Isle be back: Skye Gyngell serves up a feast inspired by Bute's food festival

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Skye Gyngell didn't just taste the delights of the Isle of Bute's inaugural food festival – using the tastiest local, seasonal produce, she prepared a feast for 185 hungry guests

Bute is a little island half an hour from Glasgow that is accessible only by ferry. It is a verdant and beautiful island with a textured, rich landscape. I was there last month for eatBute08, the first of a new annual event held in conjunction with the Mount Stuart Trust and Petersham Nurseries. The idea is to celebrate local food production on the island and the wider area of Argyll.

With me were Jeremy Lee of London's Blueprint Café and Rory O'Connell of the Balleymaloe Cookery School, which is based near Cork in Ireland, and the three of us were to create a seasonal feast using produce from the area.

I was thrilled to be there: local sustainable food is close to my heart, plus this was a chance to cook a meal with two of my favourite chefs.

The location for dinner was the great marble hall of Mount Stuart, a vast and rambling Victorian house that almost tumbles into the sea, and with 185 guests – including almost all the farmers and producers on the island – it was a warm and boisterous affair. Mount Stuart itself has a huge, beautiful Victorian kitchen garden that is ready to burst into life.

While this time of year in Scotland is still fairly barren, we managed to find some beautiful salad leaves as well as fennel, cauliflower, baby leeks, horseradish, flowering chives and wild garlic from the woods.

We started with langoustines, caught just outside the house in the bay below, which we served with a simple mayonnaise and delicious bread made by Rory. This was followed by the tenderest hung beef, served with green sauce, horseradish cream, baby leeks, flowering peppery rocket and little Bute potatoes so sweet, nutty and tender that they cooked within minutes of going into the pan.

Finally, we finished with Jeremy's delicious rhubarb crumble, laced with caramely brown sugar and served with a vanilla ice-cream that was made on the nearby Isle of Arran, before talking late into the night, relieved that we had managed to pull the whole thing off.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries. Church Lane, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627

Poached langoustines with lemon mayonnaise

Serves 4-6

3 free range egg yolks
The juice of 1 lemon
200ml/7fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
20-30 langoustines (five per person)

First make the mayonnaise. Place the yolks and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour in the olive oil as slowly as possible, whisking continuously as you do so, until all the oil is finished and the mayonnaise is thick and emulsified. Season with the salt and pepper.

Place a large pot of water on to boil and add a really good pinch of salt – the water should be almost as salty as the sea. When the water has boiled, drop in the langoustines and cook for one minute. Scoop them out and allow to cool. It is important not to overcrowd the pan, so cook them in batches if necessary. Thenpeel and eat with the mayonnaise.

Roasted fillet of beef with green sauce

Serves 6

3kg/6lb trimmed fillet
Plenty of sea salt and black pepper

For the green sauce (make this as close to serving as possible)

1 bunch rocket (leaves only)
1 bunch mint (leaves only)
1 bunch basil (leaves only)
1 bunch tarragon (leaves only)
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley (leaves only)
1 tbsp capers
2 cloves garlic
8 good-quality anchovies packed in olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
25ml/1fl oz good-quality red wine vinegar
220ml/8fl oz good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
Pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to the highest setting. Season the beef generously all over. Place in a roasting pan and dry-roast for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, wrap in foil and rest in a warm place for 40 minutes. Slice thickly and serve with the green sauce.

For the sauce, roughly chop all of the herbs and place in a bowl. Finely chop the capers, garlic and anchovies and add to the herbs. Add the mustard and vinegar and stir well to combine. Add the olive oil. Season with pepper if necessary.

Rhubarb and almond crumble with home-made vanilla ice-cream

Serves 8-10

675g/22oz rhubarb, cut into 2.5cm lengths
50g/2oz caster sugar

For the crumble

55g/2oz butter
110g/31/2 oz white flour
55g/2oz caster sugar
50g/2oz muscavado sugar
55g/2oz chopped unpeeled almonds

For the ice-cream

1 pint/600ml double cream
1 pint/600ml milk
2 vanilla pods split in half lengthwise
9 organic free-range egg yolks
170g/6oz caster sugar

Stew the rhubarb gently with the sugar in a covered casserole dish until just soft (about eight minutes). Taste and add more sugar if needed. Spoon into a 1 litre/2 pint pie dish and allow to cool slightly.

For the crumble, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add both types of sugar and the almonds. Mix lightly and sprinkle over the rhubarb. Bake in a moderate oven at 180C/350F/Gas4 for 30-45 minutes or until the topping is cooked and golden. Serve with the ice-cream (see below) or thick double cream.

For the ice-cream, place the cream, milk and vanilla in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 20 minutes.

Then place the yolks and sugar in a bowl and beat well to combine. Return the milk to a gentle heat and pour over the egg and sugar, beating as you do so. Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring until it thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon; this may take up to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain into a bowl and set aside to cool. Once cooled completely, pour into an ice-cream maker and churn until thickened. If you do not own one, place the mixture into a container in the freezer, removing after an hour or so to stir. Then return to the freezer to set.

The Forager by Wendy Fogarty

Petersham's food sourcer on where to locate some fine Bute ingredients...

EatBute08, which ran over two days last month, was a more than just a showcase of the best produce from the area. As well as a farmers' market, the festival included activities and workshops for children, run in conjunction with local charity Achievement Bute, field trips, a Young Green Fingers project and, of course, the celebratory feast. It will be repeated next year. www.eatbute.com

Where to buy

Local langoustines are available from Colin McArthur in Rothesay, tel: 01700 500 498.

Charolais and Limousin-cross beef is available from Sandy McIntry of Auchentirrie Farm in Rothesay, tel: 01700 502 607.

Bute potatoes are available from James Lyon of Little Kilchattan farm, tel: 01700 831 244.

Milk and cream are available from Ninian McCalister of McCalister's Milk, tel: 01700 505173.

Arran oatcakes and ice-cream are available from Taste of Arran (www.taste-of-arran.co.uk)

Numerous other ingredients came from the Mount Stuart kitchen garden (www.mountstuart.com)

Websites for local information:

www.visitscotland.com

www.butehealthyliving.org.uk

www.tasteofbute.com

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Arts and Entertainment
You could be in the Glastonbury crowd next summer if you follow our tips for bagging tickets this week
music
Life and Style
It is believed that historically rising rates of alcohol consumption have contributed to the increase
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Kylie performs during her Kiss Me Once tour
musicReview: 26 years on from her first single, the pop princess tries just a bit too hard at London's O2
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
fashionEveryone, apparently
Voices
The erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has already been blamed for a rise in the number of callouts to the fire brigade for people trapped in handcuffs
voicesJustine Elyot: Since Fifty Shades there's no need to be secretive about it — everyone's at it
Arts and Entertainment
A new Banksy entitled 'Art Buff' has appeared in Folkestone, Kent
art
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
The White Sails Hospital and Spa is to be built in the new Tunisia Economic City.
architectureRussian billionaire designs boat-shaped hospital for new Dubai-style Tunisia Economic City
Sport
Husain Abdullah returns an interception off Tom Brady for a touchdown
nflLeague has rules against 'sliding to ground on knees'
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
tech
Extras
indybest
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    Day In a Page

    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
    Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

    Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

    Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
    Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

    Education, education, education

    TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
    It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

    It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

    So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
    This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

    Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

    Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
    We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

    Inside the E15 'occupation'

    We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

    Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

    The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
    Witches: A history of misogyny

    Witches: A history of misogyny

    The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
    Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Meet the most powerful woman in US television

    Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
    'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

    Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style