Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on our shores and waterways; celebrating all they have to offer and encouraging people to explore Scotland’s natural beauty.
Each month we’re showcasing the people who live, work and have a passion for our waters and in celebration of Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, we’ve spoken to people who make the most of Scotland’s natural larder.
Calum Richardson is Chef/Director at The Bay Fish and Chips, which has been proudly serving locally-sourced, sustainable fish and chips from their shop on the Stonehaven seafront since 2006.
Can you tell us about your role and how you first got involved with The Bay Fish and Chips?
I am chef/director of The Bay Fish and Chips. I have started my journey with The Bay in 2006 when I sold my previous fish & chip shop. I had a blank canvas to create a business the way I wanted. The vision I had has changed since then and the meaning of sustainability is so different.
Since opening, The Bay has become more than a fish and chip shop. The Bay on The Road was founded in 2015. Our brand is growing - we supply businesses like Compass Group and you can find our produce in venues like Aberdeen Airport. We also supply schools, sport arenas, government and defence establishments.
My role has changed since the start. I used to spend every day at The Bay Fish and Chips working as a chef and managing the business after its opening hours. But once the business became bigger and I had created a strong team, I began to spend more time away - training and developing. I also do consultancy all around the world - sharing my knowledge and experience with other businesses.
How important is local sourcing and sustainability to you?
It is a core part of my business. We don’t just use something because it is local, we use it because it fits our business. One of our main criteria is to work with like-minded businesses that have the same vision. I believe that this is not only the way to support the local economy but also protect and ensure future fish stocks and businesses for years to come.
We’re currently celebrating Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight. What do you think makes Scottish produce special, and what are your favourites from your own menu?
We have got an abundance of fantastic produce all around us. From the fish in our seas to the meats, vegetables and grains in our farms and lands. We have lots of old fashioned methods, but also a lot of forward-thinking businesses with initiative keeping the food scene buoyant around the world. The people are passionate, and they do what they love and believe in. They don’t just treat it as a job- it comes from their hearts.
My favourite dish is Fresh North Sea Haddock and Chips, but I also love when we take a delivery of fresh, live langoustines. I like keeping it simple and cooking it on the griddle to keep all its flavours and sweetness.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Making people happy. I have always believed that food brings people together.
What impact has Covid-19 had on your business?
It had a major effect at the start, like everyone else, closing us down. But it also encouraged us to make changes and move forward with different methods and direction. I appreciate my business even more now and don’t take things for granted.
I believe that the only way forward is to be willing to change and adapt.
Do you have a favourite place or memory connected to Scotland's coast or waters?
My favourite memories are fishing with my dad in the river Cowie and Stonehaven harbour, catching mackerel and trout. It was great family time but learning to catch the fish and to cook it at home is something I will never forget.
The memory that still gives me nightmares was my dad dangling me down the harbour wall by the ankles to pick cockles and whelks to take home, wash, boil and eat using pins.