Scott has worked in many top restaurants in Scotland and in Australia. Having trained mainly in three rosette establishments, Scott successfully achieved his own three rosettes as a head chef at the age of 26. He was runner-up in 2013’s Masterchef: The Professionals shown on the BBC and he kindly agreed to give up two days of his time to help judge the 2015 Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards.
“This was my first year as a judge for the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards, and I was delighted to have been asked to taste all the amazing Scottish produce that was entered.
“As Chef Director at The Adamson in St Andrews, local sourcing and constant tasting of food is integral to my daily working life, but I’d never experienced tasting on this scale before – over the two days judging at Elmwood College, we tasted over 260 different products – making for an intense but very rewarding experience.
“It was extremely important that we keep focussed and so had to keep refreshing our palate with water to ensure that each product was tested to the same standard as the next.
“I found that the alcohol and drinks section was the hardest for me – first of all because of the sheer volume of entries, and secondly because it is not my area of expertise. There were a lot of gins entered and they all tasted so good and had great packaging, and each of the judges had their personal favourites. Needless to say that this category generated a lot of discussion before we came up with our shortlist.
“Being one of the judges at the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards introduced me to a lot of new products that are out there, from new gins to artisanal chocolates, so as a chef it was a really informative experience, and it was also great to see how much Elmwood are involved in this process, they are after all, training our future chefs and food buyers, and exposing them to the best of Scottish food and drink can only be a good thing going forward.
“At The Adamson, we source as locally and seasonally as possible, our lobsters come from the boats at Anstruther, our fruit and veg from local farm shops when available, and our eggs, fish and meat from trusted suppliers. We shop seasonally, and create dishes that suit what’s available. Where your ingredients are sourced is a great way of introducing recipes to guests, and our guests are always interested in the story behind the finished dish.
“I’ve been a chef for over 12 years now, and even in that time have seen a lot of change in the Scottish food and frink scene – Scotland is now rightly very proud of its produce, and much more emphasis is being put tin the ingredients being the star of the show. In my case this means creating lighter, simpler dishes that let our produce speak for itself, rather than coating it in heavy sauces.
“I am proud to have been a part of the judging process for the Scotland Food & Drink Excellence Awards 2015, and I look forward to finding out the eventual winners on May 27th!”
The full shortlist is available to view here.