Ready, Steady, Cook!

Competition winners Emma and Fiona.

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A Ready, Steady, Cook workshop was recently held by Arran Eco Savvy at Arran High School.

Six teams comprising of two and three members had just 45 minutes to cook  a two-course meal. The purpose was to deliver food waste prevention practice and upskilling in a fun, social, competitive way.

All the ingredients came from the Eco Savvy food share initiative so the teams did not know what they were going to be able to cook in advance. Each attendee could bring one secret, special ingredient, with one contestant impressing the judges with their choice of wild, foraged garlic.

Stuart McPherson, head chef at the Lagg Distillery, provided cooking expertise and support to teams and judged the competition. The competition criteria were taste, presentation and creativity of dish name.

The winners were Fiona Mackintosh and Emma Jessop who managed to make a delicious tasting vegetable coconut curry, rice, flatbread and blueberry pancakes with whipped cream in the time given.

It was really hard to judge and the calibre of dishes was excellent, leaving the judge very impressed indeed.

While participants enjoyed their food creations, chef Stuart delivered a cooking demo of a fermented pearl barley risotto. He also provided tastings of a range of different fermented goods, showcasing the ease and appeal in food preservation through fermentation and the deliciousness of it too.

This workshop was a part of the food programme of the Sustainable Island Life project funded by the Scottish Government. To be a part of this programme and future exciting workshops, please email food coordinator Jess Wallace:


Chef Stuart McPherson gives advice to the contestants. NO_B10cook01

The teams pick their produce to cook. NO_B10cook02

Stuart gives eventual winners Fiona and Emma some tips. NO_B10cook03

Emma and Fiona, the winning team. NO_B10cook04

Lucy Urquhart-Dixon and Karen Lindsay-Smith are hard at work on their meal. NO_Bcook05

Andrew Binnie and his cooking partner with their finished meal. NO_B10cook06

Shane Henderson hard at work during the competition. NO_B10cook07