Category Archives: food blogging



One minute I’m in the gym leg pressing a 160kg (personal best!) the next I’m eating Baxters Chutney. Here’s how….

The phone rings…it’s one of those ‘shall I, shan’t I’ moments when you’re in the zone and work calls can wait or at least go to voicemail for half an hour.

However,  Mrs Monkfish is, to quote Fireman Sam, ‘always on duty’ so what the heck, I answer. Is this is the call I’ve been waiting for?  “hi Hilary, you’re invited to a cheese and chutney tasting over lunch but you need to be here in the next hour….oh, and it’s going to be filmed. Is that ok with you?” FINE!

Within 60 minutes I’m showered, changed and heading up to Baxters HQ, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh for a cheese and Baxters chutney tasting over lunch. So glad I picked up the phone 🙂

There is cheese, lots of. In fact, there is so much cheese on the table my cheese sweat starts before I’ve even begun to tuck in. What a spread. Did I mention the chutney? Many of you probably know about Baxters chutney, you’ve probably even got some in the pantry but who knew that a chutney could add so much to the cheese tasting process! They can make or break it which I found out during the course of the afternoon. More on that later….

Darren Sivewright, Baxters HQ development chef and ex Masterchef semi-finalist 2015 no less, had put together a cheese and chutney pairing fit for Christmas! Perfect timing!

To assist me in the cheese feast were  Ms Foodie Quine and Ms Foodinburgh, renowned Scottish food bloggers, I was in good company.

Baxters chutney and cheese tasting

This being Baxters HQ of course we were treated to the Baxters Chutney range which had been brilliantly matched to the cheese by Darren and had baked lots  goodies to boot including gingerbread, oatcakes, parmesan straws.

Food bloggers don’t tend to hold back when it comes to taste tests so it wasn’t long before we’d made a good old dent in the tasting, it’s amazing what can be achieved in under an hour!

Baxters chutney and cheese tasting

During our ‘lunch’ we also had a chat about cheese etiquette and if there was such a thing. Well, of course there is but all concluded that at the end of the day life is for living and cheese boards are for eating. So, if you like to match your goats cheese with a date chutney spread on a baguette then go for it. If you want to slice your cheddar the wrong way (is there a wrong way?!?!) and spread it with chilli jam then do that too. Above all, get stuck in, enjoy what’s in front of you, share it with friends and family or keep it all to yourself. Cheese etiquette? Bah to that!

Cutting the cheese correctly, discuss.

Well, this is a sensitive subject for many, including a good friend of mine. Yes, there is a correct way of cutting the cheese but we don’t always think about it at home. Don’t just hack away at it for goodness sake my cheese connoisseur chum cries. Crumbs, I have hacked away at cheese on several occasions without really thinking about it. Bottom line is if the cheese is the shape of a slice of cake then you should always go from the edge to the point which means you’ll get the full flavour of the cheese. In the middle it is more flavoursome and towards the edge less so. Now you know.

On to the spread. The cheese spread….


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I had such a brilliant but ‘unexpected’ afternoon and those ones are always the best! Who knew that Baxters Pineapple, Coconut and Zesty Lime Chutney would match so well with brie and gingerbread?! This was definitely my favourite combo of the tasting, the chutney has a slight curry flavour, a bit reminiscent of picallili which is one of my guilty pleasures. It cries 1975 and the Good Life but I don’t care, I really love it!

Stilton and pickled beetroot tapenade was also a winner for me. I love strong flavours but not ones that try and out do each other in the process. This combination loved each other, blue cheese really does love a purple vegetable, it was classic.

If you follow Baxters on social media then you will see some footage of our cheesey afternoon very soon. If you don’t then you can follow them here:

Facebook – Baxters UK 
Twitter – Baxters Food UK

baxters chutney tasting

baxters chutney tasting

baxters chutney tasting

Baxters chutney and cheese tasting

Huge thanks to Darren and the team at Baxters plus Multiply for organising. See you next time, can we do Fray Bentos tasting next time please? I’m trying to relive my yoof 🙂

Disclaimer {#sponsoredpost but I love Baxters and if I was ever stuck on a dessert island and happened to be on Radio 4 chatting to Kirsty Wark about it I would definitely take a Fray Bentos steak pie, a tin opener, some pineapple chutney and the Best of Wham. Then I would be happy.}

Over and out 🙂


Monmouth coffee, Borough market


HAPPY NEW YEAR! It’s been a while….in fact, it’s been a long long while since we’ve updated the blog. Tonnes of reasons why, the main one being our continued [healthy] obsession with Instagram. Who needs words when a picture speaks volumes….

By ‘we’ we’re referring primarily to Mrs Monkfish who with her new iPhone 6S permanently attached to her hip she just can’t help snapping away at any given moment.

Here’s a small selection of the pics we’ve captured over the last few months to whet your appetite and to leave you wanting more during 2016. We’ve been eating and drinking a lot of late, both here (Edinburgh) and in other lovely places (most recently London), and I’m sure that will continue during the course of this year.

A particular highlight from December 2015 was dinner at Aizle, (St Leonard’s Street, Edinburgh), chef owner Stuart Ralston just gets better and better, we urge you to go ASAP. And probably second to that is our relentless mission to find the BEST coffee in  Edinburgh, we’ve found a few great places you’ll be glad to hear but quite frequently venture down the coast a bit to the brilliant Steampunk which is always a pleasure. For an Edinburgh coffee hit the shout goes out to Artisan Roast Stockbridge where you can sip your chosen cup sat in a flower shop. You don’t get that in Costa.

Enjoy the gallery below in a ‘Vision On’ kinda way…hit PLAY, you know you want to 🙂

Swing on over to @mymonkfish on Instagram for more.
And then some.



food bloggers

food bloggers (!)

 Now we’ve got your attention this may be of interest…. Yesterday The Times published their ‘top ten food trends for 2015’, yep, everyone’s at it, producing lists of ‘what’s hot and what’s not’ but this particular list caught our eye due to the inclusion of this at number 7 …

The food blogger is dead.


 That’s right, it’s all over, boys and girls. You amateur critics and commentators with your prattling, forever-scrolling text laced with pointless, self-regarding opinion — you thought you were the vanguard of the digital age, ushering in democracy as you cast aside established newspaper critics with your man/woman-on-the-street real people’s creds. Well, the tech that made you will now destroy you. Because your nifty little blogs that pandered to our shortening attention spans have paved the way for Instagram. It’s just pictures the food world wants now, not your words. Witness Clerkenwell Boy, with his 57,000 followers lapping up pictures of his every eating moment. Now look who feels like some pesky new urchin is stealing their livelihood . . .’

That’s us told. Thank you William Sitwell. We did like some of your other thoughts particularly about Anna Jones. Mrs M got her new book for Christmas, ‘a modern way to eat’, if you’ve not seen it yet check it out.

See you next time where we’re going to try really hard not to make any predictions at all, we’ll try really hard not to bore you with our self regarding opinions and pointless scrolling text. Bet you can’t wait… Oh, and at the same time we’ll be ramping up our Instagram feed so that we can keep up with ‘Clerkenwell Boy’ and his cronies….we are food bloggers, and we’re ok with that!


Find us on Instagram HERE!


Hello and welcome to today’s BBC Radio Scotland’s Kitchen Cafe.

We are now LIVE ON AIR with presenter Clare English and guests Hilary Sturzaker (that’s me!!), Cate Devine and chef Paul Wedgwood. We hope you’ll stay with us for the whole show, you’d be a fool not to 🙂

I (Mrs M) will be live blogging throughout the show…think the Guardian live TV blog but undoubtedly not as funny….although I’ll try to be as thoroughly entertaining as possible within my limited realms of comedic talent.

I’ll be updating this post, adding new posts, tweeting, posting photos on twitter @mymonkfish Instagram mymonkfish and the perhaps the odd Facebook post on mymonkfish.

1:08pm…Yes, the good old BEEB are asking a lot quite frankly but hopefully my multi tasking skills will come to the fore and my O’level typing qualification will shine on through, there may be smoke coming from the keyboard…

Why do it? What makes a good blog? Is it all personal opinion? Are there too many food blogs? How do you stand out from the crowd? Do you want to?

Please please please leave your comments on any of these, the more the merrier. We want to get to the bottom of #foodblogging !

Hope to chat to a lot of you throughout the show, get the kettle on…

We are go! 
And clearly that wasn’t me reading out a recent post about DATE NIGHT!

Meet the production team up in Inverness…Dan and Gillian
dan gillian
Cate Devine currently telling us what she likes about food blogs…..scottish food, good photograhpy….honesty…. she’s claiming she’s not a dinosaur and she’s right!

Major effort required for food blogging…constant pressure on us bloggers!

Twitter is going mad….keep those comments coming! Introducing Paul Wedgwood from the Edinburgh broom cupboard….
Paul DOESN’T read that many food blogs…int-er-esting!

Paul thinks blogging is a blessing and a curse….

Thanks for all the tweets, keep at it NOM NOM YUM YUM 😉

Clare and Gillian in full flow….

Thanks to Su for the chilli…wish we had some here in the studio, not eaten since breakfast!

Sorry about the noisy keyboard if you’re listening in…bit rattly but I’m trying very hard to press the keys as gently as possible! Chilli with chocolate says chef Paul Wedgwood….yes please! But with sea bass?? Interesting…

Yep Leila, that blog name is a tough one to pronounce!

Very interesting point to mention is that most food bloggers are girls….and most of the tweets currently being read out by Gillian are from girls….

Influence of food bloggers….what do you think? Have food bloggers got a power?

FREE LUNCH ANYONE???!?!!? Blogger or blagger?

Can food bloggers carve out careers? Definitely….so many cook books have been written by food bloggers….but it’s mostly a labour of love for sure.

OK, let’s defend the GOOD bloggers as there are loads and there are LOTS and LOTS of GREAT blogs that I read and love – yes, I’m shouting! Blogging is the future, it’s here to stay, technology is moving so fast and lots of us feel like we’ve got something to say!

Winding up here in the studio with a few final words about blogging….

Finding blogs that you like? Tricky one, there’s sooooo many! It’s a jungle out there but you will definitely stumble upon one you like so keep looking!
Chef Paul Wedgwood gives his recipes out – yippeeeee!

Almost done, it’s been brilliant fun and my fingers are exhausted….sorry again for the noisy keys!

Cate is about to start her own blog on The Herald website – the A-Z of Scottish Food. Follow her on twitter @CateDvineWriter to find out more!

Show done, debrief in progress….here’s the program notes from the production team in Inverness…

And I’m finally home from sunny Glasgow, Halloween party in full flow here at Monkfish Towers. Brilliant day spent with the BBC Kitchen Cafe crew….hope to be live on the airwaves again soon. Have a great weekend y’all!


Turn on, tune in 92-95FM BBC Radio Scotland
bbc radio scot

As Mrs Monkfish makes her way to the BBC studios in sunny (?) Glasgow we’d love to hear from you ahead of today’s Kitchen Cafe which is on air at 1pm. Do you have a food blog? Why? What do you love about blogging? What makes a good blog?

Mrs M will be blogging live during the programme (eeeek, this will be multi tasking at it’s best…live blogging AND talking, how will she do it….) and hope to post a few photos, put a few thoughts down in words and chat to a few bloggers throughout the show.

Also live in the studio is the lovely Cate Devine of The Herald and chef Paul Wedgwood.

Follow us on twitter @mymonkfish and also check out our Facebook page at mymonkfish.