December 2016

Food and Drink Essentials…

By Helen Cross

In the Spotlight With…Andrew Fraser, Wester Ross Fisheries Ltd.

Winner of the Young Shining Star award at this years Highland and Islands Food and Drink Awards, Andrew Fraser of Wester Ross Fisheries, shares with us the invaluable experience he has gained working in the fishing industry from a young age and what he wants to set out to achieve in a career he is extremely passionate about.

1. In three words sum up the ethos behind the business.

All natural salmon.

2. What where you doing before setting up/getting involved in the business and what made you take the plunge?

My career began at the Ullapool Harbour where I spent my time repairing and maintaining local boats. After successfully finishing my exams in summer 2012 from Maths, Craft & Design, Science and Geography, I applied to join Wester Ross without a hesitation.

3. Who was your inspiration?

My uncle and my grandfather were both employed by the Wester Ross Fisheries so naturally, I have been always curious about aquaculture. After finishing my exams at the local high school I decided to apply for a summer job with the company. I loved my job since the first day at the farm. The other boys of my age made it easier as well, senior farmers helped me with my learning progress and kept an eye on me.

The influence of the countryside where I was brought up is indisputable! I aspire to achieve great things in the future. My eagerness to learn also secured me a place in the wrasse team where I worked with my senior colleagues who shared invaluable industry experience with me.

4. What have been the highlights?

In the past few months, I’d been involved in the international business side of the job and meeting with our clients abroad. During the key business trip to the Seafood Expo North America in Boston, I met many customers and embraced the role of a businessman rather than a farmer. You have to be really confident discussing sensitive topics such as sea lice treatments and I enjoyed presenting and discussing our wrasse program.

5. What challenges have you had to overcome?

Two years ago, I got an opportunity to join our Wrasse Team. We usually go fishing into the local shallow waters for our cleaner fish wrasse. These little guys are an important and an extremely valuable asset to the farm because they sustainably maintain the challenge from the wild sea lice. We face the same problems as every other salmon farmer but with the help of Cleanerfish, everything is different. Our salmon are definitely more comfortable, they grow faster and into great sizes which is very important from the business point of view.

6. What are your future plans?

Wester Ross is a great place to learn and grow professionally. My career has only begun and I feel truly excited about all opportunities standing in front of me. I hope I will be able to accept and conquer all challenges ahead.

I feel beyond passionate about what I do every day; it’s a part of who I am. People keep telling me it takes a great courage to do what I do. I do feel the pressure now, especially when many boys leave to go to larger cities to try and discover the world. I was very excited about going to the States for my first big Seafood Expo. That is what I love about my job; you work on the farm - which is a very hard physical work – but you also have the opportunity to see the world, meet the customers and talk to them face to face. All this would not be possible anywhere else. Every day is a challenge and every day is different.

7. What advice would you give to other young people looking to break into the food industry?

I would say - be patient and don't give up. There are so many hidden opportunities waiting for young people such as myself. You just have to keep trying. But also listen to the more senior staff - that's very important. Try to soak up as much of their knowledge as you can. It always pays off.

8. What five Scottish food and drink products would you find in your kitchen?

Scottish salmon (naturally), cheese, whisky, products from our local bakery and local beef (again - naturally).

9. Which people, dead or alive, would you like to cook for and what would you cook?

Ha! This is a very hard question; my mum is usually the cook in the house. If I was a chef for a night, I would probably make something easy and straightforward. I quite enjoy the idea of making roasted salmon with oranges and steamed veg. That sounds good! Or a good piece of steak! I would cook for someone really famous like Gordon Ramsay, Marcus Wareing or for the Roux brothers! I'm sure we would have a good laugh!

Recipe of the month…Hake, piperade, sweet garlic purée, smoked tomatoes, pomme dauphine and tomato foam

For a lighter and alternative dinner idea to see you through the entertaining season, this month The Ardgowan Hotel in St Andrews, which contains the acclaimed restaurant, Playfair’s, shares a delicious hake recipe. A member of Food from Fife, this family-run business has son, Duncan McLachlan as Head Chef. (


Garlic purée:

2 heads of garlic, peeled

150ml double cream

Tomato foam:

500ml bouillabaisse sauce

50ml double cream

2 x Co2 cartridges

Smoked tomatoes:

1 x packet of yellow cherry tomatoes

Smoking chips


3 x mixed peppers, finely sliced

1 x garlic cloves, finely sliced

2 x shallots cut into rings

1 x fennel sliced

100ml olive oil

1 litre tomato juice

1 x star anise

Pomme dauphine:

250g mash

250g choux pastry

6 x hake fillets @ 160-180g


Garlic purée:

Place garlic in saucepan over a medium-high heat

Fill with cold water and bring to the boil

Refresh water, repeat 3 times

Warm cream and blitz with garlic in food processor until smooth

Season and transfer to squeezy bottle and keep warm

Smoked tomatoes:

Set up smoker with chips

Put in tomatoes, cover with foil and smoke on high heat for 8 minutes

Remove from heat, leave covered until needed

Tomato foam:

Heat up bouillabaisse sauce with double cream

Blitz until smooth

Transfer to a cream whipper and charge with 2 x Co2 canisters


Sweat off shallots until transparent

Add fennel and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes

Add peppers and garlic – cook for 2 minutes

Add remaining ingredients and cook for approx. 20 mins

Pomme dauphine:

Combine pastry and mash in mixer

Beat with paddle attachment until smooth

Form into balls and deep fry at 180?C until golden (2-3 mins)

Assemble ingredients as per image. Then pan fry the hake fillets, skin side down for 2-3 minutes and turn to finish cooking. Serve on top of piperade and finish with tomato foam.

Kitchen cupboard essentials…

The Three Chimneys Marmalade Bible is a must for marmalade lovers this Christmas. It’s the ultimate guide to marmalade and includes how to make it and use it in a variety of dishes. The recipes are both sweet and savoury, from Chocolate Marmalade Tart, Marmalade Breakfast Muffins and traditional Caledonian Cream to Marmalade Sauce for Roast Duck, Glaze for Roast Gammon, use of Seville oranges in fish and shellfish dishes and Marmalade Whisky Fruit Loaf – and not forgetting the Three Chimneys’ own legendary Hot Marmalade Pudding. (£4.99, :

eteaket, one of the UK’s leading loose-leaf speciality tea companies, has designed a unique transportable vessel for drinking tea, called the Bubble Cup. The Bubble Cup allows you to create your own personal ‘bubble’ wherever you are so you can block out the outside world, switch off from social media and start to appreciate the beverage that we, as a nation of tea drinkers, rely on so much. The innovative unglazed clay steeping pot with a cup lid allows you to enjoy your leaf tea anywhere and everywhere with ease. Designed by the team at eteaket and manufactured by South Queensferry based Potter Ian Henderson; this is an authentic Scottish product, which is set to take the tea market by storm. (£28.95, )

No festive period is complete without a cheeky nip of whisky to welcome visitors and Tomatin Single Malt 18 year old, winner of Best Drink at this years Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards is a must. Since 1897 there has been a quiet revolution unfolding in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. The smooth rounded hills of the Monadhliath Mountains sheltering the Tomatin Distillery reflect the softer side of nature in this quiet corner of the Highlands. The pure spring water of the Alt-Na-Frith burn, tender barley and gentle patience all go in to creating Tomatin Distillery’s award winning, deliciously sweet and smooth malt whiskies. ( )

The Hebridean Food Company continues it’s exciting expansion by adding a range of venison products to it’s online retail business. The range of premium venison cuts, sausages and mince is produced from wild red deer from the Amhuinnsuidhe Estate on the Isle of Harris.The Scottish business, founded by 25-year-old lobster fisherman’s son Douglas Stewart, already sells an extensive selection of seafood, organic beef and organic lamb, all boasting Hebridean provenance, to consumers across the UK from its online shop. (