In 2013 the Royal Highland Show introduced a food charter, focussing on high quality, locally sourced and ethically farmed ingredients. Hannah Noble reports.
The man responsible for the food charter, on behalf of the show’s largest caterer, Saltire Hospitality, is executive chef and culinary director, Bran Jankovic.
The family-run business founded by David Peters, has been one of the catering partners of the show for the last 18 years, providing meals for members, directors, sponsors and the general public.
Thousands of people will be fed over the course of the four-day show, with everything from fine dining to street food on offer.
The hard work and planning for this year’s Royal Highland started last year, sourcing producers and creating new menus.
A total of 250 staff members work tirelessly for the duration, including 35 chefs, with breakfast being served from 5.30am each day.
Mr Jankovic says: “We are so passionate about food. Provenance and seasonality are so important.
“The food charter requires 80-90 per cent of produce to be local and Scottish. We exceed that target every year, through engaging and supporting local farmers.
“It is important to meet with producers and suppliers, learn about their challenges and the way their businesses work, getting to source the very best products Scotland has to offer. I have the best job in the world.”
Mr Jankovic, who grew up in Bosnia, worked as a chef in California where he met his wife Katie, whose family, farm sheep in the Scottish Borders.
“Having a father-in-law who is involved in farming, and helping to prepare and show sheep at the Royal Highland has really helped me appreciate the passion and hard work that goes into producing a great product, not just at certain times of the year, but all year round,” he adds.
“We take it for granted as chefs that meat or fish just arrives in the kitchen. Meeting the farmers and producers really makes you have so much more respect for the ingredients you use.”
The company produces all bread and cakes on the showground, with wheat sourced through a number of suppliers in East Lothian.
An estimated 5,000 strawberry tarts will be consumed over the duration of the show, meaning 500kg of strawberries are needed, are produced in by Blacketyside Farm, Fife.
Cream and dairy products are supplied by Bonaly Farm Dairy, Midlothian, including the 10,000 portions of butter. Meanwhile, 400 litres of ice cream is provided by Edinburgh-based S. Luca.
Meat is sourced from several farms around Linlithgow through Campbell’s Prime Meat. Around 600kg of beef sirloin will be consumed, along with more than 100 legs of lamb as well as venison and poultry.
Campbell’s Prime Meat also provide 2,500 burgers, which are cooked on barbecues over charcoal at several sites on the showground. Several hog roasts will also be available, using eight whole pigs.
“Also 2,500 haddock fillets will be used for beer-battered fish, plus half a tonne of Scottish potatoes for the chips. Fish is sourced from Scottish producers, many based on Shetland and 75 sides of salmon are consumed,” Mr Jankovic adds.
“It is a lot of hard work with very long days, but in my opinion the Highland Show is the best week of the year. I am very excited.”