St Andrews chef Jamie Scott will be hoping not to wilt under the pressure when he lines up in the final round of MasterChef: The Professionals this week. But the 27-year-old from Arbroath who works at Rocca Restaurant in St Andrews will not have had to look far for advice on what to expect in the final of the popular cookery competition. Scott Davies, head chef at The Adamson in St Andrews, reached the final three of last year’s competition, where he and Adam Handling from Dundee were just pipped to the title by Horsham cook Steven Edwards. But Scott and Jamie don’t just work in the same town - Scott worked alongside Jamie when at Rocca. Remarkably, this year’s other Scottish finalist, Brian McLeish from Aberdeen, also previously worked in St Andrews. He was a cook at the Fairmont Hotel alongside last year’s other beaten finalist, Adam Handling. Both Jamie and Brian have been picking up plenty of support online but Scott said the pressure in the final round of MasterChef is something that it is impossible to prepare for. https://twitter.com/welcometofife/status/540417709285326849 Scott said: “It’s really nerve-wracking because there aren’t that many chefs left. You’ve got about 20 cameramen and editors watching you and the three judges.” However, he said the most difficult aspect is not letting slip who wins the competition. “The programme is filmed over three months so you do get a lot of questions. You’re out the business quite a lot so the bosses do want to know what’s going on,” he said. Scott, who came 12th in the Courier Impact 100 last week, said just reaching the final of the popular show has changed his life. “It’s helped me in a lot of ways. It’s helped give me more confidence and I’ve done about 20 cookery demonstrations over the past year,” he said. “The Adamson is quite a young business but we were doing about 700 covers a day in summer. People who come still want to speak to me and have their pictures taken.” And he said the success of so many chefs with St Andrews connections on Masterchef is helping to build up the town’s reputation as one of Scotland’s culinary hotspots. “A lot of people are saying there must be something in the water, but it is putting Fife on the map,” he said. “I used to work with Jamie. He was my sous chef and is a great chef and a really good guy.”
When Libby Jones was invited by Bank Street Gallery owner Susie Clark to exhibit at her gallery in Kirriemuir, she became intrigued by the history of the town. As well as Kirriemuir’s most famous son and Peter Pan author JM Barrie, she discovered the town had also been home for a time to AC/DC singer Bon Scott, Victorian mountaineer Hugh Munro, and 19th century writer Violet Jacob. She found the town had been a hotbed of witchcraft in the 16th century and is also world famous for its gingerbread and decided to combine all these elements. Ms Jones went on to craft a boxed set of prints, which also doubles as a card game. She said: “This tongue-in-cheek edition of 10 boxes, of 20 cards per box, features Kirriemuir characters presented on a slice of gingerbread on a plate. I have also made a poster featuring all the 10 characters in the game.” Visitors can see images of Edinburgh Castle with fireworks, wildlife such as gannets, and artwork made after a visit to Antarctica. Londoner and master printmaker Ms Jones exhibited work from her sub-zero stay at a Discovery Point exhibition in Dundee last year. Children can see her work Cooking the Climate, a comment on global warming, which consists of a microwave oven and slideshow with rotating polar animals. There is also a fossilised mobile phone in a second installation, Fossils of the Anthropocene an exploration of the traces that might remain of civilisation in 50 million years’ time. She is also exhibiting a selection of her woodcuts, linocuts, collagraphs and screenprints at the gallery. The exhibition runs until November 8 and opening hours can be found on www.bankstreetgallery.org, or by telephoning 01575 570070.
The former owner of a ladies' fashion boutique in Cupar has died at the age of 84. Margaret Urquhart, of Cupar, who was also a well-known singer, passed away peacefully at Adamson Annexe of Stratheden Hospital. She was born in Dunfermline in 1926. Her father, Andrew Young, of Kelty, was a well-known haulage contractor. During her youth she was a keen figure skater and almost became Scottish champion, finishing runner-up. Mrs Urquhart studied for two years at the opera studio at St John's Wood, London, and sang with the Glyndebourne Chorus and the Mitchell Singers, appearing on stage and television and meeting Vivien Leigh and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. She returned to Scotland to tour with the late James Urquhart, of the White Heather Club and a founder member of Radio Tay, and they married in Inverness between shows. The couple made their home in Fife, raising two sons, Andrew and Iain, in Ceres, Craigrothie and Cupar. They kept their hand in the music business, entertaining with Moira Anderson, Jimmy McGregor, Robin Hall and Jimmy Shand to name a few, and producing pantos. Mrs Urquhart opened her shop in Lady Wynd in the 1960s and ran it until she retired in the early 1980s. In her retirement her love of antiques also saw her become a researcher for the Sunday Post column, What's It Worth? at a time when Lorraine Kelly was a young clerical worker. In her final years Mrs Urquhart shared her time between her love of sewing and crafts and devotion to her grand-children Laura, Emma, Daniel and Jamie. She also leaves behind Andrew, Iain and daughters-in-law Josie and Susan.
Brave Cowdenbeath made Premiership Thistle sweat well into extra time before the full time Premiership side made it into the last 16 of the League Cup. Keeper Grant Adam was their star with several outstanding saves while Jamie Stevenson will reflect on what might have been after missing a penalty when the game was scoreless. Thistle manager Alan Archibald made six changes to the side that lost for the first time in the Premiership last Saturday but visiting gaffer Colin Cameron turned out virtually the same side that had lost all three Championship games this season. Beath had the better of the opening stages with home keeper Scott Fox alert in the sixth minute to deflect for a corner a shot by Andy Russell, who had been set up by Greg Stewart. However, once the Jags picked up the pace, and allied it to their long insightful passing, the visitors spent most of the first half in defence. Less than two minutes in to the second half Adam pulled off a marvellous save, getting down to a shot from Baird cutting in from the left. Cowdenbeath then had the chance, in 55 minutes, to take the lead when clever footwork by Kenny Adamson in the home box provoked a clear penalty with the offender Aaron Muirhead taking his pins away. The Fifers could not take advantage. Jamie Stevenson tried a fancy run-up but home keeper Fox was up to it, diving to his left. The well marshalled Beath defence thereafter saw the game through to extra time. Two minutes into extra time Thistle sub Christie Elliott seemed to have won the game when he side footed home, but a minute later Beath replacement Kane Hemmings brought equality again. However further Thistle counters by Steven Lawless and Aaron Muirhead, a penalty, saw the Firhill side through.
The adoption of a new DNA test to authenticate the pedigree of all Aberdeen-Angus calves will put the breed in the vanguard of genomic technology, retiring Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society president, Victor Wallace, told a packed annual at Stirling. The society has decided to collect blood samples using special ear tags which incorporate a small uniquely identified receptacle. As the tag is inserted soon after birth the small amount of displaced tissue and blood is captured ready for future DNA testing. Responding to criticism of the society’s decision to use only one company, Caisley, for the collection of samples, Mr Wallace insisted Caisley was the only ear tag company which had the technology to meet the society’s required specification. “We invited a number of ear tag companies to tender and some didn’t bother to reply while others couldn’t meet the spec,” said Mr Wallace. “It is a simple and inexpensive system which most breeders are finding easy to use.” The aim is to collect blood samples from all bull calves to enable the sire of all calves to be verified in the case of any uncertainty or dispute and to authenticate beef being sold as Aberdeen-Angus.” The move by the society has been welcomed by major supermarkets selling Aberdeen-Angus beef. Mr Wallace added: “This process was extensively and rigorously tested with management and council visits to the manufacturers in Germany and the completion of field trials. After this process it was brought back to council and unanimously approved. “Like all changes, there has been some resistance but I am convinced that putting the society in a position to be leading in genomic testing can only be a good one. “We should be leaders, not followers.” Mr Wallace admitted that a £34,000 re-branding exercise carried out over the past year, which included the dropping of the society’s long-established black, green and yellow colours, left room for “significant improvement”. The issue, particularly improvement to the website, would, he said, be addressed in the coming year. The decision to prop up the pension fund of chief executive, Ron McHattie, by £120,000 in four tranches was defended by new president, David Evans, who explained that it was a “catching up” operation as the funding of the pension had not been addressed for 11 years and annuity rates had halved in that time. Mr Evans, who works as a financial adviser, runs a 60-cow pedigree herd in Cleveland with his wife, Penny, and has been chairman of the society’s breed promotion committee. He is planning a series of open days throughout the country this year to promote the commercial attributes of the Aberdeen-Angus breed. “There is a huge and growing demand for certified Aberdeen-Angus beef with the active involvement of most of the leading supermarkets in the UK and registrations in the Herd Book are at a record level and continuing to increase,” said Mr Evans. “But we can’t stand still and it is important that the breed adopts all the latest technology to take the breed forward in the future.” New senior vice-president is Tom Arnott, Haymount, Kelso, while Alex Sanger, Prettycur, Montrose, was appointed junior vice-president.
The blank scoreline saw the Pars knocked off top spot in Ladbrokes League One but no one at East End Park is ready to fly distress flares. After hitting 12 goals past Cowdenbeath in their previous two games some visiting fans might have gone to Central Park expecting another barrowload but the Blue Brazil have lost only one home game all season and have picked up nine points in six starts on their own turf. So maybe it was no surprise that the Pars found it tough going. They made a great start to the game though, and David Hopkirk and Faissal El-Bahktoui brought out good saves from keeper Jamie Sneddon, but Cowdenbeath grew in confidence and Greig Spence and Dean Brett went close for them before the break. The second period saw Kenny Adamson’s shot go inches wide before Brett fired over from close in for the hosts and Dunfermline did not really create many dangerous openings at all. Both teams had penalty claims with Greig Spence and Gordon Smith going down under challenges from Pars’ Ben Richards-Everton, and Joe Cardle falling after a Brad Donaldson challenge at the other end, but referee Nick Walsh waved play on on all three occasions. Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston felt his team could be criticised for not scoring in the early part of the game. “We had a couple of really good chances very early on and had we taken them it could have changed the pattern of the game,” he said. “The second half did not see many openings for either side and the longer the game went our choice of final pass got poorer and poorer. However, it is a long season and while Ayr’s win over Stranraer has knocked us off top spot we are well placed.” Cowdenbeath player-boss Colin Nish was delighted with the way his team tackled their Fife rivals. He said: “It was really pleasing to take a point off one of the top sides but, dare I say it, there was a chance or two there to actually win it. “We played really well as a collective unit and defended and attacked as an effective force and it takes the unbeaten run to three games. “We have been working hard on our defensive work as a team.” Meanwhile former Motherwell defender Fraser Kerr has signed for Cowden on a short-term deal until January.
An Angus councillor has unearthed a fascinating insight into men’s views on the suffragists as the nation commemorated the centenary of some women winning the right to vote. Brenda Durno, SNP member for Arbroath and East Lunan, has been so inspired by an essay written by her great-grandmother in 1904, she is hoping to donate it to a museum in the north east. The amusing reflection was written in the Doric language by Isabella Moir, a 12-year-old pupil at Belhelvie School in Aberdeenshire. She was the eldest of 10 children and had two sisters and seven brothers. Councillor Durno said: “The celebration for the 100 years since women won the right to vote made me think of the essay. “My great grandmother was born in September 1892 and died in May 1992. “She latterly lived in Potterton with my aunt and uncle who ran the shop there and I found the essay when she died.” Mrs Durno chose to enter local politics in the footstep of her father, the SNP councillor Alex Shand, but admitted her great-grandmother was a Liberal supporter. “She was right into politics and was a great friend of Lord Tweedsmuir - the SNP wasn’t around then.” The essay relates to a conversation between a brother and sister as he reads a newspaper article on ‘The Suffragists’. As he works his way through the article, his views become apparent. He berates the efforts of the “limmers of suffragists” claiming “weemans place is at hame” It reads: “They canna mak an men their men’s sarks, keep a clean fireside an have a vote. “Gie then an inch an they wid tak an ill (mile).” The essay goes on to say there a was a time when women were happy “tae tak the chance o’ the first man that socht them, an thankful tae leave the voting an the rulin o the nation tae him”. It was on February 6, 1918 that women aged over 30, those who owned property or had a university education were granted the right to vote through the Representation of the People Act. Mrs Durno is hoping to donate the essay to a museum which specialises in the Doric and would welcome suggestions as to who to contact.
A Montrose man was so surprised to see a French wine with the same name as his home town he started up a business to import bottles to Angus. Until last year Graeme Hetherington (40) was living in Geneva while working for an oil company. However, being a passionate wine drinker, he would make frequent trips across the border to France to sample the best vintages. It was when he visited the Languedoc region that he spotted a sign for Domaine Montrose vineyard. His days studying French at Montrose Academy stood him in good stead when he asked a waiter in a caf in Pezanas about the winery. ''He said it was only 4km outside the town and that it was open to visitors,'' recalled Graeme. ''I thought it was an amazing coincidence so I visited the next day. ''The owner's son, Oliver, showed me round the vineyard and let me sample a few of the offerings. ''The wines were astonishingly good and excellent value.'' When Graeme returned to Scotland last year, he knew people in Montrose would be keen to sample a few bottles as well. He contacted the French wine producer again and found bottles were still affordable, even after shipping costs, duty and VAT. Graeme, who now lives in Aberdeen, called his company Angus Wines to keep with the regional theme. ''It was the obvious name, as I am Angus born and bred,'' he said. ''I even called my son Angus. ''I am selling four wines from Domaine Montrose and they have proved very popular. ''A case of 12, which can be any mix of the four wines, costs just £78. As well as the novelty of them being called Montrose, they are far better quality than what's in the supermarket at the same price.'' To his delight, Montrose Football Club was one of his first customers, putting in a large order for their match-day hospitality ahead of Rangers Football Club playing at Links Park later this month. The rose wine available won a silver medal in the prestigious Decanter magazine awards. The red wine is a cabernet syrah. The whites are a viognier and a classic unoaked chardonnay. All the wines are typical of the region, where long, sunny growing seasons give the wine a great richness. Graeme has since investigated whether more vineyards in France carry the Montrose name and found two of the most celebrated Bordeaux wines, Chateau Montrose and La Dame de Montrose (the lady of Montrose). He is also offering these for sale, though at a much higher price. ''I would say that Chateau Montrose was one of the top 10 wines in the world,'' he claimed. ''Unfortunately, it has a price tag to match at £80 but I think it's worth every penny. ''La Dame de Montrose has a lovely name and it's a bit cheaper at £30. ''I've had quite a few men from Angus buying a bottle for their partner's Christmas.'' People looking to find out more or order wine can contact Graeme on email@example.com or call on 07909 228 613. firstname.lastname@example.org
Arbroath have been the entertainers of the Second Division this season, and boss Paul Sheerin isn't about to rein his players in for the promotion play-offs. ''But it's what we all want, and we'd give it our best shot. We would go into it with confidence. ''It's a few years since the club has been in the First Division. To get back-to-back promotions would be a great achievement. ''Our last quarter of the season wasn't good but we got back to winning ways on Saturday and hopefully that will stand us in good stead.'' Apart from Jordan Elfverson, Sheerin has a full squad to choose from for the trip west. He reported: ''Elfverson trained last but he's unlikely to be fit for play-offs. It's been one thing after another for him this year and the main thing is getting him right for pre-season. ''Chris Innes has been struggling but he got through training on Monday night, so we're all good to go.'' Dumbarton boss Alan Adamson has told his players that reaching the play-offs was good but winning them would be great. The Sons have the chance of promotion to the First Division for the first time in 16 years and Adamson is determined that his men take it. He said: ''At the start of the season if we had been offered third place and a spot in the play-offs we would have said yes that would be a good season. ''Now that we are here we are looking to win the play-offs so we have the chance to turn a good season into a great season.'' Adamson is expecting goals in their contest with the Gayfield side. He added: ''The games between us this season have produced 21 goals. Both sides love to attack and I do not see these two games being any different.'' Craig Dargo could start after hitting a hat-trick against Brechin on Saturday with on-loan Falkirk youngster Ally Graham struggling with a knock. Adamson has already ruled out full back Ryan Finnie and winger Mark Lamont. The Gayfield club travel to face Dumbarton tonight in the first leg of their semi-final, and Sheerin has dismissed the idea of altering their approach for what can often be cagey and anxious affairs. He explained: ''Do we go there and go for a win as we usually do? We probably will because we can only really play one way to be honest. I think if we were to change now we would be asking for trouble. That's how we've approached games all season and it got us to second in the table. ''The players that I've got dictate how we play. That's something I'll maybe look at for next season, whichever division we're in. We'll need to be able to play a different way, but right now we'll play the same way we have all season.'' Arbroath are probably best summed up by their clashes with this evening's opponents. Sheerin said: ''We've won three of the four games with Dumbarton and they've been entertaining matches two 4-3s and one 3-2. ''They're similar to us, a good team going forward. We're too alike as teams for there not to be goals in the match. We just need to make sure we're still in the tie on Saturday, which I'm sure we will be. ''People will see that we finished second and make us the favourites but play-offs are a totally different scenario. This will be a close tie, as will Airdrie against Ayr United.'' Sheerin is still playing at the grand old age of 37 but, surprisingly, he's a play-off new boy. That's not the case for Arbroath as a whole though. He said: ''Arbroath have been involved in five play-offs as a club but it's all new to me. I have to make sure I get my approach right.'' Should they emerge the winner from the four teams, First Division football isn't something which would scare the former St Johnstone star. He pointed out: ''If we got to the First Division it would be tough because you'd be in with the likes of Dundee and Dunfermline. Our budget would be the lowest in the league and I'd need to have a bit of a reshuffle of the pack." Continued...
A pair of thieves tried to negotiate with police over what they should be charged with after they were caught breaking into a busy Dundee office building. Reece Hunt and Lee Armstrong donned heavy orange gloves to avoid leaving DNA or fingerprints at Dundee's Figure 8 Consultancy Services. But the hapless duo didn't realise they were being watched by people in neighbouring properties as they broke in. Police were called and Hunt and Armstrong immediately held up their hands and said a stolen laptop computer had been stashed in a rucksack. Armstrong told officers: "I'm not a child. I'm fully aware that I shouldn’t have been breaking into a building. "A charge of breaking and entering would be fair. A charge of theft wouldn't." Accomplice Hunt, 18, said: "That's my bag. There's a laptop inside it. Nothing else. We're just being stupid." He told the officers Armstrong had told him to put the computer in his bag. Dundee Sheriff Court heard Armstrong had previously served time in prison in connection with assault and robbery. Hunt, 18, of Adamson Court, and Armstrong, 23, of Landsdowne Court, both Dundee, pleaded guilty to breaking into commercial premises in Whitehall Street and stealing a laptop. George Donnelly, representing Armstrong, said: "I ask the court accepts this was a one-off, silly, silly escapade." Sheriff Lorna Drummond QC imposed community payback orders on both men - with 80 hours unpaid work for Hunt and 130 hours for Armstrong. She said: "Breaking in to any premises is always serious."