Catherine, on her first event for Lunchquest, and I arrived at the Institut Francais d’Ecosse ready for an evening with the Budding Chefs.
Promised a Franco-Scottish dining experience, we weren’t disappointed.
Shown to one of their big reception rooms upstairs, round tables were laid out to one end of the room, with a wine bar to the right. Straight ahead of us were starter dishes of oysters and gravlax, while main courses of scallops and beef were set up on tables and hobs at the other end of the second hall, ready for cooking to order.
The Loch Fyne Oysters were served with fresh lemon, vinegar and shallots or bread (baked by Edinburgh Foody’s Danielle) and butter in the simplest and most traditional and tasty way. The salmon gravlax was well-smoked and served with a lovely dill mayonnaise.
Ready for the mains, the scallop sauté-minute was soft and juicy served in a fresh pesto sauce, and the Highland rump steak from Glengorm Estate was cooked before us in a flash with expert precision. The wine selection offered perfect companions to each dish and we chose a 2010 Bordeaux and a 2011 Odyssee.
We rounded the experience off with Isle of Mull cheddar and sultana chutney and a lemon curd dessert served with crumbled Breton biscuit.
This rounded out a thoroughly enjoyable evening; we could certainly have gone back for more! Thanks go to all involved in this fantastic initiative. We look forward to welcoming back the brigade on their next visit.