No Smokies in Auld Reekie!

Iain Spink making Smokies the traditional way.
Iain Spink making Smokies the traditional way.

Environmental health officers from Auld Reekie put paid to Arbroath Smokie maker Iain Spink taking part in this year’s Foodies Festival.

The event was held at Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, at the weekend and had been organised by The Media Company.

Their spokesman confirmed that local environmental health officers had taken a dim view of the methodology of smoking the fish by burning hardwood sticks in a barrel because of the capital city’s strict smoke free policy.

And they had put a stop to Iain’s involvement because of the smoke levels.

Iain is a popular figure at farmers’ markets and various food shows and events 
around the country.

A well known promoter of the Arbroath Smokie, he has been featured on numerous television programmes such as BBC’s ‘Coast’, ‘Jamie’s Great Britain’, ‘Great British Menu’, ‘The Campervan Cook’, ‘Rick Stein’s Food Heroes’, ‘UKTV Food Local Food Heroes’ and many others.

He had been scheduled to appear at The Foodies on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but on Wednesday received a call from one of the organisers to say that an environmental health inspector had an issue with the 
smoking barrel.

Iain told the Arbroath Herald: “I thought it was ludicrous to take such an attitude at half a dozen sticks burning at the bottom of a barrel.

“However, I had to make a decision and when the organiser failed to call back to say the matter had been resolved, I decided to find other events.

“On Thursday I went to Tain Highland Games and on Saturday I attended the Johnshaven Fish Festival with another barrel at the Farmers’ Market 
in Dunfermline.

“The Foodies is one of Scotland’s showcase food events and for it not to have Arbroath Smokies was a great shame.”

Mr Spink was also annoyed that the organisers did not get back to him as he had expected to be able to go there 
on Sunday.

But a spokesman for Edinburgh City Council denied Mr Spink’s participation had been refused, commenting: “I have spoken to licensing colleagues who say that we did not refuse permission, and indeed he (Mr Spink) was at the 
festival last year.”