Connect Local’s Ceri Ritchie and Fiona Richmond recently attended an event hosted by Food from Fife, which brought together chefs and producers from across the region.

The event aimed to highlight and share the experiences and challenges of catering in Scotland, as well as bring together local food and drink producers and chefs from all backgrounds, from coffee shops to fine dining restaurants.

Ceri Ritchie provided an introduction to the bigger picture of food and drink in Scotland, speaking about some of the opportunities within the industry and the challenges that so often arise. Ceri then chaired a panel discussion with Mark Barker, SRUC Chef Lecturer, Anna Boag from The Old Course Hotel and Andrew Scott, Heaven Scent Café and Victus Consultancy.

Some key issues discussed by the panel included how consumer trends and tastes are changing and whether this presents an opportunity or a challenge for kitchens and catering businesses. Recruitment was also a hot topic for the food and drink hospitality industries and it initiated a debate about whether this was a particular problem for more rural businesses.

Will Docker, Chair of Food from Fife and founder of Balgove Larder provided a brief introduction into using local produce and Fiona Richmond joined the panel discussion, hosted by Will, about the challenges and benefits of using local produce.

Rising food costs and the cost-effectiveness of using local produce was addressed, as well as a conversation about how Scottish food and drink, and in particular that from Fife, was perceived by customers and tourists from overseas.