The Prime Minister was hosting a traditional Burns Supper in Downing Street this evening (Monday January 22nd) in celebration of the life and works of the bard.
Scots from a variety of business sectors, food and drink suppliers, educational institutions and politics joined the UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Mr May, the Secretary of State for Scotland and others for a three-course meal in the State Dining Room.
(And even more amazingly, your favourite website welovestornoway.com (and EVENTS newspaper) has arrived on the address list of 10 Downing Street for such news releases, so we thought we would share it all with our readers.)
On Twitter Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell, the Scottish Government's 'Brexit Minister' commented that this event was: "final and conclusive proof of Hugh MacDiarmid's contention that 'mair nonsense has been uttered in his name (Burns) than ony other barrin' liberty and Christ." Mr Russell pointed out that Theresa May had claimed that: "Burns Night is part of the UK's enduring union." Burns Night is, of course, marked on 25 January every year to mark the writer’s birthday.
Glasgow-based ‘MasterChef: The Professionals’ winner Gary Maclean took over the Downing Street kitchen for the day to prepare the menu, made up of fresh produce from a range of Scottish suppliers.
Guests were welcomed into Downing Street by a piper from the Scots Guards.
The Prime Minister, who gave a welcome address to guests this evening, said beforehand:
"Scotland is a greatly valued part of our United Kingdom and its contribution to the UK is immense – economically, socially, and culturally.
"And Robert Burns is a great example of that, as one of our finest poets, famous world-wide.
"I’m very much looking forward to this evening and the chance to celebrate a great poet, a great nation and an enduring Union."
Some of the courses being prepared by the head chef, who is also a senior lecturer at Glasgow City College, are the very ones that impressed the judges during the BBC2 cookery show.
Mr Maclean said: "I’m incredibly honoured to cook for the Prime Minister and showcase the best Scottish produce, sourced from local farms and dairies for this evening’s Burns Supper.
"A Burns Supper is an institution in Scottish life and it’s wonderful to be able to be part of such a celebration of the works of our national Bard in Downing Street."
Mr Maclean was joined in the kitchen by his team, which includes his fellow MasterChef contenders, Matthew Healy and James Villiers, and James McGuire, who works for Braehead Foods.