Some of the best seafood in the world can be caught off the clear West coast waters of Scotland, a fact fisherman Tim James knows well.
Formerly a trawler-man, Tim still creels for most of the shellfish and catches Wild Salmon and Sea Trout. Some fish is brought fresh from the Quays of Kintyre to be smoked in the Island smokehouse just outside of the main port of Brodick.
Arran smoked products epitomise the natural approach to preservation which has created such a demand for the products throughout Europe. The fish are either wet brined in sea salt or dry salted using a mixture of sea salt and dark molasses sugar. They are left for a longer period than most commercial smokes before being placed in the kiln.
The smoke is a mixture of Arran Scotch Pine and wood shavings from old whisky barrels producing a premium product with a distinctive taste. The brining and smoking process helps to concentrate the flavours. All the products are hand sliced and trimmed, with pin bones removed, and vacuum packed for freshness.
Tim and Fran James opened the first Creelers Restaurant at the Old Home Farm of Brodick Castle on the Island of Arran in 1990. The second followed in 1994 at Hunter Square, just off the Royal Mile, Edinburgh. Much of the food presented in the restaurants comes straight from West Coast waters via the Creelers Smokehouse.