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Meet Mac & Wild

Bringing the best of Scotland to the big smoke

Gourmet Scottish restaurants Mac & Wild are currently taking London by storm with their haggis pops, venison burgers, whisky laced Ginger Laddie cocktails, and more. With Burns Night nearly upon us, TOAST caught up with founder and owner Andy Waugh to learn about the power of authentic Scottish produce, and to get his top tips and a couple of tasty wee recipes for your very own Burns Night bash.



Bonnie Scotland; land of kilts and bagpipes, Robert Burns, breath-taking scenery, the infamous haggis, incredible history, lashings of whisky and so much more. And on top of all that – there’s also the plethora of fantastically fresh and delicious native produce – something that Andy Waugh, founder and owner of gourmet Scottish game restaurants Mac & Wild, knows a thing or two about.

“Scottish produce is unique because of the people behind it - most of them are a little crazy to say the least, especially my family! You’d have to be to live in the middle of the Highlands with no neighbours for 20 miles.” Andy laughs“But seriously, the people who make the food we serve are truly brilliant at what they do.”

Growing up in the Scottish Highlands Andy spent most holidays shooting and fishing, and the time in-between surrounded by his family’s business of butchering wild game and venison. It’s safe to say that all this lead him to live a life impassioned about bringing the very best of Scotland's luscious larder south of the border.

In 2010 Andy launched the Wild Game Co. - a raw meat market stall based in London’s Broadway Market. Wisely identifying the opportunities of the then-burgeoning street food scene, Andy quickly diversified and started to offer a few Scottish-inspired ready-to-eat treats, such as haggis scotch eggs and haggis pops (more on these later...), which quickly won him the title of ‘Street Food of the Year’ at The Young British Foodies Awards in 2012. The Wild Game Co. still operates for private event hire - should you fancy some stylish Scottish snacks at your next do (you can find them in our Little Black Book).

Andy’s street food success then transformed into a series of pop-up restaurant events, which won him yet more accolades; this time being voted as ‘One of the top five places to eat game in London’ by The Evening Standard.

“After that I met with a couple of old friends, Adam Pinder and Calum Mackinnon, and we opened the first permanent site, Mac & Wild in Summer 2015,”  he explains.

We’ve just just celebrated our one-year anniversary of our first permanent site, and we also just launched our new pop-up - Mac & Wild City!”

Macwild City Venue

Mac And Wild Great Titchfield Street

The menu at Mac & Wild is, as you can imagine, homage to all things Scottish - specifically wild game, seafood and whisky. But then there’s also the Scottish potatoes, the rapeseed oil, craft beer, cheese and more. Even the hand wash in the bathroom is Scottish.

“We are definitely authentically Scottish, and we love the produce that comes from there,” explains Andy. 

“The majority of our meat comes from my family’s game-butchery business which has been in existence for over 30 years, and everything else comes from surrounding farms and estates. We even use Scottish crockery from Anta, who make the most amazing stoneware plates and bowls, I’m still to come across a good Scottish Malbec though…”

Mac Wild Venison Scotch

(Image: Venison Scotch Egg)

Macwild Evil Moo

(Venison Evil Moo)

And of course, there is also the drinks offering. Their whisky list is staggering (quite literally) and in an exciting and innovative move, Mac & Wild have also developed their very own pre-batched Scottish cocktail range, created by mixologist Luke Leiper, who hand-makes and bottles the drinks in small batches in Edinburgh. These tantalising tipples use Scotland’s finest whiskies and spirits infused with locally sourced Scottish herbs and botanicals.

Our cocktails are inspired by Scotland’s wild and beautiful landscape,” explains Andy. “The range is designed to take you on a trip to the Highlands. We have four ready-to-drink varieties; the Ginger Laddie, Auld Pal, Bonnie Brae and The Forager. Each cocktail is inspired by classic cocktail blends, but served with a Mac & Wild whisky twist!”

Cocktail Macwild

And whether it's whisky or wild game, Mac & Wild takes traceability to a whole new level; the top of each menu proudly states the name of who shot the venison and beef that week, where it was shot, and even who butchered it.

Our produce is not just ‘wild’ or from ‘somewhere’ up North,” Andy explains.

“We think it’s important to know where your food comes from, and to have a connection with what you are eating.

Dishes on the menu include Scottish salmon with Jerusalem artichokes and truffle cream, Highland fried pheasant with herb yoghurt and fennel salad and venison tartare with parsnip puree, crisps, and pickled baby beetroot, to name just a few. But with so much delicious produce to choose from, what’s Andy’s top order?

It’s got to be a toss up between our venison chateaubriand with béarnaise, or our VeniMoo, which is a beef patty and a venison patty with cheese, béarnaise & caramelised onions, served on a brioche bun. It was voted the UK’s Best Burger at the National Burger Awards last year…” he beams.

“And of course there are our famous Haggis Pops – crispy, fluffy bites of haggis!”

Haggis Mac And Cheese Mac And Wild

(Image: Mac and Cheese)

Haggis Pops Pouring Macwild

(Image: Haggis Pops)

Speaking of which – as Burns Night is almost upon us - Andy has shared the secrets of Mac & Wild’s Haggis Pops as well as a delicious ‘Bobby Burns’ cocktail recipe exclusively with TOAST; you can find them both over on The Edit now, and if you’re in the mood for more Scottish inspiration, why not take a look at TOAST’s Inspire Me guide to throwing your very own Burns Night bash, featuring Andy’s top tips, coming up on TheEdit later this week!



Mac & Wild can be found at 65 Great Titchfield St, London, W1W 7PS and also at 9A Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YN. For more information about Mac & Wild visit www.macandwild.com

Mac & Wild’s cocktails are available to buy online at Master of Malt.

For more information on hiring The Wild Game Co. for your next event visit their page in TOAST’s Little Black Book

 

Posted in Inspire Me

by Sophie Farrah
on on 23 January 2017

  burns night, game, mac and cheese, scottish cuisine

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