Top chef, Neil Rankin, teams up with butcher and burger restaurant for vegan cooking demo at Edinburgh’s Bonnie & Wild

The event will take place at the St James Quarter’s food market

Published 26th Oct 2021
Updated 6 th Oct 2023

Probably the last place a vegan wants to be is anywhere near a butcher.

However, MacDuff Butchers at Bonnie & Wild have invited top chef, Neil Rankin, to Scotland for a night of cooking and tasting that might unite carnivores and herbivores. Along with Nick Watkins, founder of Glasgow’s El Perro Negro, on November 10 from 6.30-8.30pm, Rankin will be demonstrating how to cook his Symplicity vegan range of burgers, tacos, sausages and nduja.

These are stocked as a meat alternative at MacDuff, and El Perro Negro, whose Top Dog creation was named the Best Burger in the UK at The National Burger Awards 2021, will be the first restaurant north of the border to use these plant-based burgers on its menu.

“I’m really excited to demonstrate the Symplicity offering in my home town and via my favourite butcher. I think the partnership is a real turning point for this area and highlights the need for both to coexist rather than wipe each other out. The only real winner in this should be good agriculture and quality well sourced produce,” says author and chef Rankin, who is known for his barbecue expertise and was the head chef of Pitt Cue in London’s Soho, as well as founding Temper restaurants and Smokehouse pubs. “I’ll be demonstrating the convenience, versatility and difference between our product and what’s on the market currently and trying to prove deliciousness is not exclusive to animal products”.

As well as being a meat substitute, the Symplicity range is also designed as an alternative to heavily processed vegan foods. It’s made from fermented vegetables and also features cheese alternatives. We imagine that even devoted meat and dairy eaters might be tempted.

"I’m looking forward to working with Neil, he's a big part of the London food scene and it’s great to be collaborating with him on home soil,” says Watson. “While we are known for doing award-winning burgers with meat I see this as a great opportunity to collaborate on some amazing vegan products, I have tried them myself and what Neil and the guys have done is really pretty fantastic."

Tickets, £15, available at

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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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