An Edinburgh eatery is calling on proud home cooks to share their secret recipes for the perfect stovies – for them to be replicated by professional chefs and served to the public.
Café 1505 on Nicolson Street hopes to ignite the capital’s passion for the age-old comfort food by serving a new recipe each day in January, as part of its Burns Month campaign.
At the end of the month, the café, which is operated by Surgeons Quarter, hopes to use customer feedback and sales figures to award the city’s ultimate recipe – crowning a member of the public as Edinburgh’s stovies Queen or King.
The traditional potato-based stew typically contains leftover meat and onions, but recipes and ingredients vary widely across families and regions.
Scott Mitchell, managing director of Surgeons Quarter, said: ‘There are some fiercely proud cooks out there who have carefully-honed recipes passed down from generation to generation.
‘Likewise, there are those who adapt the traditional formula by adding new, potentially controversial, ingredients and flavours.
‘We’re urging the public to hand over their precious recipes for our catering team to prepare. Who knows, we might just settle the city’s ultimate stovies recipe once and for all.”
Café 1505 is owned by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSEd) and owes its name to the year of the historic institution’s inception.
It is operated by the college’s commercial arm, Surgeons Quarter, and all food is prepared on site by the same award-winning catering team that serve the thriving conference business and Ten Hill Place Hotel, Edinburgh’s largest independent hotel.
Alan Dickson, executive chef, is looking forward to working with his team to do justice to the public’s recipes.
He said: ‘I’m really intrigued to find out what resonates, and whether the traditional or modern take on stovies is more popular with customers.
‘One thing is for certain, my money is on a granny coming in first place – I’d be amazed if any of the younger generation can compete!’
Applicants are encouraged to hand their recipes to the Café 1505 team, send them a message on Facebook or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org between now and 31 January. The winning recipe will receive a 2 night bed and breakfast stay for two at Ten Hill Place Hotel.
Surgeons Quarter promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the RCSEd campus. All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgical standards worldwide.