Archive for September, 2007

Sun shines on FEAST


The sun shone, the tea and music flowed and some of the audience just had to get up and dance when the Chinese percussion really got going.

FEAST drew a crowd of all ages to the Eating Place and if you didn’t manage to get there on Thursday never mind because we will soon be posting lots more pictures with film and music to recapture the atmosphere of the afternoon – though you will have to imagine smells of sizzling ostrich and beef burgers from neighbouring stalls for yourself.

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Meanwhile, thanks to all those who helped totristan make the event a great success – not least the Malaysian band from the festival at the other end of Castle Street who came to listen while FOUND, Kimho and Filip were playing. And special thanks to Tristan Maclean, from Edinburgh City Centre Management, for all his hard work setting up stalls and tables to create a stage for the performance in the middle of a food market.

September 3rd, 2007 Fay

Perfectly Puddledub

How’s this for appetite?

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A father and son took a 600 mile round trip from Cambridgeshire to Scotland last December to bring home the perfect Christmas Day breakfast. They found the black pudding in the Highlands but the bacon came from Clentrie Farm in Auchtertool.

FEAST didn’t have so far to go: just a shortish walk to Edinburghtommitchell Farmers’ Market to find Puddledub Pork who kindly donated some of their finest for our dim sum filming session. But Tom Mitchell (on the right), who runs the family farm business in West Fife, was amused to hear this – true – story (which we found thanks to Googling the words Tom, Mitchell and Clentrie and with a click here it is). It adds to his already impressive reputation for producing the best bacon in Scotland.

For Tom, who is chair of Fife Farmers’ Markets, small-scale farming offers a chance to concentrate on quality at a time when people are increasingly interested in where food comes from and how it is produced.

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“A few years ago the food industry was in a terrible state and farmers were going bust, we simply couldn’t compete with cheap competition from abroad.”

Puddledub specialise in fresh pork, bacon and sausages though Tom says he also has Chinese customers who want not just belly but trotters and ears, “the bits and pieces we tend to waste.” [Editor says we’ll be asking Eric Wun the chef how he cooks those].

Farmers’ Markets offer the choice of good local food but they still have to compete with the relentless marketing power of supermarkets.

So Tom likes the idea of events such as FEAST adding live music to the fun of the food market. “I often think we are not so much in the food business as the entertainment business,” he says, “A lot of people see going to the Farmers’ Market as something to do on Saturdays, a place to be sociable and meet friends.”

You can find Puddledub Pork at Farmers’ Markets throughout the Central Belt every weekend and at Edinburgh Farmers Market on first and third Saturdays of the month. More on the Puddledub website.

September 2nd, 2007 Fay

Shaw meats for the wok

A big thank you to Barry Shaw for supporting FEAST with a donation of fresh chicken for the dim sum filling. Look closely and you might spot it on its way to the wok.

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A mix of fresh chicken, pork and spices ready for the wok at the FEAST filming session in Out of the Blue

As it happens Shaw’s stall of fresh game and cured meats and sausages was right next to the FEAST stage for the last appearance of the family business at the Eating Place in Castle Street. With a season of big food fairs just about to begin, the Cumbrian firm is now concentrating on Farmer’s Markets nearer home in the North West.

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Barry Shaw, a traditional butcher who makes a point of sourcing fresh meat from local Cumbrian farms, set up his business six years ago. But there’s a multicultural flavour to products ranging from pancetta and Parma style ham, to pastrami and salami which he learned to make in Australia when he was working there nine years ago. Not to mention the very British black pudding – with and without fat.

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New ideas are always tried on the family first and the three Shaw children don’t hesitate to say what they think. What’s the favourite? “Sausages always go down well,” says Barry’s wife, Angela.

We’ll miss them in Castle Street but you can visit the shop and buy online from the

September 1st, 2007 Fay


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