Get to know one of Scotland’s top food and drink journalists as she speaks with our food and drink PR team
WE CAUGHT up with Scran podcast host and Scotsman Food and Drink senior digital writer, Rosalind Erskine, to talk restaurants, her mum’s cooking and how Scotland’s food and drink scene has flourished over the last few years.
With more than 13 years of journalism experience under her belt, Rosalind took up the role of Scotsman food and drink writer in 2017 and editor in 2020 and is passionate about promoting Scotland’s diverse, but often underrepresented, food and drink scene.
Keep reading to find out more…
- What is your job?
I write about food and drink for the Scotsman and host its Scran podcast.
- Can you tell us more about your podcast?
The podcast was launched in Dec 2019, part of Laudable podcast, which Reach PLC and JPI media got funding from Google to launch.
In terms of content, we cover all things food and drink related across Scotland. I’ve spoken to whisky makers, chefs, producers you name it – even a few famous faces like Sam Heughan and Michael Roux Jnr.
When the podcast started, there really wasn’t much out there that focused on food and drink in Scotland. The Scottish foodie influencer scene is now much more established, but when the podcast started, we were really one of the only ones talking about the overall Scottish food and drink scene.
3. Who has been your favourite podcast guest?
That’s a difficult one, but my favourite guest has to be Gordon Dallas, the whisky experiential manager for Glengoyne. He was just such a character and had some great stories. That interview was also one of the last ones I was able to do in person.
My most popular podcast has to be the one with Sam Heughan – who is absolutely lovely. I remember I was having technical issues with my ZOOM that day and instead of getting annoyed he offered to screen share to help me out.
4. What is your favourite content to write?
My favourite thing is speaking to small producers and local businesses and helping get their stories out there. It’s not only really interesting, but you also feel like you’re doing your bit in helping get small businesses off the ground.
For example, I recently did a piece on a mother and daughter gin business in Strathaven. They were launching virtual gin tastings after their business was hampered by the pandemic. They were going through a bit of a tough time with it all, so it was great to be able to hear their story give them some support.
5. Top 3 restaurants?
6. What advice would you give to PRs pitching to you?
I have a couple of main pieces of advice. The first would be to make sure your story is relevant. I get sent a lot of unsolicited emails to my personal email, so much so that I can’t even get through them all to email my Dad back.
Secondly, if you have a story which can be pitched as an exclusive – do it. It’s nice to have someone thinking about you and have a story that’s able to be tailored as an exclusive.
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to phone for a chat. If you have a story that you really think should have been picked up, phone and query why it hasn’t. Not all journalists like this approach, but for me personally, I don’t have time to respond to every pitch I get, so a phone call can help provide some clarity and improve your pitches for future. Also, calls are good for relationship building. It’s easy to forget you are speaking to an actual person when emailing sometimes, but picking up the phone can help establish a more concrete working relationship.
7. What is your thoughts on the Scottish food and drink scene at the minute?
It’s amazingly diverse and has really sprung up in the last few years. I was away in London and Dubai for seven years, and since coming back I’ve noticed more and more excellent venues and producers popping up, particularly in Glasgow.
After Gordon Ramsay’s Amaryllis closed back in 2004, a lot of people thought that Glasgweigans had no appetite for top tier, Michelin star food. It’s great to see the city bounce back in a big way with Cail Bruich being awarded a Michelin star last year, with The Gannet and Graham Cheevers, Unalome making pace towards achieving ones also.
8. What is your death row meal?
It has to be something cooked by my Mum. She makes this butternut squash stuffed pasta and it is delicious. It would be that plus her boozy chocolate mousse for afters.
I’ve tried recreating her cooking but can never get it quite right!
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