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March 1, 2013

Tom Kitchin’s Top Five Moments in His Seasonal Food Calendar

By Spear's

Michelin-starred Scottish chef, Tom Kitchin, shares his top five moments in his seasonal food calendar

Michelin-starred Scottish chef, Tom Kitchin, shares his top five moments in his seasonal food calendar
1. The Glorious Twelfth
This is without a doubt my favourite seasonal moment on the food and drink calendar. On the 12th August every year, gamekeepers, suppliers and us chefs alike eagerly await the first grouse of the game season. Grouse embodies all that is great about Scottish produce — deep, complex and fresh, and there is something incredibly special about eating it on the very first day it becomes available.

2. Asparagus
Asparagus is only in season for a short time — six weeks — so I’m always excited when it arrives fresh in my kitchen. When it’s in season the flavour is incredible. My supplier from Eassie Farm produces asparagus as good as I’ve tasted anywhere in the world: tender, green and with a thick skin holding all the juices together, a seasonal moment to cherish.

3. Wild salmon

The arrival of the first Scottish wild salmon is a truly momentous occasion in my spring kitchen, and its taste is second to none. The salmon most people buy in supermarkets will be farmed, but everyone should have a chance to sample the unique moment when you taste a freshly caught, wild salmon straight from Scottish waters. It’s an amazing treat and the freshness and simplicity shine through.

4. Scottish strawberries
Scotland is renowned for its berry farms, particularly where I grew up in Perthshire. They are at their best in the summer when long daylight hours help them to ripen with plenty of glorious flavour and colour. And, they taste absolutely delicious – make the most of them when they are at their seasonal best.

5. Sea Kale
I admire chefs who are not scared to use more unusual foods and put their own personal twist to them, and one of those special ingredients is sea kale. In my eyes, it’s a hidden Scottish treasure, which is only available for six weeks in the year, usually from January to March. As we are now coming towards the end of the season, I am really trying to use it as much as I can and experiment with it in my early spring cooking.
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