As food service and hospitality resumes across the UK a new survey of the UK's top chefs has revealed that 97 per cent of them would recommend Scottish salmon dishes and products to their diners.
Conducted by The Chef's Forum for the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO), during the enforced Covid-19 closure of the country's restaurants, the survey asked participants for their views on the importance of provenance and nutrition, their perceptions of farmed Scottish salmon and whether they would recommend Scottish salmon to their customers.
Among the respondents to the online questionnaire were several Michelin-starred chefs including Galton Blackiston, Richard Davies and Shaun Rankin.
Of the 242 top chefs surveyed 86 per cent said they considered farmed Scottish salmon to be the best in the world for quality and taste. And 87 per cent said they actively look to purchase Scottish salmon for their establishments.
Michelin-starred chef Shaun Rankin (left) takes part in harvesting operations at a Scottish salmon farm
Tavish Scott, Chief Executive of the SSPO said: "These results, from people who demand and rely on consistently high-quality produce, show just how exceptional Scottish salmon is. Reared in the cold, clear waters of the country's west coast and islands Scottish salmon is unique in its taste, provenance and nutritional value.
"We're delighted that British chefs, like many of their counterparts in France and seafood buyers from across the world, recognise and value the incredible fish grown by Scotland's salmon farmers."
Red Onion's John Quigley (right) talks with Wester Ross Salmon MD Gilpin Bradley
The provenance of food is a top priority for Michelin-starred chefs like Shaun Rankin of Grantley Hall and Ormer Mayfair. At the invitation of the Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation (SSPO) Shaun, along with a number of other top chefs, enjoyed a day working on a Scottish salmon farm in autumn 2020.
Shaun Rankin said: "Visiting the farm in the remote Scottish Highlands allowed me to see for myself the exceptional standards to which these fish are raised. For me good food is all about locality, it's all about the people growing it and the passion they have for their product.
"Knowing exactly where my fish is coming from and personally meeting the farmers looking after them means that my customers know they're getting the highest quality salmon, grown in the most responsible and sustainable way."
Spending time with the teams at Wester Ross Salmon near Ullapool John Quigley, Chef Patron of Glasgow's Red Onion Restaurant and one-time private chef to some of the world's biggest music stars said: "Scottish salmon is one of the finest products in our national larder."
Representatives from some of Britain's most famous hospitality establishments took part in the Chef's Forum survey - Karl Richardson, Executive Head Chef at The Waldorf summed up Scottish salmon as 'The best'; Soham Sonawane of The Dorchester highlighted the fish's depth of flavour; Oriett Hoilett of London's Skylon described it as "One of the best out there, top class and what I use in my restaurant"; while Olivier Certain, the Head Chef at the Michelin-starred Mason Arms in Devon concluded that Scottish salmon was "Probably the best in the world."
The survey conducted by The Chefs Forum, a networking group and foodservice marketing platform for chefs whose professional expertise has been recognised in the acquisition of prestigious accolades including Michelin Stars, AA Rosettes and Good Food Guide cooking scores.
Full Survey Results (Conducted by The Chefs Forum, 2020)
When buying salmon do you actively look to purchase Scottish salmon?
Yes: 87.8% (210 respondents)
No: 12.3% (29 respondents)
Do you consider Scottish farmed salmon to be the best in the world for quality and taste?
Yes: 86.7% (209 respondents)
No: 13.3% (32 respondents)
How important is buying UK-grown produce to you?
Very Important: 87% (211 respondents)
Important: 12.8% (31 respondents)
Not Important: 0%
How important are the positive health impacts of eating salmon to you?
Very Important: 65.7% (159 respondents)
Important: 30.6% (74 respondents)
Not Important: 2.5% (6 respondents)
Irrelevent: 1.2% (3 respondents)
Would you recommend Scottish salmon dishes and products to your diners?
Yes: 97.1% (235 respondents)
No: 2.9% (7 respondents)
Chefs' Shaun Rankin, John Quigley and James Cochran hand feeding Scottish salmon