The knives are out and the chefs are prepped for a special seafood-themed launch of the 2019 Skye Food & Drink Festival which rolls out across Skye and Raasay over 24 and 29 June.
The festival begins on 24 June at 2pm at An Crùbh, Duisdale, with an exciting, fun and entertaining seafood-themed Ready, Steady Cook between two of Skye’s top chefs — Marcello Tully of Kinloch Lodge and Scott Davies of The Three Chimneys.
It is up to the audience to decide whose dish will take first ‘plaice’ and whose dish will flounder. The cook-off is followed by high tea and sea shanties.
The event heralds the start of a six-day celebration which includes a four day islands-wide festival food and drink trail, between 24 and 28 June, which aims to encourage visitors to the Island who are seeking a unique and authentic culinary experience and who wish to immerse themselves in the local culture.
The popular artisan producers market takes place in Broadford Hall on 28 and 29 June and provides a showcase for our talented artisan producers, both local and visiting.
Visitors will be able to make their way around the variety of stalls displaying the amazing 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, live music and a family-friendly cèilidh dance on the Saturday night will see the festival out for 2019. The market will include an artisan café brought to the festival by Ardvasar’s popular Café 1925.
Other foodie events taking place during the festival are Glendale Highland Market’s summer season launch at Glendale Community Hall on 25 June; a forage and feast afternoon with Skye gillie Mitchell Partridge and local divers Vanessa Charles and Martin Hynd on Armadale beach on 26 June; a Talisker whisky masterclass at the Aros Centre, Portree, on 26 June; a lesson in the art of traditional clootie dumplings on 27 June, also at the Aros Centre; and a chocolate-making masterclass with the Glenshiel Chocolatier on 28 June at the Dunollie Hotel.
Now in its third year, the Festival is an annual celebration of food and drink from across the Isles of Skye and Raasay. The project aims to raise awareness of Skye’s unique position as a gourmet island and provide a showcase for the diverse range of premium produce grown, harvested, landed, produced and served on this unique region of the Hebrides, focusing on the artisan producers, the quality of the food and drink offer, the Highland heritage and rich natural harvest.
Originally based in Portree’s community cultural hub, the Aros Centre, the festival has expanded its reach for 2019 to put on foodie events at venues in Sleat, Broadford, Glendale and Portree, and involves around 50 organisations in the Island’s food and drink sector as well as a number of community groups and schools.
Festival director Pam Allan said: ‘It is year three for Skye Food & Drink Festival and we are hugely excited.
‘We are delighted to have received funding this year from the Connect Local Regional Food Awards, backed by the Scottish Government, and this has allowed us to extend the number of festival days from two to six; put on events in venues across the Isle of Skye; and develop a festival food and drink trail which we hope will attract culinary visitors to Skye and Raasay year-round.
‘We are also very grateful to everyone who got behind us, our advertisers and supporters, including the Aros Centre, An Crùbh, the Dunollie Hotel and Broadford hall Association.
‘We have a great programme of events planned over the course of the festival and our artisan market and food and drink trail will showcase the exceptional quality of produce coming out of Skye and Raasay.
‘We hope the festival will put Skye on the international culinary tourism map as Scotland’s gourmet island. We certainly have the talent here for it.’
For more information, tickets and programme visit www.skyefoodanddrinkfestival.co.uk or pick up a printed programme from outlets across Skye and Raasay from Friday.