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Film Review - Chef's Diaries
Film Review - Chef's Diaries

06/10/2019

Joseph Roca is whispering in amused disbelief to Heloise, his Director of Innovation "It's incredible they don't what they have. I say to them you have haggis and they reply, oh yes do you like it?"

They are discussing Scotland's too modest attitude to its food in what I think is The Old Inn at Carbost on The Isle of Skye. I sat at the same table exactly five years ago eating a hearty special of ox cheek. I remember as it was my birthday.

Chef's Diaries is being shown as part of The Edinburgh Spanish Film Festival and the film documents Joan, Joseph and Jordi Roca's travels around Scotland.

The mission is to create a menu using our produce at their restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona Spain, twice voted as the best in the world.
The film unveils the stories behind Scotland's superlative produce; haggis, beef, ‘smokies’, salmon, seafood, ‘spoots’, cheese, whisky, berries. The cinematography evokes the relationship between landscape and produce.

Chatting with Fiona Richmond of Scotland Food and Drink afterward she tells me Chef's Diaries has been screened far and wide. It's a great advert for our still undiscovered cuisine. I have to tell international friends constantly 'you do realise we have the best natural larder in the world'.

Ben Reade of The Edinburgh Food Studio comments in the film that Scandinavia 'found its voice' though its heritage and cuisine and now Scotland must do the same. Joseph Roca comments that a quiet revolution is happening.

Chef Michael Innes spent ten years cooking at El Celler de Cana and has also worked at The Edinburgh Food Studio and The Wee Restaurant. He is responsible for the delicious tapas we eat after the film in which he also features and champions Scottish gastronomy.

The finale to the film comes with the stunning dishes the brothers created and the prettiest Cranachan I've seen.

It's time to not only find our gastronomic voice but to shout it to the world - as loud as a stag bellowing in Autumn and as clear as a mountain stream. This film helps. (S. Wilson)


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