Last year, Edinburgh chef Barry Bryson hosted a series of pop-up dining experiences in Wilkieston sculpture park Jupiter Artland’s leafy and atmospheric woodland.
These dinners involved candlelight, woolly blankets and surprisingly few gatecrashing midgies.
For 2022, he’s going to be doing something rather different and definitely more urban.
You’ll find him hosting the Barry Fish event at his studio on Leith’s Swanfield Industrial Estate, where visitors are usually more likely to find flooring and car door merchants. This will run over the August weekends of 4-6, 11-13 and 18-20 at 7pm each evening, with potential for the event to continue beyond into September, should the first round be successful. On certain dates, Bryson is hoping to have guest chef slots.
“It’s a toe dip for something I have been planning in my head for ages,” says event caterer and private chef, Bryson, who’s quite relieved that this year’s pop up will be indoors, so he won’t have to cope with the vagaries of Scottish weather, though he’s still going to give the place an al-fresco vibe.
“I am going to try to make it all quite jolly with nets, firepits, maybe a vintage camper, hot water bottles, some nice odds and sods to sit at’, he says. “It will all be very makeshift but I hope it will be charming too. It’s meant as a relaxed night out somewhere different with some tasty food”.
Last week, he posted an early and experimental teaser on social media, so preview tickets have already sold out for the first weekend, and the next lot are going on sale on Friday June 24. There are just 26 sittings each evening.
The menu will be designed to “celebrate the best of Scottish seafood” and consists of a five-course tasting menu at £65 per person. There will also be BYOB, and, if you buy your bottle from nearby wine bar and shop Mistral on Bonnington Road, you’ll get corkage for free.
Currently, Bryson is in the thick of menu planning, so specific dishes are under wraps at the moment. His finished creations will be announced on his Instagram account at the beginning of July.
“I am planning a solid mix of modern with some traditional dishes too, so a mix of my own tastes and styles,” he says. “The fourth fish dish will be the link that brings them all full circle”.
The chef will be using produce from his supplier, Edinburgh’s Welch Fishmongers and has been experimenting with some of their wares. The results have included Cumbrae oysters with crispy bacon butter, garlic, dill, chilli, cucumber and leek mayonnaise, as well as lobster souffle and a hot smoked salmon mousse, which has been smoked with Earl Grey tea and teamed with horseradish cream, pickled cucumbers and sweet pickled onions, among other things.
These aren’t final dishes, but might offer a taster of what will be served at the August events.
As Bryson says, “I’m so excited to bring a concept I’m passionate about to your plates this summer”.
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