Two Dundee food and drink businesses got a televised boost when they were featured by the ITV presenter at the weekend.
A Dundee butcher and brewer have been given the seal of approval by a television legend.
Yorke’s of Dundee were thrilled when they discovered that their steak and gravy pies were to feature, along with 71 Brewing’s Subtlety in Art stout, on ITV’s Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh show on Sunday.
And Mr Titchmarsh, who was joined by celebrity chef Brian Turner, former politician Michael Portillo and entertainer Matthew Kelly, was really impressed by the butcher’s tasty pastry treats, adding that during the football season they supply 450,000 to the Scottish football clubs – all of which are made by hand.
Mr Turner said the pies had been recommended by his “mate in Scotland, Nick Nairn” adding that he had spoken to him about pies in Scotland and had been sent one from Yorke’s in Dundee, run by Frank and Grant Yorke.
Trying out the Yorke’s pie, Mr Titchmarsh said: “Oh, that’s beef!” before adding: “This is a better class of football pie this is! This is gorgeous”.
Mr Turner added that the pie was “really classy”, while Mr Portillo said he was surprised how much he was enjoying it being cold, adding “it would be even better being hot”.
Stout proves a hit
Paired with the pie was 71 Brewing’s stout which Mr Titchmarsh said: “Crumbs! It’s like chocolate!”
Matthew Kelly added: “Ooh that’s lovely”, and Mr Portillo said he thought it was “very special” and “extraordinary” before Mr Turner revealed that he wouldn’t fancy “downing five pints of that of a night” – a reference to the strength of the drink which is 12%.
Mr Titchmarsh said it looked like you “were going to be drinking Guinness, but it’s much thicker than Guinness”.
Grant Yorke, who is in charge of the bakery side of Yorke’s based in the city’s Strathmartine Road, was thrilled by the comments made on the programme.
“They contacted us way back in November to say they were doing pies and Brian Turner had said they couldn’t get a proper meat and gravy pie these days,” he said.
“Nick Nairn helps us out at the charity event that we put on every year for Maggie’s and he had tried the pies and said to them, ‘I know the very place to go’.
“Quite often you will send things away to these places and you never hear much about it, but lo and behold here it is and I think it went very well for us, especially in the present climate. You couldn’t ask for a better advertisement than that.
“I was quietly chuffed. The comments were great and really said it all. We do a lot of football grounds. Obviously at the moment we aren’t doing any but we are up and down the country delivering pies.
“The pies are all hand-filled and during busy times there are four of us making them, but at the moment, for obvious reasons, there is only me as there are so many places shut down.”
Although the pies aren’t available at football matches currently due to games being played behind closed doors, a Yorke’s pie can still be purchased from their shop at the moment or their website.
The managing director of 71 Brewing, Duncan Alexander, was delighted to be featured on the programme which has resulted in an uptake of sales for Subtlety in Art.
“The route it came was via Nick Nairn who is an advisor to the programme and he was asked to suggest some combinations and I believe he pointed them at Yorke’s and there was then a recommendation to pair one of our beers with their pies,” he said.
“Ian Clark, our customer services manager, recommended the Subtlety in Art which is not a subtle beer at all being 12%.
“I think it might have caught them unawares, but we sold a lot of it on Sunday and yesterday on the back of that.
“People are looking for these big, thick chocolatey stouts and the feedback we get from that beer is amazing.”
Duncan added that it was fantastic exposure for 71 Brewing, Yorke’s and the city.
“It’s always good to get more PR. Normally, something like that would be slotted in via a PR company but this wasn’t and it came from an outstanding recommendation which is even nicer.”