Leading Scottish Chefs support funding bid to bring Salt Harvesting back to East Neuk

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A host of leading Scottish chefs have backed a funding bid by the East Neuk Salt Company to bring sea salt harvesting back to the East Neuk, restoring one of Fife’s historic industries.

Article first appeared: https://www.whatsonfife.co.uk/news/2020/10/16/leading-scottish-chefs-support-funding-bid-to-bring-salt-harvesting-back-to-east-neuk/

Scottish celebrity chef and restaurateur Tony Singh MBE is amongst those who are supporting St Monan’s local Darren Peattie to realise his vision of bringing sea salt harvesting back to the region and celebrate the heritage of a once thriving industry.

Singh commented; “Great food starts with great ingredients. I’ve always sought out premium ingredients in my cooking; locally sourced and with provenance, so much the better. I’m delighted to see Darren working so hard to realise his vision of bringing sea salt harvesting back to the East Neuk, restoring one of Fife’s historic industries and creating a product of exceptional quality which will be at the heart of the local community. The food and drink industry has been particularly badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and it’s only by supporting each other that we will emerge stronger and ready for business again on the other side.”

Billy Boyter, owner and Michelin star chef at The Cellar in nearby Anstruther said; “The quality of salt we have tried from the East Neuk Salt Company is simply fantastic and we are really looking forward to them getting up and running in earnest. We’re delighted to have contributed a 5 course tasting lunch to the crowdfunding campaign. To have a such a premium product accessible locally is an amazing thing and helps us tell our own story as well of focusing on seasonal Scottish produce and locally foraged ingredients from our coastline and countryside.”

Ruth Robinson, owner manager at the Dory Bistro and Gallery in Pittenweem has been using salt from the East Neuk Salt Company to create their signature East Neuk Salt bagels. She commented; “It’s a delight to be able to use locally sourced ingredients of such exceptional quality and this aligns perfectly with our ethos of creating really delicious fresh food using our local larder. We marry the best of what the land and the sea around Pittenweem has to offer, from shellfish and other seafood to herbs, vegetables and now salt.”

Darren Peattie, whose family has lived in the area for over 200 years, established the East Neuk Salt Company fourteen months ago. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched at www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ensc to raise £28,450 which will allow the business to acquire the final pieces of equipment needed to produce salt at scale, including a 2500 litre Vacuum Evaporator and Crystalliser beds.

The St Monans-based business will be one of the only hand-harvested producers of gourmet sea salt on mainland Scotland and will produce up to 2 tonnes of hand harvested salt per month when production is up and running.

The crowdfunder currently sits at almost £17,000 and Darren is hopeful that the support of the local community and a number high profile chefs will help them reach their target by 19 October.

Founder Darren Peattie said; “Our vision is to be one of the most innovative sea salt harvesting companies in Scotland, with sustainability and zero waste at the heart of our operation. The by-products of salt harvesting can be used to make drinking water and ice, as well as being used in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries.”

He continued; “The success of our funding bid – fittingly taking place in the Year of Coast and Waters 2020 – will allow us to purchase the pieces of equipment which are fundamental to getting us to the scale where local employment and development can occur. That’s what we want to achieve; a level of growth which creates local jobs and delivers a sustainable contribution to the local community.”

The East Neuk Salt Company is projected to have a six figure turnover by the end of year one and growth plans include a cook school and education programme alongside salt harvesting, creating around 20 jobs.

The crowdfunder closes on 19th October 2020.

Image: L to R – Billy Boyter, Ruth Robinson and Tony Singh

Article first appeared: https://www.whatsonfife.co.uk/news/2020/10/16/leading-scottish-chefs-support-funding-bid-to-bring-salt-harvesting-back-to-east-neuk/

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