Acclaimed TV chef Monica Galetti has been appointed as the first ever ambassador for Scottish seafood.
The new role will see the former Masterchef: The Professionals judge lead the charge to encourage buyers, restaurant owners and chefs across the UK to purchase and serve more seafood from Scotland by promoting its quality, flavour and versatility.
As an ambassador, she will be the face of the new Seafood from Scotland campaign, dubbed Sea the People, to represent the Scottish seafood industry as a national brand.
The chef believes that seafood from Scottish waters is “synonymous with the best quality in the world”.
In preparation for this flagship role, she spent time travelling around the country’s coastal communities forming professional relationships with fishers and processors, entrepreneurs running harbour cafes, oyster growers, fish smokers and salmon farmers.
Ms Galetti said: “Sea the People is vital because, at its heart, the Scottish seafood industry depends on these men and women to maintain and grow its premium status.
“I am in awe of their knowledge and skills, and their commitment to provenance at every stage of the supply chain.
“I would love to see UK restaurants and retailers stocking more Scottish fish and shellfish – fished or farmed. At present, around 80% is exported.
“We have a collective responsibility to introduce different species to consumers, in a way that encourages them to look beyond the familiar.
“For me, Scottish seafood is synonymous with the best quality in the world, and we definitely need to be shouting about it.”
Adam Wing, from Seafood Scotland, added: “Monica Galetti is the perfect person to champion our efforts because she genuinely believes in the quality of Scottish seafood and the commitment of the people who produce it.
“She has an ability to find a connection with everyone she meets, and really listens to their stories. She wants to keep learning and it shows.
“As a chef and restaurateur, Monica is in an ideal position to encourage young chefs and buyers to take a closer look at what we can offer and to help them appreciate the effort that goes into producing such high-quality fish and shellfish.
“Scotland’s fishing industry is one of the oldest in the country and many businesses have been handed down through the generations, with knowledge and skills passed on through families and communities.
“This knowledge, combined with astute investment in innovation and technology – and a bigger focus on sustainability – will ensure that Scottish seafood continues to punch above its weight in global food markets.”