Best of the West Festival Food and Wine Demo

David and I were nervous, excited and very happy when we were confirmed to do a demo at the Best of the West Festival that is held in Inveraray Castle. This year is the 6th year the festival has been held and is a showcase of the Argyll area, food, crafts and musicians.

John McNulty David Lapsley Taynuilt Hotel Best of the West Festival 2016

John McNulty and David Lapsley of the Taynuilt Hotel Food and Wine Demo at Best of the West Festival 2016.

We talked quite a lot about what we were going to do, but in the end we settled on doing exactly what we do here at the Taynuilt Hotel Restaurant so well, I will cook and David you can hand out food and talk about wine.

We had a bit of a stramash in the morning before leaving the hotel as the village suffered a power cut around 1 in the morning which didn’t go back on until we were just going on stage, so that was an unexpected start to our day.

Dry ice opens the show!

We were the first demo on the stage in the food tent and after I had been wired up for sound and positioned in front of the camera it was showtime! David dropped the dry ice into our amuse bouche trays and through the smoke handed out our homemade Oatcakes with my own home smoked Loch Duart Salmon accompanied with a wee taste of my homemade Gorse Flower Fizz.

Isle of Mull Scallops Taynuilt Hotel Restaurant Argyll

Isle of Mull Scallops starter from Taynuilt Hotel Restaurant in Argyll.

Scallops for starters

For starters I cooked my hand dived Isle of Mull Scallops dish and demonstrated how to open the shells and shuck them safely. David, who wasn’t wired up for sound, managed to loudly talk through his wine that he had chosen – Calmel & Joseph, Villa Blanche, Picpoul de Pinet which is a delicious, mineral wine that we sell a lot of with our shellfish dishes especially.

Venison was the main event

For main course I prepared and cooked my Roe Deer dish using some freshly foraged Taynuilt mushrooms, some of my home grown potatoes and foraged flowers to show the crowd of about 40 people exactly what kind of food I like cooking – simple cuts, fresh seasonal veg packed full of flavour. David had also chosen a wine for this course which was the fantastic Casa Silva Pinot Noir Reserva, a bold earthy wine that is packed with flavour and complements the venison so well.

Best of the West Festival 2016 Taynuilt Hotel Food Wine Demo

Discerning foodies sample the delights of John McNulty’s 2 AA Rosette standard food.

We then invited those that sat through our 45 minute demo to come up and taste the dishes I had made and to try the wine that David had matched. Great feedback was given by all and we then went off to enjoy the festival which I would highly recommed you try and go to in 2017. The wines David chose were supplied by deBurgh Wine Merchants.

John McNulty
Chef Patron, Taynuilt Hotel