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Flavour Profile Q&A: Amy and Duncan Findlater, owners of Edinburgh wine bar, Smith & Gertrude

The couple also co-own Edinburgh's Company Bakery, and love cheese, Italy and Jon Bon Jovi

Published: July 6, 2021
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What’s your favourite ingredient?

A: Soft French cheeses - my all time favourite is Saint Felicien.

D: I'm enjoying throwing chopped anchovies into anything I cook at the moment. Jessica Elliott Dennison has a brilliant anchovy pasta recipe in Tin Can Magic, her last cookbook.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

A: Bread. It isn't guilty in that it's bad for you, more of an obsession. When we lived in London we’d walk miles to pick up the perfect loaf from E5 or St John. Since starting Company Bakery we eat an obscene amount.

D: Iced mince pies at Christmas-time. They're rubbish, glue your mouth together, and you feel terrible after your third one but they're absolutely delicious

Tell us about your first food memory?

A: Visiting my Gran and Papa’s local bakery to buy traditional Scottish snowballs. From here I became coconut obsessed: macaroons, coconut ice cream, and of course, Bounty bars.

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D: Trying a cider ice lolly. I thought it was going to be the most refreshing thing in the world based on the advert I'd seen, but it tasted like sour apple juice.

What’s your favourite Scottish restaurant, deli or cafe?

A: The Little Chartroom. Elliot's on Sciennes Road is also fantastic - I love Jess's cooking (we use both her cookbooks weekly) and her chocolate cookies are seriously addictive.

D: Gloriosa in Glasgow and The Newport.

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What would be your last supper?

A: Gorgonzola dolce, 30 months aged Comté and Saint Felicien with grapes, honey and sourdough.

D: A multi-course Italian affair. We got married in Italy and sat down to the wedding dinner at 4pm and were still eating well into the early hours.

Starter or pudding?

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A: I always need to see the dessert menu at the start of the meal to decide which I'm going to commit to.

D: Starter. Finally, an easy question.

Do you have any food hates?

A: Bananas.

D: Mortadella and whipped cream.

What starters, main and dessert would be served at your dream dinner party and who would you invite?

A: I’d invite my closest friends, as well as Helen McCrory and the band, First Aid Kit. Starter would be cured Scottish sea trout with lemon and dill. Main course would be pumpkin ravioli, sage butter and crumbled amaretti (taken directly from our wedding meal). Pudding would be my mum's seven cup pudding - a lighter version of clootie dumpling.

D: I'd invite my friends and family. Plus Jon Bon Jovi. Starters would be Ondine’s tempura calamari, Isle of Wight tomatoes with EVOO and plenty of salt and burrata with homemade pesto and sourdough. Main would be pizza. Or BBQ. Dessert would be Brillat-Savarin, Cashel Blue and an aged Comté served with a baguette and honey.

What's your favourite geographical foodie destination?

A: Italy. It’s amazing the unbelievable food you can eat from such simple ingredients and for such little money. Freshly made pasta with a slow cooked cinghiale or pomodoro sauce, paired with a rustic Barbera, not to mention the pizza and tiramisu.

D: Melbourne. Hands down the best city I've ever been to from a food/hospitality/coffee point of view.

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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