For the second year running, Scotland has been the seafood partner of Singapore’s World Gourmet Summit 2015, with events taking place throughout April and May designed to showcase the finest produce to the world’s top gastronomic influencers.
A number of key activities encouraged leading chefs from all over the world to use the full range of quality Scottish seafood including shellfish, farmed fish, smoked salmon and whitefish, ultimately boosting the international market potential for Scottish seafood.
Scotland’s premium quality and diverse range of seafood was used by Michelin-starred chefs and connoisseurs throughout the Summit.
The Roca Brothers of Girona’s El Celler de Can Roca used Scottish seafood during their time at the World Gourmet Summit. Their establishment holds three Michelin stars and is regularly named among the best restaurants in the world (currently Number 2 in the official ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurant’ rankings).
As well as supplying individual chefs for their own events, a series of showcase events shone a spotlight on Scottish seafood, including a whisky and seafood pairing event, and a special Scottish Seafood Week within Singapore’s Marina Bay Financial Centre.
Having the best quality Scottish Seafood on offer was key to the success of Scotland’s participation and has greatly influenced how people in this market think about sourcing seafood, as Edmund Toh, President of the Singapore Chefs Association, pointed out.
“Scottish seafood is one of the premium seafoods, which is good news for connoisseurs and all the chefs in Singapore – it’s one of the best.
"The fresh product speaks for itself, and doesn’t require much skill to prepare. So, I believe Scottish seafood will penetrate the market in Singapore,” he said.
Scottish seafood was well received by a range of international chefs.
Jimi Tegerdine, Executive chef at LeVel 33 in Singapore, said: “I'm sure not everyone will customarily get to taste or enjoy produce from Scotland.
"LeVel33 guests have been able to savour Scottish seafood prepared using simple techniques with its natural flavours being the critical element. The key is not to mask the stunning seafood – it's the star of the show!”
Chef Julien Royer, Chef de cuisine at Jaan, one of Asia's most highly rated restaurants, said: “We spend a lot of time sourcing quality ingredients because our cuisine is very much product driven.
"Provenance is important - knowing exactly who is growing the product, and how it's done. At the end of the day the quality will be better.
"I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of Scottish seafood and the experience of using it. It's a source that I haven’t explored as much as I should have.
"The quality and clean-ness of the fish is what we are looking for, so I'm very happy to explore using more seafood from Scotland.”
Neil McInnes, head of South East Asia for Scottish Development International, said in the run up to the Summit: “Chefs in this region are already aware that Scotland supplies some of the world's most sought-after produce – from seafood to salmon, whisky to craft beers – to high-end retailers and restaurants across the globe, and we are seeing increasing demand for our home-grown Scottish produce.
“World Gourmet Summit is the perfect platform for us to highlight why Scottish seafood is so desired by chefs; from those influential and much copied experienced chefs, to young chefs learning their trade.
“It’s fantastic to be a partner in this exclusive event.
"Scottish seafood has quickly become synonymous with quality in restaurants across Asia and this partnership is a ringing endorsement of Scotland’s fantastic larder of some of the best natural produce in the world.”
Asia has become an increasingly important export market for Scottish seafood and salmon in recent years as, throughout the region, there is rising demand for the highest quality, luxury produce amongst top chefs and their discerning customers.
Being part of such an influential event provides an ideal platform to target our key audience of high-end retailers, restaurants and diners who seek out premium, high quality ingredients that are endorsed by some of the world’s tops chefs.
After France and the US, Singapore is Scotland’s third largest food and drink export market, worth £331m annually (2013), with seafood by far the largest component of the food category.
Scott Landsburgh, chief executive of the Scottish Salmon Producers' Organisation, said: “Provenance is the unique selling point of Scottish salmon.
"Pristine, cold water, full traceability and strict production standards deliver unique flavours and textures that cannot be replicated.
"This is why Scottish salmon was voted 'best farmed salmon' in the world in an independent poll of international seafood buyers, for a second consecutive time last year.
“Asia is definitely an emerging market for Scottish salmon with the potential to unlock new business creating new jobs and ongoing investment for Scotland.”
The World Gourmet Summit is an international gastronomic extravaganza held annually in Singapore to showcase the intricate craftsmanship of prestigious chefs and vintners, using the best produce from around the world.