scotland and further afield to dispense cooking tips when up to 30,000 people head to the Meadows next month for the country’s biggest food festival.
They will be joined by more than 100 artisan producers and staff from 16 restaurants, with special demonstration theatres offering insights into the techniques of some of British gastronomy’s best-known names.
Organisers described the line-up as the most ambitious and illustrious in the festival’s six-year history and said it reflected the recent transformation of Scotland’s reputation in the world of food and drink.
Leading British chefs due to appear at the festival, which takes place on July 6-8, said the quality of Scottish produce was a major factor in their decision to attend.
Jeff Galvin, the Michelin-starred chef who plans to open a restaurant and brasserie with his brother, Chris, at the Caledonian Hotel this summer, said: “The festival gives us a chance to be that bit closer to our amazing suppliers in Scotland.
“We want to see restaurants that do something for their local communities and this event gives us the chance to meet local chefs and local people.
“We’re really excited about opening in Edinburgh. We’re aware that it’s not London and does not have the same density of potential customers but there’s a really healthy dining-out scene and a full calendar of cultural events. It’s a fantastic city to be in.”
Tim Hughes, chef director of Caprice group, which includes The Ivy and J Sheekey restaurants, will be offering demonstrations at Taste of Edinburgh, and said: “We’re going because of the obvious calibre of chefs and the quality of produce.
“People are so aware of food and where a particular product comes from. In Scotland you have fantastic produce – the fish, game, berries, and so on. The game we use in our restaurants comes from Scotland, and we even get things like wild mushrooms from there as well.”
Francesca Weil, show manager, said: “Taste of Edinburgh 2012 will deliver the event’s most illustrious and most exciting restaurant line-up to date, including not only some the finest restaurants in Edinburgh but some of the most renowned and award-winning restaurants and chefs throughout Scotland.
“Now in its sixth year, the event has grown in stature, with some of the biggest names in food and drink travelling from far and wide to showcase their skills.
“Scotland boasts some of the finest produce and ingredients in the world so its not surprising that Taste – the country’s biggest food and drink festival – continues to attract such big names year on year.”