Some more unusual Scottish ingredients, including nettles, were among the innovative suggestions put forward by pupils who entered a design-a-burger competition run by the Scotch Butchers Club (Quality Meat Scotland).

The nationwide search for a winner began several months ago when form one pupils in Scottish secondary schools were invited to come up with their ideas for home-made burgers created using Scotch Beef PGI, Scotch Lamb PGI or Specially Selected Pork.

As 2015 is Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink the over-arching theme was “#tastescotland” to celebrate this special year. From an initial 124 entries, six were initially short-listed to work with their local butcher member of the Scotch Butchers Club to bring their recipe concept to life.

The three finalist schools, which will be battling it out at the final on the QMS stand this Thursday at the Royal Highland Show are: Websters High School, Kirriemuir with Scotch Lamb “Tartan Sizzlers”; Greenwood Academy, Ayrshire with a Specially Selected Pork “Clapshot burger” and Airdrie Academy, North Lanarkshire with a Scotch Beef “Crackin’ wee burger.”

Sixteen year old Scottish X-Factor star Emily Middlemas, who got to Cheryl Fernandez-Versini’s house stage in the 2014 show, will present the awards and perform at the QMS stand this week. Emily gave a stunning Judges’ Houses performance, which Tinie Tempah said was his favourite.

Picture Alan Watson. shopping centre concert - Emily Middlemas

Picture: TSPL

The pupils worked with local Scotch butchers Club member butchers to develop their ideas. They included: Cliff Bertram from Bertrams Quality Butchers, Kirriemuir; Graeme Johnston from Ferguson’s of Airdrie and Stewart Duguid and Kenny Boag from Pollok Williamson in Ayrshire.

The main objective of the competition is to encourage youngsters to take an interest in quality, local ingredients such as Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork and to understand how simple it is to cook tasty, healthy food.

Dietitian Jennifer Robertson, QMS Health and Education Co-ordinator, said the creativity of the pupils in the development of the burger concepts had been very encouraging.

“The #tasteScotland theme was clearly a source of great inspiration with a wide range of techniques being used around the country to come up with the best ideas. Pupils at some schools used mood boards and brainstorming to come up with their ideas, other schools even held their own heats to choose the best burger to put forward,” said Mrs Robertson.

Around 1000 children will also have a chance to cook simple, nutritious dishes with beef, pork and lamb at the show. QMS works with the Royal Highland Education Trust (RHET) to deliver this initiative which takes place in the Scotch Beef Children’s Cookery Theatre at the Discovery Centre where we will also have a stand manned by our Health and Education staff.

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