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Issue 75 - Serving up simplicity

Whisky Magazine Issue 75
October 2008


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Serving up simplicity

With their first book enjoying great success in whisky circles,Kate Portman meets the team behind The Whisky Kitchen.

Chef Graham Harvey first learnt to appreciate the joys of pairing whisky and food at a young age – with an impromptu demonstration at a traditional Burns Supper in his early teens.

“The haggis, neeps and tatties arrived and in my youthful ignorance, I asked the huge hairy Glaswegian sat opposite me if there was any gravy coming,” explains Graham.

“He immediately stood up, reached over the table and poured his entire glass of whisky over my food, saying “that's the only gravy you need on haggis laddie!” The memorable combination certainly created an impression as Graham has maintained a passion for pairing whisky and food pairing ever since, experimenting with various combinations for more than 30 years throughout his career in the hospitality trade.

He now runs Craggan Mill Restaurant along with partner Sheila McConachie in Grantown on Spey, nestled in Scotland's whisky heartland of Speyside.Here the couple serve up a range of dishes based upon the best Scottish ingredients and products – and that includes liberal use of Scotch, of course.

The popularity of the whiskyimbued dishes that regularly appear on the daily specials board at menu has led the duo to write The Whisky Kitchen, a new book that features 100 inspiring recipes for cooking with whisky.

In the past, much of the activity surrounding the subject of whisky and food has concentrated on elaborate pairing dinners and although this highlighted the pinnacle of potential for matching the two elements...

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