“As an Edinburgh-based blogger and foodphile, to say that I look forward to the annual Taste of Edinburgh festival is an understatement. This year we knew to expect a few changes, namely the venue, which was back in its original Meadows location, a few Glasgow restaurants were participating (GASP!) and there was a new principal sponsor in the form of AEG. The latter had given away some VIP tickets to the good folks at Appliances Online, who in turn (very generously, I may add) decided to pass these golden tickets on to a few lucky people. I’m delighted to say I was one of them!
The weather forecast was good – unbelievably good- and so after the obligatory met office checks, my mum and I headed up for the Saturday session to check it all out; sunglasses on! First stop was the AEG’S PERFEKT Cook Classes tent, this year run by Martin Wishart Cook School. There were four recipes and sessions to pick from that evening, and we opted for the 7pm ‘scallops’ one which would give us a chance to swing by AEG’s swanky mobile show unit first. We met with the PR girls who offered us a show around and a much appreciated glass of Champagne. The showroom is a Transformers-esque genius bit of engineering starting out life as a regular truck, It features loads of the very shiny new induction hobs, steam ovens, silent dishwashers & washing machines, and futuristic-looking extractor systems.
I was given a complimentary wodge of Crowns (the festival’s currency for buying restaurant dishes, food products from suppliers, and drinks) and mum and I were on our way. As is apt, given the festival’s title, we tried some extremely tasty dishes. This included Cucina Missoni’s excellent ‘al dente’ ravioli with spinach and ricotta, a simple dish yet with high expectations that some struggle to get right with a full kitchen, never mind the mini taste kitchens! We did the tour and also tried Chez Rouz’s tender Chicken Ballontine, Retaurant Mark Greenaway’s duo of Borders Lamb, and VinCaffè’s moreish porcini mushroom risotto.
We swung by the VIP tent to pick up our glass of Laurent-Perrier (as you do!) and then made our way to get prepped at the Cook School. Hands washed, aprons donned, and we were ready to go. The whole set up is designed for pairs to work as a team, and the end product dished up to share. All of the ingredients (supplied by Waitrose) for the seared scallops with apple and endive salad were neatly lined up, along with the required selection of utensils, knives and of course the AEG induction hob which we would use to cook the scallops.
Chef talked us through the various steps of the recipe ( separating the scallops from their shell, chopping the fruit, endive and toasted almonds, making the dressing) and the final step was to cook the scallops. This was mum’s first shot using the induction hobs, and she was definitely impressed by the simple controls; high praise from a self-confessed gas hob fan. The proof is always in the eating, and we promptly scoffed our handiwork with self-congratulatory enthusiasm.
The rest of the evening was spent wandering around the producers’ stalls, and it was a good move to have the Edinburgh’s Farmers Market participants in one area this year. Lots of wee samples here and there, a couple of drinks, and a few more dishes from the participating restaurants. What can I say? It was perfect evening for a foodie like me. Thanks folks!”