A quick look on Google will remind you that Cullen Skink is a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions. Although the soup originates from the town of Cullen it is generally recognised as a speciality fish soup throughout Scotland.
Recently there has been some criticism on Trip Advisor about the standard of our fish soup – the style has varied depending on who is cooking and what is available but the criticisms have been taken to heart by the chefs and they have resolved to do something about it. The first stage in this action plan was to have a competition to see who could make the best.
The judges were: Lord Margadale – Chairman of Islay Estates Company, trained chef, experienced hotelier and someone who has a passion for good food and rigorous adherence to the highest standards. Willy Inglis – Factor of Islay Estates, not known as a great chef, but someone who has always enjoyed his food (sometimes too much!). Lorna McKechnie – Manager of Bridgend Hotel, experienced hotelier and knows more than a thing or two about good food. Archie Fergusson – Butcher in Lochgilphead who supplies a lot of the beef for the Hotel. He just happened to have dropped in for his lunch and was roped into judging the competition. Debbie & Sarah – they work at the Hotel and were only too happy to join in the competition. The results were as follows.
Soup A. (Scott) Great depth of flavour, rich and creamy; possibly cooked for slightly longer than Soup B; well-seasoned. Presentation was okay. Soup B. (Bryan) Great presentation; slightly more delicate flavour; less fish and slightly less well cooked onion.
The winner. All the judges thought that both soups were excellent but there was unanimous support for Soup A as Cullen Skink. It was felt that Soup B, as it was slightly lighter would be better as a first course for dinner.