Search is on for Edinburgh’s favourite Stovies recipe

by Chris Fairbairn

Friday, December 27th, 2019

City centre café is on the hunt for 31 recipes for the month of January

Search is on for Edinburgh’s favourite Stovies recipe. Food and Drink PR

AN EDINBURGH eatery is calling on proud home cooks to share their secret recipes for the perfect stovies – for them to be replicated by professional chefs and served to the public.

Café 1505 on Nicolson Street hopes to ignite the capital’s passion for the age-old comfort food by serving a new recipe each day in January, as part of its Burns Month’ campaign.

At the end of the month, the café, which is operated by Surgeons Quarter, hopes to use customer feedback and sales figures to award the city’s ultimate recipe – crowning a member of the public as Edinburgh’s stovies Queen or King.

The traditional potato-based stew typically contains leftover meat and onions, but recipes and ingredients vary widely across families and regions.

Scott Mitchell, Managing Director of Surgeons Quarter, said: “There are some fiercely proud cooks out there who have carefully-honed recipes passed down from generation to generation.

“Likewise, there are those who adapt the traditional formula by adding new, potentially controversial, ingredients and flavours.

“We’re urging the public to hand over their precious recipes for our catering team to prepare. Who knows, we might just settle the city’s ultimate stovies recipe once and for all.”

Café 1505 is owned by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCSEd) and owes its name to the year of the historic institution’s inception.

It is operated by the college’s commercial arm, Surgeons Quarter, and all food is prepared on site by the same award-winning catering team that serve the thriving conference business  and Ten Hill Place Hotel, Edinburgh’s largest independent hotel.

Alan Dickson, Executive Chef is looking forward to working with his team to do justice to the public’s recipes.

He said: “I’m really intrigued to find out what resonates, and whether the traditional or modern take on stovies is more popular with customers.

“One thing is for certain, my money is on a granny coming in first place – I’d be amazed if any of the younger generation can compete!”

Applicants are encouraged to hand their recipes to the Café 1505 team, send them a message on Facebook (Café 1505 @ Surgeons Quarter) or email them to between now and the 31st of January. The winning recipe will receive a 2 night bed and breakfast stay for two at Ten Hill Place Hotel.

Surgeons Quarter promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the RCSEd campus. All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgical standards worldwide.



  • 500g baking potatoes
  • 250g corned beef
  • 2 white onions
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • Coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Flat leaf parsley


  • Peel and slice the potatoes and set aside in cold water.
  • Slice the onions and add to a warm pan with the vegetable oil.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.
  • Add the potatoes and mix.
  • Gradually add half of the stock and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through adding more stock if required but take care not to make it too wet.
  • Stir in the corned beef and season to taste.
  • Finish with freshly chopped parsley.


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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is an Account Director with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood PR. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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