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Fresh From The Sea
Posted on: 12th October, 2018
Chris runs Flavour, alongside his wife Nicola, bringing personal chef services, pop-up food events and culinary classes to our island community and beyond.
Originally from Ayrshire, Chris trained as a professional chef in Glasgow and served his time in high-end restaurants across Scotland before undertaking a head chef role in Australia.
After a decade of travel, he and Nicola finally made the Isle of Harris their home and have never looked back.
An avowed advocate of fresh, local, sustainable ingredients, Chris regularly combines his love of free-diving and spear-fishing with bringing the best of our island's seafood to his kitchen.
So, when we asked him to produce something special for our project, it was no surprise to learn he’d be pulling on a wetsuit to find the freshest of catches for his creation.
Lying cupped side down, the two halves of its corrugated shell are held tight by a strong muscle, and around their edge are dozens of bright blue eyes to detect approaching danger.
They’re also active swimmers, and can propel themselves through the water with quick squirts from a small gap in the side of their shell. Thankfully for scallop divers, they don't tend to swim very far!
Chris’ free-diving harvest for this key seafood ingredient is an excellent way to ensure minimal impact on the martime environment and allows the biggest and best scallops to be picked by hand and eye.
He’s also taken great care to apply this focus on fresh produce with provenance to his other ingredients, using beetroot and rocket from a local vegetable grower, apple from a nearby tree and flowers from his garden, all picked and plucked on the same day as the dish is made.
Please head over to the dedicated recipe page to find out more on our inaugural seafood dish. You’ll notice that our Isle of Harris Gin features in its making but he also recommends a paired glass of his special Isle of Harris ‘Sloe’ Gin...
“I decided to pair this dish with an Isle of Harris Sloe Gin as it has become a yearly tradition to visit my hometown of Benslie in Ayrshire each October where I harvest sloe berries from the local blackthorn bushes. This serves as a great pairing as it accompanies the earthiness of the beetroot while the Sugar Kelp in the gin really brings the scallops into centre stage”
You can find the recipe for this unique cocktail below and join us again very soon for more fine food as the Seafood Project continues…
ISLE OF HARRIS 'SLOE' GIN
500ml Isle of Harris Gin
250g Sloe berries
125g Caster Sugar
- Forage for sloe berries from the blackthorn bush, found commonly in hedgerows.
- Wash berries and remove any stems.
- Freeze berries overnight to break down the cells to enhance infusion.
- Add berries and sugar to the Isle of Harris Gin in its bottle then seal with the cork.
- Shake the bottle once a day for the first week.
- Then every other day for the remaining time.
- After 2-3 months, strain to remove the spent sloe berries.
- Serve over ice