Food Heroes

1st October 2016 Blogs

In this article Roger introduces us to some of his food heroes from the Borders and Scotland.

I love using local ingredients sourced from local folk in the Borders as well as from trusted suppliers in other parts of Scotland. I firmly believe that this absolute provenance translates into greater depth of flavour, meaning truly seasonal local food which always delivers on the plate. Here are some of my own food heroes which always have a starring role on the menus here at Seasons.

Stichill Jerseys, near Kelso
Stichill JerseysWe source cheese and cream for our ice cream come from Brenda at Stichill Jerseys near Kelso.   Brenda Leddy of Stichill Jerseys has been producing butter, cream and cheese for over 30 years, and her cheese, made using traditional methods and unpasteurised milk has been featured in Jenny Linford’s book ‘Great British Cheeses’. Stichill claims to be the only maker of clotted cream in Scotland. Their milk comes from their own herd of Jersey cows.

Hebridean Sea Salt, Isle of Lewis
We use Hebridean Sea Salt, sugar, red wine and herbs to cure highland venison to create bresaola.

Stunning Loch Erisort, on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, is home to Scotland’s first sea salt company and one of the most unspoilt coastlines in the world. Their sea salt is hand harvested using the simplest of recipes; crystal clear Hebridean sea water, heat and time – creating pure white crunchy sea salt flakes that melt in the mouth.

Burnside Farm Foods, near Kelso
Johnny Rutherford from Burnside supplies our roe deer salami and all of our game.  As one of Scotland’s leading Game Specialists, Burnside supply direct from their own farm on the  Rutherford Estate on the banks of the Tweed near Kelso. Owner Johnny Rutherford took the sense of family tradition and heritage and combined it with a passion for food when he created Burnside Farm Foods on one of the estate farms.

Philiphaugh Estate Walled Gardens, Selkirk

Philiphaugh Estate Walled Gardens, Selkirk

This wonderful restored Victorian working garden supplies much of our fruit, grapes and vegetables.

There are several glass houses, in summer these are filled with tomatoes, grapes, courgettes, cucumbers and figs. There is an orchard growing a wide variety of apples which are available from September each year. Strawberries and raspberries in season and a whole host of root and salad crops and vegetables – lettuces, beans, peas, broccoli, potatoes, leeks, courgettes, carrots and cabbages – in fact most seasonal vegetables and fruits.

Martin Baird Butchers, Melrose
We work closely with Martin Baird to source lamb, beef and pork from farms near Melrose and are members of the Scotch Beef Club. I also use Martin’s black pudding and cured bacon.

martinbaird_cropMartin Baird comes from a family who have farmed near Kelso for generations and because of this he totally understands the conditions required to produce high quality beef, lamb and pork. The business also prides itself on supplying locally sourced meat products which are prepared on the premises using traditional and time honoured methods to bring to you quite simply the best the  Borders has to offer. Renowned for their commitment to local farmers, Martin and his team supply their customers with meat that is full of quality and flavour.

Ross Dougal Fish Merchants, Eyemouth

Ross Dougal Fish Merchants, Eyemouth
Ross supplies fish and shellfish from Eyemouth which are caught by day boats and delivered to us daily. I love to dry cure their salmon with herbs, finishing with a spray of Edinburgh Gin.

Ross Dougal Fish Merchants are widely recognised as Eyemouth’s premier fish merchants.  They supply all types of fish, seafood and shellfish on a daily basis, they also specialise in smoked fish which is smoked in their own smoke house using traditional smoking methods dating back hundreds of years.

The Borders countryside and our own Kitchen Garden
We pick wild garlic and will use elderflowers to flavour panacotta and herbs and flowers from our kitchen garden when they appear during the year. Val sources our wild foraged mushrooms.

Vegetables are pickled in our own spiced cider vinegar and chutneys and jams are made in the summer and autumn with seasonal fruits and berries. I also pickle nasturtium seeds which go really well with Ross’s fish.

Cocoa Mountain, Durness
Paul from Cocoa Mountain up in Durness supplies our chocolate, we are using Cuban and Venezuelan at the moment.

Freshness, quality and innovation are words used to describe this very special chocolate and truffles, all made using the highest quality chocolate, premium ingredients and natural flavourings. Their guiding principal is to avoid the use of artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives and every chocolate is made by hand and is gluten free.

Oakwood Farm, near Selkirk
All of our eggs are organic and free range supplied by organic food producer DG Henry from their farm at Oakwood Mill just outside Selkirk.