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Community / Annual food festival goes online

Compere Jane Moncrieff (right) in conversation with chef Jonathan Williamson and 'assistant' Marlene Hunter.Compere Jane Moncrieff (right) in conversation with chef Jonathan Williamson and assistant Marlene Hunter at 2018 Taste of Shetland event.

TASTE of Shetland’s annual food and drink festival will take place in a new online format this October due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers Shetland Food & Drink (SFAD) is in the process of putting together a host of demonstrations and culinary entertainment to showcase the isles’ produce to a social media audience on 17 October.

Viewers will be able to learn how some of Shetland’s leading producers make their products and dishes, enjoy live cooking demonstrations, hear culinary discussion and take part in food-related quizzes and other entertainment.

SFAD manager Claire White said the organisation had secured funding from the Connect Local regional food fund and EventScotland.

“We could have deferred staging an event until 2021 but we feel that the whole Shetland community, and Shetland enthusiasts worldwide, could do with things to look forward to during the tough winter ahead,” she said.

“So we’re staging the first Taste of Shetland online festival slap bang in the middle of the tattie holidays on Saturday 17 October, probably between 11am and 3pm.

“It will stream live on Facebook and we hope content will be available to view online after the event too.”

Andy Steven of Shetland Webcams will be coordinating the technical aspects of the event.

“It’s exciting planning a novel event like this because there is no template, and member businesses have complete freedom to tell their own stories of Shetland food and drink,” White added.

Taste of Shetland members with ideas for the online festival, “no matter how big or small”, are encouraged to submit any visual content for inclusion by Friday 2 October.

Submissions can be emailed to shetlandfoodanddrink@gmail.com.