Acclaimed TV chef Monica Galetti has been appointed as the first ever ambassador for Scottish seafood.
The new role will see restaurateur Ms Galetti – who served as a judge on MasterChef: The Professionals until earlier this year – leading the way in encouraging the UK’s hospitality venues to offer more seafood from Scotland on their menus.
As an ambassador, Ms Galetti will head the new Sea the People campaign by Seafood from Scotland, which represents the Scottish seafood industry as a national brand.
In preparation for the role, she has recently spent time travelling around coastal communities to meet the people behind the industry, including fishers, salmon farmers, fish smokers, oyster growers, processers and entrepreneurs.
Ms Galetti said: “Sea the People is vital because, at its heart, the Scottish seafood industry depends on these men and women to maintain and grow its premium status.
“I am in awe of their knowledge and skills, and their commitment to provenance at every stage of the supply chain.
“I would love to see UK restaurants and retailers stocking more Scottish fish and shellfish – fished or farmed. At present, around 80% is exported.
“We have a collective responsibility to introduce different species to consumers, in a way that encourages them to look beyond the familiar.
“For me, Scottish seafood is synonymous with the best quality in the world, and we definitely need to be shouting about it.”
Adam Wing, from Seafood Scotland, added: “Monica Galetti is the perfect person to champion our efforts because she genuinely believes in the quality of Scottish seafood and the commitment of the people who produce it.
“She has an ability to find a connection with everyone she meets, and really listens to their stories. She wants to keep learning and it shows.
“As a chef and restaurateur, Monica is in an ideal position to encourage young chefs and buyers to take a closer look at what we can offer and to help them appreciate the effort that goes into producing such high-quality fish and shellfish.
“Scotland’s fishing industry is one of the oldest in the country and many businesses have been handed down through the generations, with knowledge and skills passed on through families and communities.
“This knowledge, combined with astute investment in innovation and technology – and a bigger focus on sustainability – will ensure that Scottish seafood continues to punch above its weight in global food markets.”