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What’s cooking in the Cairngorms National Park!

16th June 2008

What’s Cooking in the Cairngorms National Park? – That will be down to budding chefs who are being invited to come up with a three course meal for the Park.

The culinary competition is open to young and old and will get them to create a mouth watering three-course menu that represents the UK’s largest National Park. The menu must be inspired by the Park’s huge choice of fantastic local produce. The competition is split into three age groups – under 12’s, 13-18 and 19 and over. Chefs from around the Park will pick the best menu from each age group and cook them at a special Cookathon and Fun Day to be held in the Square in Tomintoul on Saturday 2nd August. The winning menu will be chosen by a guest judge and featured at local restaurants within the Park!

Eleanor Mackintosh, a Cairngorms National Park Authority Board member, said: “This is a fantastic way to reconnect people to the landscape that produces their food and it will be interesting to see how the Park will inspire them.

“This event celebrates the variety of local produce we enjoy in the Park – from food to arts and crafts and I would really encourage people to get involved in the competition and also come along on the day.”

Lydie Bocquillon, from Auld Alliance Restaurant and Gourmet Academy in Kingussie, will be judging the 13-18 age group category. She said: “I am very keen to raise awareness and passion about cooking with local produce and this is a fun way of doing that. This will get more people, especially young people, talking about and understanding local produce. I am really looking forward to their menus.”

The event is to celebrate National Parks Week 2008 – which raises awareness of the UK’s 14 National Parks. The theme this year is local produce and the Cairngorms National Park event will celebrate the best of all its local produce. As well as the What’s Cooking competition, there will be the Cairngorms Farmers Market, an exhibition by Creative Cairngorms, games and local musicians. The day lasts from 12-6pm.

Barry Horning from Creative Cairngorms said: “Creative Cairngorms showcases the very best work produced by artists and craftsmen working within the Cairngorms National Park and highlights their broad range of artistic talent and expertise. National Parks Week 2008 gives us an ideal opportunity to show residents and visitors the wide range of arts and crafts within the Park. The superbly high standard of work may come as a surprise to many and we are proud to stage our exhibition at this event.”

There will be no difficulty in getting to the event – the popular Heather Hopper bus service which runs between Grantown and Ballater stops at Tomintoul and extra services are being put on for the day, with the last bus leaving Tomintoul just after 6pm
A number of businesses and organisations in the Park came together for the event including the Cairngorms National Park Authority; Cairngorm Mountain; the Clockhouse, Tomintoul; the Crown Estate, who kindly offered the use of the Square; Coopers Tourmaster and Stagecoach.

The day promises to cook up a treat for all, so don’t miss out!

To take part in the competition please submit your three-course menu to: Stephanie Bungay, 14 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey, PH26 3HG or [email protected] Entries in the under-12s category can be individuals or in pairs. All entries must include name, age, contact details and must be submitted by Monday 28th July. For more information contact Stephanie Bungay, 01479 870 507 or Bell Macaulay, 0776 9947233, [email protected]

You can check the Heather Hopper timetable information here or at