Four Chefs, One Venue, One Day

On October the 19th and 20th 2013, Kirkcudbright Summer festivities held their annual Food Festival in the Town Hall.

It is estimated that over 1000 people passed through the doors over the weekend !

On the Saturday there were a huge selection of stalls , showcasing the finest food and Drink from right across the Region .

On the Sunday the Festival was all about food demonstrations , under the title of “Four Chefs, One Venue, One Day

The 4 chefs involved where :-

Simon Rogan “one of the most innovative chefs in the country”

Double Michelin Star Celebrity Chef and proprietor Simon Rogan of L’Enclume in Carmel Cumbria. Simon Rogan not only has two Michelin Stars to his name but has also been awarded both the “Best Chef” and “Best Restaurant” award 2013 by Cateys (The hospitality industry’s equivalent of the Oscars). Simon has also appeared on the last two series of Masterchef, in this year’s penultimate show the contestants cooked Simon’s menu for the “Chefs Table” where each of the chefs hold three Michelin Stars. He competed on the Great British Menu 2012 and won the dessert course. He also managed to be in the top three dishes for the starter, fish course and main and was in many ways the man of the series.

Willie Pike MBE “probably one of the country’s best competition chefs”

Master Chef Willie Pike MBE. Willie has cooked for many distinguished guests and dignitaries, including the Royal Family. He has probably won most culinary accolades in his career including the Coveted Red Jacket from the Craft Guild of Chefs as the best competition chef in Britain. Willie was also the founder member of the Scottish Culinary Team winning 60 medals at the highest level and C.I.S Scotland’s Chef of the Year. Willie specialises in Sugar Craft and Desserts along with high quality local recipes .

Ian McAndrew “a mix of art, instinct and meticulous cooking practice”

Local Chef and proprietor Ian McAndrew of Blackaddie Country House Hotel Sanquhar. Ian won the Coveted Michelin Star in his restaurant venture in Canterbury where he gained a coveted Michelin star in his first year of operation. Ian was at the time the youngest Englishman to attain a coveted Michelin Star. Ian was awarded the honour of Chef Laureate to the British Academy of Gastronomes headed up by Egon Ronay. He has written three best selling cookery books including, ‘A Feast of Fish’ and ‘Poultry & Game’ his second book, referred to by most chefs as the best book on game ever to be written. He has developed a kitchen garden at the hotel and he regularly forages for wild foods and is a keen supporter of all local producers within the region.

Martin Avey “His presentation is superb and the taste even better”
Local Chef and proprietor Martin Avey of Del Amitry in Annan. Martin has already won recognition from leading food critics in Scotland, and has been awarded an AA Rosette, and in 2012 entered the Michelin Guide with 2 Knive and Fork awards. Martin has a comprehensive understanding of produce and flavours and is committed to ensuring the highest standards of quality and culinary skill.The menus are changed on a weekly basis, each embracing locally-sourced seasonal produce whenever possible.

DGWGO were lucky enough to be invited along to experience the day and to photograph it ! I have to say I didn’t really know what to expect . But what a day it was, really very professional and a total credit to the organisers . With huge crowds in the Hall for each demonstration , and with Giant Screens and great audio equipment you couldn’t miss a thing, plus the Smell, oh the smell of the food the chefs were cooking was amazing- and every time the Chefs invited the crowds up to sample what they had cooked , the whole lot got cleaned up! nothing was wasted , and the day seemed to be enjoyed by everyone that I spoke to, Including the 4 chefs and their Families !

Also winner of the Kirkcudbright Rotary Club’s Young Chef Competition Emma Hay had a chance to assist some of the chefs with their cooking , and she proved to be a total star and very helpful.

With the food festival being such a success , I chatted to Gavin from Kirkcudbright summer Festivities committee afterwards , he said they were overjoyed with how the weekend had gone , and here is to things being even bigger and better for next year !

All I can say is it’s a great event , a credit for the whole region as it showcased produce and food from right across D&G , and Food and Drink always bring folk together , and by the smiles in the crowds it makes them happy too !


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