Food and farming is recipe for Eilidh

Aspiring young chef Eilidh Davidson pictured at home on the family farm, West Cortiecram near Mintlaw
Aspiring young chef Eilidh Davidson pictured at home on the family farm, West Cortiecram near Mintlaw

A talented young chef, who lives on her family’s farm near Mintlaw, is combining her love of food and farming to help achieve early success in the hospitality industry.

Eilidh Davidson emerged as the overall winner in the Scotch Beef Young Aspiring Chef Challenge after a cook-off final at Taste of Grampian held at Thainstone in June.

The competition, sponsored by Quality Meat Scotland, gives young chefs the opportunity to demonstrate their innovation and talent as well as highlighting the quality of local produce like Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb and Specially Selected Pork.

The 17-year-old is currently studying Professional Cookery at North East Scotland College, and won her way through from a shortlist of seven to the final, when she cooked against fellow North East Scotland College student, and last year’s winner, Brogan Tilney.

Eilidh said: “Some people don’t understand where their food comes from but, having been brought up on a farm, I really appreciate the hours of hard work that go into looking after the animals and how that leads to a top quality food product.

“Scotch Beef is my favourite ingredient - I find it really versatile.

“When I was deciding on my menu for the challenge I knew right from the start that I wanted to have beef as the main course.”

Eilidh used fillet of beef which she bought from Donald Russell in Inverurie in her award-winning menu. “It was important to me to use a piece of local beef - I like to know where my ingredients come from,” she added.

Eilidh won a one week Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland Scholarship, a £200 voucher for kitchen equipment and a signed cook book from Lady Claire Macdonald.