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From Bees to Beetroot – A Ukrainian Culinary Experience

Our food group coordinator is also a trustee of The Crichton Trust and if you know Sheena, she is a massive foodie! She was therefore delighted when the opportunity arose to attend the Charity Ukrainian Gala Dinner held recently at Easterbrook Hall.

And what an amazing night it was. We soon realised quite quickly that the table I was on were all foodies and that we liked to try new food experiences. Andrew from Beer without Borders welcomed us to the dinner and introduced us to the star of the event. Ievgen Klopotenko is quite the celebrity chef in Ukraine and we were enthralled by his story of food. From tales of food in Ukraine to the reasoning behind the dishes that were served to us. His story telling had us all laughing in between courses as he chatted to us. I’m not sure what was more enjoyable, the actual food or the narrative between the dishes. It was such an enjoyable evening.

Our evening began with four pieces of what looked like four small jelly cubes (two of each) on quite a large plate. This definitely had us intrigued when served to us with strict instructions not to touch, smell or eat! Ievgen then returned to the room and gave an explanation on how we taste with our noses! We were instructed to pick up the piece of orange coloured jelly, pinch our nose with our other hand then place the jelly in our mouths and chew. We only really tasted a jelly textured piece of food but then when un-pinching our nose we were overwhelmed we the flavour of orange! We then did the same with the chocolate piece of jelly and when we stopped pinching our noses we soon realised that the second piece was coffee flavoured.

We knew then that we were in for an amazing night and we most definitely were not disappointed. We tasted smoked pear, a beetroot and white chocolate cream sauce, baked grapes, bee pesto, beef with herring to list just some of the gastronomic delights!

Dumfries and Galloway has an amazing food and drink scene and it was a delight to see and taste the culinary magic that could be delivered by this amazing visiting Ukrainian chef with what our region has to offer. This was a fantastic evening that was the brainchild of Andrew Pearson and I really hope it can happen again. We will definitely be talking about this experience for months to come.

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