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The Kitchen Café

Helping you get the best from Scotland's wonderful natural larder with weekly recipes, reviews, tips and delicious ideas from some of Scotland's top chefs!

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Sensational Salads

If you think that salad means iceberg lettuce, sliced cucumber and a quarter of a tomato, Chef Neil Forbes and Sumayya Usmani are going to make you think again! They have some mouth-watering sensational salads on the Kitchen Café menu that will transform your summer eating. Also, Flora Shedden helps Chef Kirsten Gilmore to cook up a delicious Lebanese chicken salad and Chef Steven Devlin shows Gillian Russell how to make a warm seared tuna salad with fresh mango.

28mins

6 Jul 2017

Rank #1

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BBQ

As its Father's Day on Sunday, Chef Neil Forbes and Sumayya Usmani are joined in the garden by chilli sauce entrepreneur Gennaro D'Onofrio to cook up some deliciously marinated chicken kebabs and hand-dived scallops on the barbecue. Also, spice girl Ghillie Basan and her friend Bernie prepare lunch over an open fire using an upside down wok and food innovator Simon Preston visits Reekie's Smokehouse in Edinburgh to hear how they are using chopped up whisky barrels to flavour their meats.

28mins

15 Jun 2017

Rank #2

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Curry Club

Sharing a tune and some food together this St. Andrews Day, Scottish traditional music legend and curry fanatic Phil Cunningham joins Sumayya Usmani and Ghillie Basan on the Curry Club to indulge himself in his lifelong obsession with curry.On the road in the early days of Silly Wizard the only places still open to get food after a gig were the curry houses of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. Before long the band had become connoisseurs of the takeaway menu. In the years that followed Phil and good pal Aly Bain started making their own curries, roasting their own spices and using each other as guinea pigs for their latest curry experiments in the kitchen. While they have both become global legends of the Scottish music scene, within the traditional music world, Phil is now a curry king. He describes his love to Sumayya and Ghillie while getting some top tips for his own kitchen. To keep our stomachs full for St. Andrews Day celebrations, Sumayya and Phil make a Scottish take on shalgham ghost together, a spicy version of venison stovies. Meanwhile, Ghillie explores a very Scottish spice, juniper.

28mins

30 Nov 2017

Rank #3

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A Taste of Scotland

Flora Shedden, Neil Forbes, Sumayya Usmani, Ghillie Basan and Simon Preston - meet BBC Radio Scotland's Kitchen Cafe team of experts!Bake Off's Flora Shedden, award winning chef Neil Forbes and acclaimed cookery writer Sumayya Usmani join forces with international spice expert Ghillie Basan and food innovator Simon Preston in this weekly celebration of Scotland's fabulous seasonal larder.Haggis, oats, seafood or perhaps even berries... Cook and food writer Sue Lawrence is tasked with choosing Scotland's finest ingredient. Chef Neil Forbes cooks up a Scottish classic using smoked haddock as he tries to convince Sue that smoked haddock should be at the top of her list, however, Chef Mark Greenaway sweetens things up when he gives Sue one of his mouth-watering strawberry tarts as he puts his argument across that berries are by far Scotland's best ingredient.

28mins

10 Aug 2017

Rank #4

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Whisky for Beginners

Chef Neil Forbes is joined by whisky enthusiast Roy Duff to give us a beginner's guide in choosing the right whisky for your palate and Ghillie Basan takes a trip to the heart of whisky country where she caught up with Ann Miller to hear how Speyside has developed such a strong identity as a whisky producing region.

28mins

26 Apr 2018

Rank #5

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Street Food

Spice girls Ghillie Basan and Sumayya Usmani are in Edinburgh to talk to food vendors Scott Kirkham and Hal Prescott, the driving force behind Edinburgh's street food scene. Hal shows us how quick and delicious street food can be when he cooks us up fresh crab with tarragon, mayonnaise and mint slaw served on a bed of fries. Also, Chef Neil Forbes hears about how stripped back cooking can be when he talks to Thomasina Miers about her new cook book, Home Cook.

28mins

30 Mar 2017

Rank #6

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Nature to Plate

Chef Neil Forbes is joined in his garden by gardening expert Nicola Singleton to celebrate the whole journey from nature to plate. Also, Ghillie Basan and her son Zeki do a bit of wild foraging in the shadows of the Cairngorms before cooking up a delicious Italian classic.

28mins

24 Aug 2017

Rank #7

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Christmas starters and Festive nibbles!

If you're looking for some inspiration on the festive food front, Scotland's National Chef Gary Maclean cooks us up a couple of delicious starters including citrus prawns and pan seared mackerel. Mary Contini has some great ideas for Christmas nibbles to keep you going while you slave over a hot stove and Simon Preston meets up with wine expert Davy Zyw for some advice on what festive fizz we should have on our Christmas tables this year.

27mins

19 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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Bread and Butter

Bread and butter are one of life's simple pleasures so this week, Flora Shedden shows us how to make a sourdough starter, Chef Neil Forbes visits a farmer in East Lothian who grows, harvests and mills his own wheat and Sumayya Usmani heads for Dumfries to meet up with Barry Graham at the award winning Loch Arthur Creamery to find out how to make butter.

28mins

4 May 2017

Rank #9

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Kitchen Cafe Classics: Bakes

We're celebrating Scottish classics on The Kitchen Cafe, with dishes which have nourished our collective history and unite us through time and geography. Flora Shedden and Neil Forbes are joined by Sue Lawrence to enjoy the best of Scottish baking. Flora whips up a batch of fresh fruit scones, while Sue Lawrence prepares a classic Selkirk Bannock, and Simon Preston meets Jennifer Hunter of Edinburgh bakery Pinnies and Poppy Seeds to sample her best-selling shortbread. Plus, Ghillie Basan talks to Liz Ashworth about her new book, "The Book of Bere: Orkney's Ancient Grain".

28mins

9 Nov 2017

Rank #10

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Tomatoes

Flora Shedden and Sumayya Usmani go absolutely tomato-tastic as they celebrate British Tomato week. Flora makes a delicious bruschetta lunch-time treat and Sumayya talks us through how simple it is to make different tomato chutneys. Also, Pennie Latin joins Ghillie Basan to make a Mediterranean classic melanzane alla parmigiana and we've drafted in gardening expert Nicola Singleton to give Neil Forbes some handy tips on growing tomato plants.

28mins

18 May 2017

Rank #11

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Curry Club

Praveen Kumar grew up in a small village outside Hyderabad on the family spice farm. His father grew spices like chillies, coriander, mustard and cumin. As a young man Praveen left the village farm behind to follow his dream of working the hospitality industry. Years later he found himself making his treasured family recipes in some of the world's most regarded hotels. Now based in Scotland, he gives Ghillie Basan and Sumayya Usmani a culinary guide to some of favourite family recipes and the food of south India.Traditional music legend, Phil Cunningham is widely known to love his curry as much as he does music. His favourite southern Indian dish is a ghee roasted dosa, a light pancake made from fermented batter. But it was one of the few dishes that this curry king hadn't mastered in his own kitchen until he joined the Curry Club for a quick masterclass.

28mins

22 Feb 2018

Rank #12

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Soup and using up the leftovers

Ghillie Basan shows us some inspiring ways in which we can use up our leftovers in a pot of soup and Fife food ambassador Christopher Trotter is on hand to give us some expert advice on how to create the perfect stock. Also, Christopher Mullin tells Andrew Thomson about his one man mission to revive the ancient tradition of making mead in Scotland.

27mins

21 Nov 2019

Rank #13

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Autumnal Berries

Neil Forbes, Ghillie Basan and Sumayya Usmani celebrate autumnal berries and get creative in the kitchen with their favourite fruits. Ghillie introduces us to rowan gin, Sumayya makes a quick and easy raspberry ketchup, and Neil prepares a venison steak with blackberries from his garden. Meanwhile, we send Simon Preston on a foraging adventure with Rupert Waites, head chef at the Edinburgh-based pop-up restaurant Buck and Birch, to follow the story of their wild elderberry liqueur.

28mins

5 Oct 2017

Rank #14

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Honey

There's a real buzz about this week's Kitchen Café! Chef Neil Forbes and gardening expert Nicola Singleton explore the versatility of one of the jewels in our Scottish larder, honey! Also, Ghillie Basan speaks to food writer Liz Ashworth about Scotland's historical relationship with honey while Megan Lancaster visits bee keeper Mark Noonan in Blairgowrie to find out why some honey cost more than others.

28mins

21 Jun 2018

Rank #15

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Eggs

There aren't many ingredients in the kitchen that are so versatile. There aren't many ingredients in the kitchen that can be so easy to get so wrong. But whether you are making an omelette, a meringue or simply boiling them, eggs are part of our daily diet.We consume millions of eggs each year and for some the labelling we find in the supermarket about the different types of egg can be confusing. Simon Preston goes to an egg farm to find out about the differences and what they mean to the taste of the eggs.Back in the kitchen, Neil Forbes gives us a quick masterclass in the art of the perfect poached, a brilliant boiled, super scrambled and fantastically fried eggs.If you've ever wondered about whether you should keep your eggs in the fridge or not or if a duck egg might be better to use in your baking than a hen's eggs then Fiona Burrell has some perfect eggy do's and dont's.

29mins

14 Jun 2018

Rank #16

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Cheese and Oatcakes

Tomato and basil, sprouts and bacon, avocado and toast, cheese and oatcakes some of the greatest food combinations to pass our lips. A good cheese on the perfect oatcake is one of life's luxuries. In today's Kitchen Cafe Neil Forbes explores the right oatcake for the right cheese with Chris Young. Flora Shedden and Kirsten Gilmour combine mascarpone cheese with some biscuits to make a sweet and delicious baked cheesecake with topped macadamia nuts. While Simon Preston explores the much unsung delight of cottage cheese with cheesemaker David Mitchell and Edinburgh's Michelin starred chef Paul Kitching to find out not just what cottage cheese is but how we can use it on more than just a baked potato...in some leek and potato soup or with a wee drop of tomato sauce perhaps?

28mins

27 Apr 2017

Rank #17

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Burns night but not as you know it!

If you think Burns night is all about haggis, neeps and tatties then think again......Chef Neil Forbes joins Jenny MacPherson to give haggis a complete makeover, Ryan Van Winkle talks about how food and poetry are the perfect pairing and Emma Gryczka heads along to Aberdeen's indoor market where she gets a pasta masterclass from Francesco Di Nicola.

28mins

23 Jan 2020

Rank #18

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Raw Food

Spring is in the air so this week Neil Forbes is joined by raw baker Laurianne Giteau to celebrate food in its freshest form, raw. Gardening expert Nicola Singleton takes a stroll round Neil's garden to see what jobs need done and Ghillie Basan talks to Kaori Simpson from Harajuku Kitchen about the Japanese philosophy behind eating raw food.

28mins

15 Mar 2018

Rank #19

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Creating A Calm Christmas Kitchen!

It may still be November… and you might not want to hear the C word … but trust us, your Christmas food planning and cooking will be a lot less stressful with Beth Kempton’s guide to a calm Christmas. And it starts right now!Food writer and lover of all things Italian Vicky Bennison has spent years travelling across Italy, meeting the nonnas and finding out their culinary secrets. Discover just how simple it is to cook like a “pasta granny” in your kitchen at home!Nigel Slater explains why the humble cheese grater has a special place in his heart!And wrapping up Soup Month, Chef Kirsten Gilmour makes an apricot, carrot, rosemary and red lentil soup. Yes, really – apricots in a soup!

27mins

28 Nov 2019

Rank #20