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The search for Scotland’s best-kept secret ingredient: Highlands and Islands

Ok folks, let’s start up north. There’s land, there’s sea – so much to choose from, it’s a chef’s dream.

From the hills there’s venison and amazing game birds, from the land there’s beef, lamb, strawberries and heritage potatoes, from the sea comes some of the best seafood in the world, and let’s not forgot the lochs and rivers that are perfect for fresh-water fish like salmon and trout.

For me there are a few stand-out ingrEDDS H&I imageedients though. Isle of Skye scallops and lobster are on my menu at the moment. Coming from those pure, clean waters really does make them stand out from anything else I’ve tried recently.

Another product from this region I’ve been a huge fan and supporter of over the last couple of years is Hebridean Sea Salt. Established in 2011, Natalie Crayton has since been producing incredible salt that challenges the market-leaders in my eyes.

Then there’s everybody’s favourite - Stornoway black pudding. I simply refuse to eat anything else! The balance of flavours and spice is just right. No proper cooked breakfast is complete without it.

And of course, the Highlands and Islands are famous for their distinctly-flavoured malts. Not just for drinking, it’s great to cook with as well – definitely one of my secret ingredients.

I always enjoy creating adventurous dishes using superb Scottish products like these. But now it’s over to you. Let me know which Scottish ingredientmakes your favourite dish come alive - it may be from the Highlands and Islands or from somewhere else in Scotland.

Email your entry to before Friday 8th August 2014 to be in with a chance of being selected to join me in a cook-off at Eat Drink Discover Scotland.Visit for terms and conditions.

Next week I’ll be exploring Grampian. Stay tuned!

Eat Drink Discover Scotland, which is taking place at the Royal Highland Centre between 12th and 14th September, will bring to life the rich diversity of Scotland’s brimming larder by faturing exhibitors from the length and breath of the country. One for the foodies, it will be offering something for every palate, plate and price range and with a regional focus, it will be providing opportunities for smaller rural food producers to share centre stage with more established brands. The weekend will also include demonstrations and masterclasses such as chocolate workshops, cocktail making, game butchery and craft bakery.

Follow the search on Twitter @EatDrinkSco


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