An Lanntair arts centre is launching a new Food Festival, celebrating traditional and worldwide cuisines. This is on Saturday 19th May at An Lanntair, Stornoway.

With a theme of “Thall ‘s a-Bhos : Home and Away”, the festival will feature local traditional cuisine as well as courses from the many other cultures now established on the islands.

Taste Guga for the very first time, sample delicacies from India, and sit back and enjoy a banquet at An Lanntair’s very-own Hebridean Feast!

Tri Cùrsan: Three Courses:

  • Madainn: Morning: Thall (Here) Local cuisine.
  • Feasgar: Afternoon: a-Bhos (There) Far-flung food.
  • Oidhche: Evening:  Fèisd: Traditional Hebridean Feast in An Lanntair’s Café Bar

Hosted by local ‘celebrity chef’ Alasdair Macleod, the day is in two main parts. The morning session will feature traditional fare from land and sea, liberally salted with banter and culinary craic. If you dare, sample a Guga-bite, sup a traditional soup made with mutton flank prepared the old way, taste the tangle of the Isles with seaweed and look and learn from a master butcher with mesmerising knife skills.  Among other things, dab hands at duff are invited along for the Great Duff-Off.  

Rounding off the morning and taking us over lunch will be the culinary capers of the Cidsin Coves fresh from their second TV series on BBC Alba.

The afternoon menu takes us to Vietnam, Thailand, India and perhaps Syria for sweet, savoury and spicy samples of far-flung food prepared, delivered and presented by local experts.  

To finish, on Saturday evening, An Lanntair’s Head Chef, Kenny Mackay, and his team will set your taste buds tingling with a five-star feast of traditional Hebridean food featuring the best of local produce.

If you’re hungry, if you like food, if you’re just curious, take your place at An Lanntair on May 19 from 10am – 4pm for a culinary, cultural extravaganza.

Alasdair writes: “One of my earliest food memories is being with my grandfather in the byre singeing a sheep's head in preparation for making soup. There were no electrical gadgets in these days so singeing the bristles round the head was done with a metal branding iron. A peat fire was lit and the iron put among the embers until it was glowing red-hot.  It produced a distinctive, burnt smell that I can still recall to this day.

“Another dish that was common in crofting cuisine, was chicken soup. The chicken or usually a young cockerel, was killed in the morning by my granny, a wiry little women who had been a herring girl. She had no qualms about wringing the bird's neck before plucking and prepping it for the big soup pot later that day.  Every family in the village had this enormous pot for these hearty traditional soups.

“My granny also made ceann cropaig or fish liver paté which was a regular treat to go with boiled fish and potatoes. The kitchen was out of bounds for men and boys back then so the preparation and cooking of the ceann cropaig took on a magical and mysterious dimension. I often wondered how such a delicious dish could be prepared from fish livers, oatmeal and salt and pepper.”

An Lanntair's shop will also be hosting a special 'Meet the Makers' event during the festival day.

This project is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Outer Hebrides LEADER 2014-2020 programme.