The second series of the Scotsman’s food and drink podcast gets set to launch - here's what to expect.

Having started at the Scotsman three years ago this month, I’ve seen first hand how Scotland’s food and drink scene has grown and adapted to changing markets – tackling everything from dietary requirements to more of a ­growing focus on provenance, particularly the phenomenal growth of the gin industry and the resurgence of whisky.

Coming back home from ­living abroad, I was delighted to see once unremarkable areas, such as ­Glasgow’s Argyle Street, and in ­particular the Finnieston strip, transformed into bustling hubs of busy bars and award-winning ­restaurants.

So when we were asked to pitch topics for the Google-funded Laudable podcast project, I immediately thought of a series based on this thriving industry, to give listeners an understanding and insight into Scottish producers plus a chance to hear first hand about how people have got into the industry and how small businesses help shape the Scottish food and drink scene – and so Scran was born.

I thought Scran would be a great way to showcase some of the ­inspirational stories from producers – whether that be a local farmer or distiller – and appeal to an audience who increasingly care about their food and drink provenance.

Series one highlights

Series one started with a trip to Edinburgh’s Christmas market to chat to traders, while in episode two I spoke to Julie Lin about her Glasgow restaurant Julie’s Kopitiam, discussing how it grew from a street food stall and how her mum is still her biggest inspiration.

Throughout the 15 episodes I’ve hung out with Steven Mitchell’s ­buffalo in Fife (including the friendly but imposing Heineken the bull), enjoyed some delicious drams with master blender Rachel ­Barrie and found out all about colour changing gin and the story of Edinburgh’s Secret Herb Garden from its founder Hamish Martin.

Want to go behind the scenes of the kitchens at Gleneagles? Keen to find out the story of Scotland’s social distillery on the Isle of ­Harris? Or hear from one of BrewDog’s co-founders about their astronomical rise in the craft beer scene? Then tune into season one, which is ­available wherever you get your podcasts.

Series two from home

Now, as we start season two, we are faced with a challenge that none of us expected. The coronavirus ­outbreak and subsequent UK lockdown has forced bars, restaurants and producers to shut down ­completely or rethink their ­business model in order to keep staff in jobs and the doors open, when it is safe to do so again.

Throughout series two, most of which will be recorded via phone interviews from home, I hope we can bring you not only some light relief from the constant news cycle but also some helpful tips, from easy recipes to try at home to getting experimental with cocktails, which can be enjoyed while chatting to friends and family online.

We will also hear how businesses are coping and adapting to the ­current crisis and how you can help – whether it’s ordering a takeaway from your local restaurant, getting a vegetable or milk delivery from a nearby farm shop or splashing out on that bottle of Scottish gin you always wanted to try.

Episode one of series two is out on Good Friday and was recorded before lockdown, so I hope you can join me on a walk through ancient woodland in Perthshire as I find out all about birch water harvesting and the health benefits from this and other parts of the tree from founders of Birken Tree, Gabrielle and Rob Clamp.

Scran is a Laudable production for the Scotsman which is presented by Rosalind Erskine and produced by Morven McIntyre.

Scran episode 15: Secrets of a wine connoisseur – with Diana Thompson

About The Author

Rosalind Erskine

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind writes for The Scotsman on all things food and drink related.

Let us know what you think

comments