Thursday 20 June 2019
Chef Diaries Scotland
The three Roca brothers started out as cooks at their parents' Catalan bar/restaurant and are now considered to be culinary celebrities with their Michelin-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca. In this documentary they set out to explore the culinary delights of Scotland. From Àrbroath Smokies to oysters from the Isle of Skye to haggis in Dingwall and Aberlour's barrel-aged whisky—this is a real culinary road trip through stunning Scottish scenery.
The diet of the average Scot is usually considered to be unhealthy and unimaginative (though this is changing). The film makes the point that most of the best Scottish produce, particularly seafood, is exported overseas. The Scottish farmers and restauranteurs interviewed here are passionate about good quality, locally produced ingredients though also knowledgeable about how Scottish food has always benefited from foreign influence (the East Asian spices included in haggis for example). The Highland cattle featured are free range and eat a natural diet. A lot of emphasis was put on Scotland's wild larder, though I felt more could have been said about how to make foraging and fishing genuinely sustainable. I'm also not at all convinced by arguments on sustainable wildfowling being at all possible, given how many of our wildfowl species are declining in number.
It's always interesting to see things you think you know well from a different perspective and this documentary is no exception. The brothers compare and contrast Scottish and Spanish did and farming, noting such differences as the fact that Scotland has less sunshine which means our soft fruits ripen more slowly and are sweeter as a result. They also commit to producing a menu inspired by Scottish ingredients and recipes but with a distinctly Spanish flavour. The fact that most of the dishes were meat based did mean that as a vegetarian I wasn't tempted, though I have to say they looked impressive.
Chef's Diairies Scotland is screening as part of Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019 at 2035 Friday 21 June at Odeon Lothian Road and 13.00 Saturday 22 June at Filmhouse. Tickets can be booked here.
If this film appeals to you, why not make a three course film event out of it along with:
The Amber Light which gets its world premier at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019 at 1810, Saturday 22 June and screens again at 2020 Sunday 23 June, both at Odeon Lothian Road. (Review to follow).
and Virgin and Extra: Land of Olive Oil screening as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019 at 1540, Saturday 22 June and at 1310 Sunday 23 June, both at Odeon Lothian Road. You can book tickets here.You can read my review of Virgin and Extra here.
You can read my earlier reviews from Edinburgh International Film Festival 2019, by following the links below:
Boyz in the Wood a group of teenage boys get lost in the Scottish Highlands.
2040 - can technology offer solutions to our current climate and ecological crises?
Bait - Cornish fishermen try to adapt to a changing world
How to Fake a War (on my Shapeshifting Green blog) what happens when a rock star decides to meddle in international affairs?
Farm Animals on Film - featuring The Biggest Little Farm - an inspiring story of the creation of a sustainable biodiverse farm in California, plus Vulture, an experimental film about farm animals.
Virgin and Extra: Land of the Olive Oil.
Disclaimer: I have a press pass for the film festival and attended a free press screening of these films.