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About Marian Armitage

Born, raised and educated in Shetland and then Edinburgh, Marian had a food teaching career spanning 35 years in state secondary schools in Norfolk and Inner London. Now retired she is focusing on her passion for promoting local food. She co-founded Shetland Food and Drink in 2017 and has been chair since then. She is also the author of two books which place the best of Shetland’s ever-increasing range of produce front and centre.

Shetland Food and Drink, published by the Shetland Times in 2014 came first in the Food Promotion category at the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards 2015. The award was presented at an event in Yantai, China. In addition to a range of traditional and contemporary recipes, the book contains a wealth of information about the history and development of food and cooking in Shetland.

Food Made in Shetland was published by 60 North Publishing in June 2022. It was a ‘coming out of lockdown’ project beautifully photographed at Marian’s family home in the south end of Shetland by Susan Molloy. It is full of creative ideas for using local vegetables, dairy produce, cheaper cuts of meat and less common species of fish, as well as recipes for delicious cakes and baking. It also includes ideas for encouraging bairns into the kitchen, with Marian’s three grandchildren all participating.

In 2019 she was given the award of Highlands and Islands Food and Drink Ambassador in recognition of her work and commitment to increasing Shetland’s food and drink profile.

Marian is always busy with events and projects : promoting ‘Taste of Shetland’; demonstrating; engaging with visitors; writing articles; food photography and filming; and engaging with visiting journalists.

‘My background in teaching and education has provided me with a passion for communicating – and in collaboration with world-class produce and dedicated people – this is a real joy.’