Food Tourism workshop
Lesley Judge

By Lesley Judge, Sector Engagement Executive - Tourism

Interface was delighted to partner with Scotland Food and Drink, Connect Local and the Scottish Tourism Alliance to host a pilot food tourism workshop in Edinburgh on Wednesday 24th April at the CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP office in Castle Terrace.

Over 60 delegates attended from across the food and drink and tourism sectors, including guides and operators, restaurants and cafes, gastronomy students, distillers, brewers, bakers, destination organisations, visitor centres and more. The excellent range of academic, food and drink producer and tourism speakers offered diverse perspectives on storytelling and sense of place, trends and the visitor experience; with delegates working in groups to share ideas and make new connections. 

The industry team, Lesley Judge and Rachel Mirfattahi of Interface, Fiona Richmond of Scotland Food and Drink and Ceri Ritchie, Calum Johnston and Paul Mayfield of Connect Local/SAC Consulting, were pleased to see such a strong response for this first event, with delegates sharing knowledge. The team would like to thank the venue hosts, catering supplied by Edinburgh Larder, all speakers and delegates for joining us on the day.

Workshop Speakers

Keith Dinnie, University of Dundee

Keith Dinnie is one of the world’s leading experts on place branding. He is the author of the first textbook on nation branding – Nation Branding: Concepts, Issues, Practice, Second Edition (Routledge, United Kingdom) and editor of City Branding: Theory and Cases (Palgrave Macmillan, United Kingdom).

Dr Rebecca Finkel, Queen Margaret University

Dr Rebecca Finkel is an urban cultural geographer and Reader in Events Management at Queen Margaret University. Rebecca has published and presented research in academic and non-academic channels on topics surrounding food tourism, local food markets, and food and the city.

Dr Gavin Urie, Edinburgh Napier University

Gavin has always had a passion for food and drink which he now displays in his teaching, supervision and research interests. Gavin’s PhD thesis explored the growth of pop-up restaurants and supper clubs and the motivations behind them from both a guest and host perspective.

Iain Stirling, Arbikie Distillery

Iain runs Arbikie Distillery with his brothers, David & John which they founded in 2014 to distil the Arbikie family of ‘Field-to-Bottle’, super-premium spirits using the crops they grow on their family’s farms at Lunan Bay in Angus. Iain was on the Boards of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, Young Enterprise Scotland, the Scottish North American Business Council and also chaired the Scots Alumni of US State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Programme.

Sally Swinbanks, Tobermory Fish Co.

Sally Swinbanks has been Sales and Marketing Manager at The Tobermory Fish Company for eight years and along with her Mum has helped the company grow each year since. Granddaughter of the founders, in 2011 Sally assisted in the successful relaunch of the Company. Born and educated on the Isle of Mull, Sally has a strong community commitment.

Susie Anderson, East Coast Cured

East Coast Cured is a family charcuterie business based in Leith, Edinburgh, run by Susie and Steven Anderson, who specialise in the production of traditional, and contemporary, slow cured Scottish pork, beef and venison. They believe passionately that the true craft of curing means taking produce of the highest quality and with skill, patience and time, creating something truly exceptional for your plate.

Brenda Anderson, Tasting Scotland

Brenda Anderson is the Director of Tasting Scotland Gourmet Journeys & Events, a luxury bespoke travel planner, tour operator and tasting event business which showcases the best of Scotland's premium food and drinks. Brenda is the World Food Travel Association Ambassador for Scotland and serves as a Board Member in the delivery of the Food Tourism Scotland Action Plan.

Toby Anstruther, Balcaskie Estate and BowHouse Fife

Toby Anstruther has worked with design, place and community for over 30 years.  He was instrumental in the shared-space redevelopment of Exhibition Road and founded the Brompton Design District, both in London.  In Scotland he set up Food from Fife and, more recently, has developed Bowhouse; a set of refurbished steadings to house small food production businesses and Scotland’s largest covered food market. 

Rosie Jack, Balcaskie Estate and BowHouse Fife

Rosie Jack is a farmer’s daughter from the Lomond Hills in Fife, Rosie joined the Balcaskie team in September 2018. Graduating from Glasgow School of Art in 2017 Rosie later moved into the events management industry. With a creative background in design and passion for agriculture, Rosie was able to transfer her skills into developing the BowHouse Market.

Sara Robertson, Scotbeer Tours

Sara is an experienced founder with a demonstrated history of working in finance and technology. She is applying those skills to promote Scottish Beer tourism both in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with successful collaborations in both cities and a growing customer base.

Workshop presentations are available for download below:


If you have any ideas for food and drink and/or food tourism projects or need any advice and support on how to find an academic partner, please contact Lesley Judge (Tourism) or Rachel Mirfattahi (Food & Drink).

25 April 2019

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