Savour the flavours of Angus!

Wee Cookies pick up a few cooking tips from Hayley Wilkes. Photo courtesy of www.atasteofangus.com.
Wee Cookies pick up a few cooking tips from Hayley Wilkes. Photo courtesy of www.atasteofangus.com.

There’s only a week to go before the Taste of Angus Festival 2013 provides the perfect excuse to sample the very best of local fresh produce, food and drink.

The Taste of Angus Festival, which runs from September 6 to 14, celebrates the county’s first-class produce, food and drink with a range of activities, from tastings to competitions to cookery demonstrations.

“The Taste of Angus Festival, which takes place during Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, highlights just how lucky we are to live in an area with such an abundance of top quality, fresh, seasonal produce,” said Councillor Mairi Evans, Angus Council’s economic development spokesperson.

“In Angus, thanks to the fabulous choice of ingredients, eating out or dining in can be a truly delicious experience.”

To highlight the availability of fresh local produce, and locally-made food and drinks, at the start of the Festival, A Taste of Angus will be at Dundee Flower & Food Festival from September 6 to 8.

As well as tastings of local delicacies such as Arbroath Smokies and Forfar Bridies at the Taste of Angus stand, on Sunday, September 8, Angus Farmers’ Market’s resident chef Hayley Wilkes will use some of the finest Angus ingredients during her cookery demonstration in the chef’s theatre.

On the morning of Saturday, September 7, shoppers will be able to enjoy a Taste of Angus at Angus Farmers’ Market in Montrose, where top local chef George Marshall will reveal a few of his culinary secrets, as well as demonstrating how to cook a delicious meal using local produce.

In another key Festival event, Taste of Angus will be at a special Angus Farmers’ Market at Forfar Mart on Saturday, September 14. From 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., an even-bigger-than-usual Angus Farmers’ Market will celebrate the flavours and foods of Angus, with over 30 stalls showcasing local produce, fun food-related activities for children, including a Wee Cookies children’s cookery lesson, and lots of free tasting opportunities.

There will also be a full programme of cookery demonstrations, starting with a very apt early morning demo of porridge making by Sandy Gray of Aberfeldy Oatmeal (which is made in Arbroath), followed by current Angus Young Chef of the Year Sam Chalmers’ three course meal featuring local pork, vegetables and berries.

To finish, chefs Hayley Wilkes and George Marshall will go wooden spoon to wooden spoon to discover who can make the tastiest meal from a basket of local produce bought at the market.

“Working hard, and assisted by Radio Tay DJs John Milne and Stuart Webster, we’ll create dishes using awesome ingredients from the market,” said Hayley. “All the audience has to do is sit back, enjoy the show and vote at the end for their favourite dish.”

Throughout the Taste of Angus Festival, many local restaurants, hotels, bistros and cafés are highlighting the flavours of Angus with specially-devised menus featuring tasty seasonal dishes, including the Park Hotel’s Angus breakfast, which features locally-produced bacon, sausage, black pudding, haggis, clootie dumpling and Arbroath Smokies; The Retreat in Glen Esk’s venison and lamb from the Angus glens; and award-winning jams made using local fruit at Peel Farm, near Kirriemuir.

“Making the most of our local, seasonal produce is a sure-fire recipe for mouthwatering meals,” said Councillor Evans. “Buying local produce, food and drink also reduces food miles, supports the local economy and has health benefits. Let’s hear it for our very very good food and drink throughout the week of the Taste of Angus Festival – and beyond!”

To find out more about the Taste of Angus Festival 2013 and the Taste of Angus Campaign, visit www.atasteofangus.com,www.facebook.com/atasteofangus or follow on Twitter.