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September 2, 2016
Jak O'Donnell, Shirley Spears and James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, check out the seafood on offer in Mallaig.
Jak O’Donnell, Shirley Spear and James Withers, Chief Executive of Scotland Food & Drink, check out the seafood on offer in Mallaig.

The Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight gets underway this weekend and runs until Saturday 18th September.

The Fortnight celebrates all sectors of the food and drink industry, supporting and promoting Scotland’s produce, producers and chefs.

There is a full list of the events taking place here.

Scottish seafood

Incredibly, food and drink is the largest industry in Scotland with an annual turnover of £14.3 billion.

Aside from whisky, seafood is the second largest export. It is sold to over 100 countries and is one of Europe’s largest seafood producers with currently over 5,000 working fishermen.

Scottish seafood will have a starring role at the new Taste the Wild festival which launches on Saturday 10th September in Mallaig Harbour.

Mallaig is one of the main commercial fishing port on Scotland’s West Coast so it’s a fitting location to hold one of the festival highlights, The Big Fish Debate.

Hosted by Shirley Spear, Chair of the Scottish Food Commission, the panel will debate issues, such as Brexit, which will have an impact on Scotland’s fishing industry.

Jak O’Donnell, Ambassador of Taste the Wild and Chef Proprietor of The Sisters Restaurant, said:

‘The Big Fish Debate is an incredibly worthwhile discussion between everyone linked to the fishing world. I’m excited to be sitting on the panel among five key influencers in this industry. Fishing and food affects everyone in one way or another, so I encourage you to come along and find out more about it.

‘Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight is an opportunity to recognize the wealth of produce that is available 365 days a year. During these two dedicated weeks we can stand on our soap boxes and let the UK know about our great Scottish food and the producers, fisherman and farmers that work year round to deliver our greatest export.

‘Our larder is world-renowned let’s show everyone how much it means to us.’

Prawn peeling competition

On a more light-hearted note, the first World Prawn Peeling Competition will take place at Taste the Wild.

The competition will run throughout the day with the winner announced at the closing ceremony.

As well as a harbour packed with the stalls showcasing the wares of the Highlands’ finest producers, there will be chef demonstrations and talks in The Fish Market from 11.10am-2:30pm.

A ‘Scran & Dram’ dinner and ceilidh will see the festival off in style. Four of the Highlands top chefs will each create a course to offer a truly one-off dining experience.