Year of Food and Drink to serve up delights at May Festival

Year of Food and Drink to serve up delights at May Festival

Visitors to the University of Aberdeen's May Festival later this month will enjoy a variety of events to mark the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015.

The Festival’s Food and Drink theme, which has received support from EventScotland and VisitScotland, has something for everyone, from cooking demonstrations to the opportunity to go on a wild food forage.

Kicking off the Food and Drink events on Friday, May 29, is the Food for the Future debate, which will look at the issue of how we feed the ever-growing population and how food will change in the future. The panel will be made up of four experts – Dr Wendy Russell from the University of Aberdeen’s Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health, Scott Walker from National Farmers Union Scotland, Professor Andrew Salter from the University of Nottingham  and Professor Margaret Gill from the University of Aberdeen  and will be chaired by Dr Alan Rowe.

The ever popular Produce Market will return to Elphinstone Hall on Saturday, May 30, and to celebrate the Year of Food and Drink, will be jam-packed with a variety of tasty treats from local suppliers showcasing and selling their products.  There will also be a social media competition with entrants encouraged to be creative with their purchases.  Nutritionists will be on hand for some lively conversation around food.

The Kilted Chef, Craig Wilson, will join forces with Dr Alexandra Johnstone and Professor Garry Duthie from the Rowett Institute of Nutrition and Health and local producers in Farm to Fork, to create the ultimate delicious and healthy meal from some of the local area’s finest produce. This event will run at various times throughout Saturday.

On Sunday, Chef and foraging tutor Mark Williams of Galloway Wild Foods will lead a guided wild food walk, looking at the food, drink and medicinal uses of spring plants. After a leisurely three hour walk, covering one mile, attendees will be able to enjoy a ‘wild’ cook-in.

Cabinet Secretary for Food, Richard Lochhead, said: “From fruit to fish to prime Scotch Beef, the North East produces some of the finest food and drink to be found anywhere on these shores. The University of Aberdeen May Festival is the ideal opportunity for visitors from near and far to discover the delicious local produce on offer as we celebrate our Year of Food and Drink.”

Laura Young, Festival Coordinator, said: “We are extremely proud of our Food and Drink programme and hugely grateful to be supported by VisitScotland and EventScotland in being able to provide such a variety of foodie events.

“To be part of the Year of Food and Drink programme is fantastic and we are looking forward to welcoming members of the public to campus to enjoy these events.

“The Produce Market is always popular at the May Festival and I am delighted that it once again features in the programme. The Farm to Fork events are sure to be a hit and we are thrilled to once again have Craig Wilson involved in the Festival. We are particularly excited about the Wild Food Forage which is new to the Festival for 2015 and I can’t wait to see what wonderful wild dishes Mark and those who attend the event cook up!”

The University of Aberdeen May Festival runs from Friday, May 29 to Sunday, May 31. Tickets for all events can be booked by visiting or through the Aberdeen Box Office on 01224 641122.