An ambitious symposium, to be held in the capital, aims to spend two days in April examining ‘Scotland’s Foodscape’ with members of the public invited to participate.

Well-known faces from the UK food scene and some of Scotland’s top academics will gather at Summerhall in Edinburgh later this month for an event that hopes to challenge established views of Scottish food and food culture.

The event, which is aimed at anyone who cares about Scotland’s food and drink, will be held on Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th April 2016 and will explore how our country might cultivate a more positive food culture.

Organised by the MSc Gastronomy team at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (QMU) in collaboration with the University of Gastronomic Sciences (UniSG), Italy, the ‘Scotland’s Foodscape’ symposium is part of an international series of events exploring food culture. Participants at the event will include academics and politicians, artists and theorists, campaigners and producers, innovators and activists, as well as members of the public.

Over two days of workshops, tastings, performances, demonstrations, presentations and discussions, participants will experience new and challenging views on foods that are considered to be Scottish.

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There will also be reflections on ‘ordinary Scottish products’ such as bread, milk, barley and cheese, in-depth examinations of the cultural and ecological significance of food communities and wild and native foods in Scotland, and discussions and debate on issues such as food education, the right to food, the potential impact of a Brexit on the Scottish food industry, and the future of food technology.

A panel of experts will lead analysis of the event, and will include Shirley Spear (The Three Chimneys and Scottish Food Commission), Geoff Tansey (Food Ethics Council and Fabian Commission), Guy Grieve (The Ethical Shellfish Company) and others from the fields of food, the arts and the media, to be announced over the next two weeks.

Charlotte Maberly, Programme Leader on the MSc Gastronomy at Queen Margaret University and one of the organisers of the event, said: “The Scotland’s Foodscape symposium is going to be absolutely unique – not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, ‘foodie’ event.

“Our aim is to challenge current perceptions about Scottish food in ways that are eye-opening, fun and fulfilling, yet factual, with performances, serious discussion and delicious food and drink.

“The event will satisfy all of the senses and provide food for thought, as well as for the stomach. There are still a limited number of spaces left for the event, and we hope that anyone who’s interested in food in Scotland will join us for two unforgettable days.”

• For more information on the Scotland’s Foodscape symposium, see: www.scotlandfoodsymposium.com

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