Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin on Scotland's best berries

Tom Kitchin on red berries

The Larder: Chef's Choice

The Scottish idiosyncratic climate is good for something – it provides ideal growing conditions for our produce. Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin explains why he uses only Scotland’s best berries in his restaurants.

Scotland boasts some of the world’s finest produce and we’re lucky that our natural larder offers such an array of berries. We use lots of Scottish berries at The Kitchin, as they add a temptingly sweet flavour to any dish. I source most of my berries from Blairgowrie in Perthshire from the Bruce family. They have been farming in Perthshire for four generations, and have been producing berries for over 100 years.

The company is now managed by father and son team Bill and Geoff Bruce. Suppliers like the Bruce family give me lots of inspiration – they boast such a wealth of knowledge passed down from generation to generation and they truly know their product. They produce some of the best berries around, which they supply to Britain’s best restaurants, including Heston Blumenthal’s 3 Michelin star restaurant, The Fat Duck, as well as The Kitchin and our new restaurant, Castle Terrace.

They specialise in strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, and all of the fruit is grown locally, hand-picked and packed right there on the farm. Berries rely on the right conditions to grow – similar to the way in which vineyards rely on the right weather conditions to produce the best grapes. The unique balance of the Scottish rain and the fertility of the soil around Perthshire offer an ideal climate for growing berries, helped along by the passion, knowledge and dedication of the Bruce family.

Tom Kitchin is owner and chef of The Kitchin in Leith, 0131 553 0608, www.thekitchin.com, and director of Castle Terrace in Edinburgh’s West End, 0131 229 1222 www.castleterracerestaurant.com

●Geoffrey Bruce Ltd is based near Meigle in the Vale of Strathmore, 01828 640228, www.geoffreybruce.co.uk

A Bruce Farms
Balmyle, Meigle, Perth and Kinross, PH12 8QU
Bruce Farms, based in Perthshire, produce soft fruit, peas, beans, blackcurrants, potatoes, cereals and pedigree Charolais cattle. The Bruce family has been farming in the area since 1898, and now own six farms, while land is rented in the surrounding…
B The Kitchin
78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6LX
A revered and respected Edinburgh institution which is neither stuffy or exclusive, despite its lengthy list of plaudits and awards.

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