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Flavour Profile: Carol Wright and Colin Clydesdale, owners of the Ubiquitous Chip, Stravaigin and Hanoi Bike Shop

The Ubiquitous Chip, founded by Colin’s dad Ronnie in 1971, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Published: July 12, 2021
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What’s your favourite ingredient?

Carol: Greek oregano. We pick it wild when we visit Greece. It's far stronger tasting than Italian oregano, and you can put it in almost everything.
Colin: Chillies. I love the heat they add to anything, but they are also so nuanced. Each type brings such a particular flavour to take dishes to another level.

Do you have a guilty food pleasure?

Carol: Goats butter.

Colin: Salad cream – I’m not that guilty about it.

Tell us about your first food memory?

Carol: Licking cake mixture off a wooden spoon when baking with my grandmother. I remember a time before electric food mixers, when everything would be done by elbow with a wooden spoon. There was always mix to be licked from it. In many ways I liked it more than the cake!

Colin: I was about four-years-old and got up before my parents. I distinctly remember spotting this monster salmon on our stainless-steel sink. I plucked up the courage to poke it, then to put my finger in its mouth, only for this dead fish’s teeth to sink into my skin as I pulled it out. I then lurched around the kitchen thinking it was attacking me. 

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

Carol: Tayvallich Inn, in Tayvallich on the shores of Loch Sween in Argyll. 

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Colin: KoolBa, in Glasgow’s Merchant City. Some of the most enjoyable Persian food around. Try the aubergine mirza ghasemi.

What would be your last supper?

Carol: Colonsay oysters

Colin: Crab, Tabasco, bread and butter. I’d die happy.

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Starter or pudding?

Both: Starter. We just don't go in for sweets.

Do you have any food hates?

Carol: Hake fish cheeks – I was in Northern Spain and they were recommended by a waiter as a local Basque delicacy. It looked as if it had been cooked in wallpaper paste. The waiter watched so I had to finish it. Not an experience I want to have again.

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Colin: What I call the 'moronification' of food terms. Coleslaw is now ‘slaw’, ‘dipping sauce’ – what else would you do with it? We don’t have stabbing forks or scooping spoons. Let’s stop this now please.

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

Carol: We’d invite family and friends. Starter would be Turkish mezze, followed by marmite - a classic French seafood soup - accompanied by crusty French bread. For dessert, Greek yoghurt and honeycomb.

Colin: Spetses seafood pasta, then from Greece we’d travel to Spain for Andalusian rabbit with garlic, and chilli. To finish it would be overripe Gorgonzola.

What's your favourite geographical foodie destination?

Carol: Turkey. As a student I was on an archaeological dig in the mountains there. Local villagers prepared our food in solar cookers and it was amazing. It was all vegetables and dips, hardly any meat. 

Colin: Thailand. On every corner there is a stall selling the most exquisite and interesting street food from scallops to dried squid to the most amazing noodle dishes.

www.ubiquitouschip.co.uk

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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