AS Scotland celebrates another Year of Food and Drink, businesses making a living from the nation’s waters highlighted the ‘world class’ quality produce available to the Scottish trade and the importance of such provenance to consumers.
Mike Berther, director of fish and seafood at M&J Seafood, said there is a “growing realisation” among chefs and consumers of the quality of seafood available in Scotland.
Berther said Scottish operators are “sitting on a veritable gold mine of fish and seafood” and claimed this produce is “every bit as good, and versatile, as exotic items such as snapper and barramundi”.
In line with increasing consumer interest in provenance, Berther said the quality of seafood available to the trade continues to improve.
“Over the last five or six years British fishermen have started to take much greater care of how they catch their fish – with the aim of improving quality – and this has undoubtedly encouraged chefs to make more use of locally-sourced fish,” said Berther.
One restaurant making the most of locally-sourced fish is Ee-Usk in Oban.
The 110-cover restaurant, which is open seven days, serves a range of Scottish fish and seafood, from oysters and scallops to smoked haddock and langoustines.
Restaurant owner Alan MacLeod said that 95% of seafood sold at Ee-Usk “comes from within a 20-mile radius of the business”.
MacLeod agreed that consumers are increasingly interested in where their food comes and highlighted how the importance of provenance has grown in recent years.
“I think provenance is much more important to people,” said MacLeod.
“We list all our suppliers [and] they’re all local. I don’t think you can sell any kind of food today without provenance.”