Anyhoo, I was intrigued enough by the launch of the Year of Food and Drink 2015 to pay it a visit. I was delighted to run into Emma from Food and Drink Glasgow, with whom I spent a good portion of the day.
The Year of Food and Drink has at its heart an opportunity to promote Scotland’s larder, to both the people of Scotland and the visitors to our country. It’s collaboration between the food and tourism sectors, with Government funding behind it.
The challenge for the launch event was for delegates to consider and articulate what our contributions could and should be. It also provided the opportunity to make the types of connections that might enable those ideas to come to fruition.
Hosted at Murrayfield, the venue’s executive chef Paul Smith served up an impressively good lunch, showcasing local producers. The seafood, from Campbell Brothers, was very good, as was the excellent selection of local cheeses.
Aside from the usual speeches and workshop sessions, which were all pretty much as you’d expect, the highlight of the day was the morning panel discussion, which brought together a vast array of representatives from across the food and tourism sector.
It was good to hear from Alastair from Home Ground Coffee and Beth from Cranachan & Crowdie in particular. There was much to consider, some of which I agreed with, some of which I found less valuable, but all of which was engaging.There was a lot of talk about “momentum” and capitalising upon it. Certainly, there’s an opportunity to contribute to a wider public debate as well as a good framework structure to think about food events and initiatives in 2015.
I personally committed to aligning some of the Scran Salon events with the monthly themes that have been identified for the year, so hopefully that will make for interesting events.A special mention goes to Scran Salon regular Vivian from Scottish Business in the Community who did an excellent job of wangling a little speaking slot from the main platform to tell people about Food for Thought. It’s always good to hear the latest about this great programme.