Fresh food is at the heart of the Skye Food and Drink Festival
Fresh food is at the heart of the Skye Food and Drink Festival

Skye Food and Drink Festival kicks off today

The third Skye Food and Drink Festival kicks off today (Monday, 24 June) with a sold-out seafood launch.

This will featuree Ready, Steady Cook with Skye’s celebrated chefs Marcello Tully, from Kinloch Lodge, and Scott Davies, of the Three Chimneys. This fun afternoon will include high tea and music and takes place at An Crùbh, Duisdale at 2pm.

The event heralds the start of a six-day celebration of the food and drink grown, harvested, landed, produced and served on what is fast becoming recognised as Scotland’s Gourmet Island.

The festival, which takes place between 24 and 29 June at venues around the Isle of Skye features an island-wide food and drink trail where culinary visitors will be able to meet the people behind the produce as well as visit the many quality restaurants and cafés dotted around Skye and Raasay’s remote rural communities.

Events include the Glendale Highland Market special opening day with family entertainment on 25 June at Glendale Hall; a special Talisker whisky masterclass at the Aros Centre, Portree, on 26 June; and a chocolate-making workshop with Glenshiel chocolatier Finlay MacDonald on 28 June at the Dunollie Hotel, Broadford.

A first for the festival this year will be the launch of a brand new product by multi-award-winning clootie dumpling maker Michelle Maddox from Clootie McToot in Abernethy who will demonstrate how to make traditional clootie dumplings the way her granny taught her at the Aros Centre on Thursday, 27 June.

The event will see the premiere of the Clootie McToot Dumpling Boxes aimed at bringing the art of clootie dumpling making back into the home with hand selected ingredients and instructions, all packaged in a beautifully designed box.

Michelle said: ‘The Skye Food & Drink Festival is a fantastic opportunity to see all the local produce the Island has to offer and collaborate and network with like-minded artisan food producers.’

The highlight of the festival is the two-day artisan producers’ market which takes place this year in Broadford Hall on 28 and 29 June. The market provides a unique showground for local and visiting producers to tempt visitors into tasting and buying their supreme quality produce.

Visitors will be able to make their way around the variety of stalls displaying the diverse abundance, diversity and quality of food and drink produced on Skye, Raasay and the surrounding regions. From whisky, gin, wine and beer producers, meat, fish, chutneys and bread, to chocolate and wild venison charcuterie, the festival market is a delight to the senses.

There will be opportunities to taste and buy and meet the producers behind the scenes. The market will include an artisan café brought to the festival by Ardvasar’s Café 1925.

Fresh food is at the heart of the Skye Food and Drink Festival

The festival ends with a lively family-friendly cèilidh dance with the popular Breakish Cèilidh Band on the Saturday night (29 June).

Festival spokesperson, Sara Bain, said: ‘As most people on the Island will know, our festival director, Pam Allan, was struck with a personal tragedy recently and has had to take a back seat in the organisation of the 2019 festival. We are all thinking about her and are keen to offer support.

‘Her friends, and they are legion, have rallied around to make sure this year’s festival continues, however, and it is this incredible spirit of friendship and support that will make this event a great success.

‘It is thanks to people like Sally McDonald of the Art House; Dede MacGillivray of Croft No 8; Lesley Taylor of the Talisker Distillery; Sally Keighly of Café 1925; Donald MacDonald and Joanna Jacques of the Aros Centre, Portree; Jake Sayles of NFU Mutual; the Three Chimneys, Colbost; Kinloch Lodge, Sleat; and Duncan MacInnes of SEALL, all our advertisers, stall holders and supporters and well-wishers, that the Skye Food & Drink Festival will take place this year.

‘This outstanding level of community support, although humbling, has proved invaluable and I am delighted to say we have already sold out two of our events.

‘We hope that people will turn out to support their local producers by visiting the festival market on 28 and 29 June at Broadford Hall where we have nine drink
producers and 15 food and beverage artisans all ready to tempt people with their fabulous produce.

‘More highlights of the weekend are the festival cèilidh on the Saturday night; Sally Keighley’s outstanding artisan café and watch out for the visit of a giant puppet horse in the car park on both days.’

For further information and tickets to all events, visit