Ladies treated to French foodie tour with chef

Diane Duncan, Avril Gray, Lynn Dougan, Craig Wilson and Karen Lovie during their foodie tour of France
Diane Duncan, Avril Gray, Lynn Dougan, Craig Wilson and Karen Lovie during their foodie tour of France

The Kilted Chef recently whisked four Aberdeenshire women off on a culinary tour of the South of France following their £8,000 donation to a charity fundraiser.

Award-winning chef Craig Wilson pledged the four-day trip to Saint Martory as part of the Killer Heels and Cocktails event.

It is held annually to raise funds for Action Medical Research, which aims to save and improve the lives of babies and children and last year’s event raised £117,000.

The foodie trip prize was snapped up Avril Gray and Karen Lovie, who took their friends Diane Duncan and Lynn Dougan along with them.

They travelled to Saint Martory to stay at an 11-bedroom ‘Castel’ on the banks of the River Garonne, which was donated by Jean-Paul and Brenda Stuyck, who split their time between France and Aberdeen.

The Castel was once an old folk’s home run by Jean-Paul’s parents, which he inherited 10 years ago and has been refurbishing.

The group also visited St Girons Market where they enjoyed fresh croissants and pastries before browsing the vast array of produce available, from fresh meats and vegetables to local cheeses, breads and fine wines.

Craig then prepared an impressive alfresco formal dinner, featuring duck confit and cassoulet of beans.

Craig, chef and owner of Udny’s Eat on the Green, said: “We have been a committed supporter of Action Medical Research for many years and we wanted to give the ladies who won the auction prize a truly memorable trip.

“It was important to us that they were able to sample the lifestyle, culture and most importantly food and drink of this wonderful part of the world.

“We did a lot of cooking outdoors, visiting markets and speaking to the locals to get an insight into the methods and history behind the exceptional ingredients produced in this beautiful part of France.

“We were immensely grateful to Jean-Paul and Brenda for welcoming us to their impressive home and looking after us so well, it was a fantastic trip.”

A day trip to Spain was also arranged where the women enjoyed a tapas-style lunch in Bossost.