A young Aberdeen-Angus bull, named after one of the world’s most famous rock bands, turned heads as he strutted his stuff in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens recently, accompanied by one of Scotland’s top chefs.
The prize-winning bull, named Retties ACDC and weighing about 900 kilos, brushed up brilliantly for his taste of urban life and clearly enjoyed his visit to the city, posing happily for photographers in the iconic setting of Edinburgh Castle.
Aberdeen-Angus breeders Richard and Carol Rettie travelled with their 19-month-old bull, which has a very impressive pedigree, to the city centre as part of a series of UK and Ireland-wide activities to promote the 2017 World Angus Forum.
This international event will see hundreds of delegates congregate in Scotland as part of the full UK and Irish tour in June including visitors from as far afield as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico and Europe.
One of the initiatives during this special year, which has been developed by the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society and is being supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), is a unique competition to inspire the country’s chefs of the future.
Students at Scottish catering colleges are being invited to enter a competition being run by the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society offering a top prize of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Dubai to work with acclaimed Scottish chef Tristin Farmer.
A further two finalists will receive work experience with respected chef Jak O’Donnell of The Sisters restaurants in Glasgow’s Jordanhill and Kelvingrove.
The Aberdeen-Angus Scotch Beef Award will see student entrants challenged to devise a main course dish featuring Aberdeen-Angus Scotch Beef PGI as the main ingredient. They will also be tasked to create two Aberdeen-Angus Scotch Beef canapes using mystery ingredients.
The overall winner of the Award will fly to Dubai and work with Tristin Farmer, who is chef patron of the Marina Social at the InterContinental Dubai Marina. Tristin, who studied at Glenrothes College, has previously worked with Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles and spent many years working alongside Gordon Ramsay in London.
Scottish colleges are being encouraged to nominate several students to enter the competition and the top 10 entrants will be invited to a cook-off at Braehead Foods in March.
Three finalists will then be short-listed and their canape dishes will be served at the World Angus Forum’s Gala Dinner at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on Monday 26th June. The overall winner of the competition will be announced by Jak O’Donnell on the same day.
Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society chief executive Johnny Mackey said the Society was looking forward to receiving the students’ ideas.
“The work experience opportunities we are offering successful students will give them the chance to see two acclaimed chefs in action in their own kitchens creating dishes of the very highest standard,” said Mr Mackey.
“The main ingredient they will be working with in the competition – Aberdeen-Angus Scotch Beef – has earned a global reputation for quality. This competition will allow entrants to showcase the quality of the beef at the same time as demonstrating their flair, imagination and ingenuity.”
Carol McLaren, Head of Communication with QMS, added “We hope this initiative will help to inspire our chefs of the future about top quality Scotch Beef as well as improving their understanding of the quality assurance, high standards of animal welfare and stockmanship skills behind it. Our sincere thanks go to Tristin and Jak for all their support.”
Full details of the Aberdeen-Angus Scotch Beef Award, and entry application forms, are available for download here.