In 2014 Stirling Highland Games made the decision to make sure its visitors had, as an enjoyable food and drink experience as the event itself. By adopting a tendering process, they were looking for food and drink producers that offered quality produce at a reasonable price. Following a review, the feedback from visitors was positive including a blogger who shared his thoughts on his highland games experience.
“The food options at these kind of events are very often dire. Overpriced, unhealthy and awful is to be expected far too often. The Stirling Games have excelled themselves though and the choice is actually pretty impressive. Angus beef burgers and even Asian influenced meat and veg dishes are on offer!”
Spurred on by the positive feedback the committee looked at expanding the food and drink offering. In 2015, funding was secured through the Year of Food & Drink which was the Scottish Government initiative led by VisitScotland, giving events an opportunity to showcase, celebrate and promote Scotland’s natural larder and quality produce to our people as well as our visitors. This allowed Stirling Highland Games to promote 6 Scottish producers and with feedback again positive they decided food and drink would play a key part in the event’s future sustainability. Fiona Richmond, Special Projects Manager, Scotland Food & Drink said:
“Scotland Food & Drink is delighted to be once again working with Stirling Highland Games. The food and drink sector is one of Scotland’s fastest growing and consumers are demanding more choice and more local produce to be available at events. Over the last few years, the Games have worked hard to reflect this demand and we are delighted to support them in the creation of the Stirling Foodie Fest area.”
Since 2014 the Games Committee have increased the food and drink presence year on year with also support in 2016 from EventScotland. This year, Stirling Foodie Fest will be a fully marqueed area for visitors to relax, wander, sample, purchase and enjoy the producer’s offerings. As part of this new feature, Stirling Foodie Fest warmly welcomes our celebrity chef of the day Gary Maclean, the 2016 MasterChef Professional Champion. He beat 47 other professional chefs over seven weeks of cooking and was named winner in December 2016 by Marcus Wareing, Monica Galetti and Gregg Wallace. Gary commented:
“I am really excited to be part of the inaugural Stirling Foodie Fest. I think having a quality food and drink offering as part of the main event will attract a massive following of foodies from through the UK. Stirling’s location is so central and visitors will be able to get a hands-on experience with some of Scotland’s award winning producers.”
To add to the Stirling Foodie Fest experience Gary is also scheduled to do a Q & A during the day, allowing all foodie fans in attendance a great opportunity to speak with him. There will be up to 25 Scotland food and drink producers on site showcasing including the likes of McQueen Craft Gin, The Wee Fudge Co, FizzBuz Prosecco, All That’s Delicious, Harviestoun Craft Beer and All Things Nice.
If you are a Scottish producer and wish to be part of this year’s Stirling Foodie Fest then opportunities are available to book your traders space. You can apply online by visiting the Stirling Highland Games web site at www.stirlinghighlandgames.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and request an application form.