Shetland Salmon Speaks for Itself
The Master Chefs of Great Britain
The Shetland Salmon Farmers’ Association’s corporate membership of the Master Chefs of Great Britain (MCGB) continues to reap rewards for the industry. Its ongoing relationship with the MCGB helps the islands’ unique fish take its rightful position at the top of culinary distinction. The Master Chefs’ commitment to promote the best produce available marries well with Shetland’s salmon farmers’ passion and loyalty to excellence in food quality and innovation.
Some of the leading players in professional catering circles have participated in demonstrations around the country that have been designed to demonstrate just how easy it is to produce great tasting dishes using this quality ingredient, and have helped move Shetland salmon to the forefront of the culinary stage.
Membership of MCGB also gives Shetland’s salmon farmers the opportunity to sell Shetland salmon to over two hundred hotels, restaurants and establishments within the UK and overseas, and the chefs’ endorsement continually heightens the profile of the product.
Master Chef Willie Deans served plum-smoked organic-farmed Shetland salmon at a Burn’s Supper at Reid’s Palace Hotel in Madeira. The occasion provided an excellent promotional platform to promote the local product abroad at such a prestigious event.
“Shetland salmon has a deserved reputation which measures up to the Reid’s Palace Hotel’s status as a standard-bearer for excellence. With Shetland salmon you know that you are getting a quality product that has been reared in wild clear waters so it will be naturally tasty.”
Master Chef Willie Deans, executive chef, The Buttery Restaurant, Glasgow
Shetland salmon topped the menu at a series of VIP lunches held to mark the culmination of the ‘Culinary Excellence in Schools’ project co-ordinated by Niall Murray, training manager of Opus restaurant in Glasgow. The project, run in partnership with Glasgow City Council, involves pupils from the city’s schools who are trained to prepare a restaurant-standard meal.
“I have chosen to use Shetland salmon because it is an excellent quality product and as my lunch guests will include the head chefs of establishments such as The Glasgow Hilton and The Rogano Seafood Restaurant, I was keen to use only the best produce.”
Niall Murray, training manager, Opus, Glasgow
Shetland Salmon Farmers’ Association gave support to the annual ‘Skills for Chefs Conference’. Themed on ‘A Chef’s Vision of the Future’ it was quite apt that Shetland’s innovative salmon farming industry sponsored two sessions at such a forward looking event. Master Chef Willie Deans prepared roast pave of plum smoked Shetland salmon during his session and Michelin starred chef Ian McAndrew prepared seared Shetland salmon for the conference dinner attended by over 300 delegates, most of whom were highly respected chefs.
“The event was an excellent means of developing awareness for Shetland salmon. The seared Shetland salmon was very well received. In fact, Andrew Coghlan of food and wine company ‘Barrels and Bottles’ commented that this particular course was a personal highlight for him. ‘Barrels and Bottles’ is the official preferred choice supplier for Johnasens recommended hotels and restaurants so this is quite an accolade.
“During Steven Saunders’ session on organic food he held up a wild and a farmed fish and explained that the flavour, texture and appearance of the wild fish was ‘as it should be’, but concluded that salmon reared ‘Shetland-style’ helped produce a farmed fish that was totally different due to the islands’ strong tidal currents.”
David McKown, Director of Skills for Chefs
Shetland salmon is also appearing more and more in retail outlets as the consistency of supply and supreme quality of the product continues to have significant appeal to buyers and consumers alike.
“Shetland salmon is a fantastic product that is so easy to sell. This is because it is of such consistently high quality and people are really interested in the fact that the salmon has been reared in clear fast flowing waters. We will only use the best raw ingredients and Shetland salmon is exactly that.
“In the past I have provided smoked salmon for celebratory events, for testing recipes for celebrity chefs and supplied our end product to a number of Michelin starred restaurants and specialist shops. I will certainly continue to endorse Shetland’s farmed salmon and help to maintain its high profile.”
Michael Leviseure, owner of The Organic Smokehouse, Shropshire
American fine smoked salmon producer Spence & Co Ltd is another advocate of Shetland farmed salmon.
“We have developed a reputation for excellency and consistency and use aqua-cultured salmon to produce a superb end-product. The needs of American consumers can be met if a product is reasonably priced, easy to cook, and of consistently high quality. Shetland salmon is undisputedly that. Quality and excellence are key considerations for us and that is why we choose to use Shetland salmon.”
Alan Spence, founder of Spence & Co Ltd, Massachusetts, USA