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The Kilted Chef, Craig Wilson, shares his barbecuing secrets

Interview: Craig Wilson, The Kilted Chef

Taste of Grampian

Chef-owner of Eat on The Green talks Specially Selected Pork, cooking chaos and BBQing on a budget ahead of the Taste of Grampian festival

Taste of Grampian is set to kick start the summer with the largest food and drink festival in the North-east. Now in its 18th year, organisers are expecting around 14,000 visitors to attend the one day event in Inverurie, which gathers more than 180 food and drink producers from across the region.

Festival-goers can enjoy wine tasting, street food, live music, a motor show sponsored by the Press and Journal, haggis-eating competitions, pipe bands and an after party with singer-songwriter, Sandy Thom.

Throughout the day there will be demonstrations and tastings from TV presenter James Martin, BBC wine expert Susy Atkins and Lady Claire Macdonald OBE. We caught up with the Kilted Chef Craig Wilson (chef-owner of Eat on the Green), who will be demonstrating a Specially Selected Pork and Indian Summer Gin food pairing session at 12.30pm in the outdoor arena, and at 1.30pm in the BBQ tent.

How and when did you get the name The Kilted Chef?
When appearing on live TV on The Lorraine Show; I wore the kilt while cooking.

What can we expect from your cooking demonstrations at Taste of Grampian?
Light-hearted cooking chaos. I'll be cooking pork, apple and black pudding BBQ burgers with a carrot, apple and honey slaw, as well as a chargrilled pork loin with sticky gin, ginger and apple.

At the event, you'll be pairing Specially Selected Pork dishes with gin. What's your favourite pork/gin combo?
Combining the key flavours of the botanicals from the gin in a marinade salad or dressing.

How important is it for you to use traceable, local Scotch produce?
Something I passionately believe in – it just makes sense! Not only is it the best area for a diverse larder but it's my homeland and where I started my craft.

What's your top tip for BBQ preparation?
Raw to the right, cook to the left.

How can we avoid burnt Specially Selected Pork sausages?
Use tongs that actually work, smaller is better.

What's your favourite cut of Specially Selected Pork to BBQ? How do you cook it?
Marinade pork ribs; Traditional BBQ method – speaks for itself.

What are your essential BBQ condiments?
Chilli ketchup, mustard mayo, red onion and balsamic marmalade.

What would you recommend those BBQing on a budget ask for at the butcher?
Top quality butchers sausages are tasty and easy to cook – you can't go wrong! A rib eye steak is also my number one BBQ partner.

Which vegetable side dish would you cook up for a summer BBQ?
Roasted vegetable couscous or a spiced curry.

As a Scotch Beef Club Member, what's your restaurant's signature beef dish?
It changes seasonally, but 12-hour braised Scotch Beef cheek served with the prime cut fillet is really popular.

Taste of Grampian takes place on Sat 3 Jun at the Thainstone Centre, Inverurie. Tickets still available.

For more information on Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI – as well as recipes, cooking tips, practical video content and much more – visit The Scotch Kitchen website, at scotchkitchen.com.

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