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Shopping with a foodie: Roberta Hall-McCarron

by Liz Stansfield
Shopping with a foodie: Roberta Hall-McCarron
Image: Isabel McCabe

We hit the aisles with Roberta Hall-McCarron, chef and co-owner of neighbourhood bistro The Little Chartroom in Edinburgh...

Salted butter

‘Nothing beats a good slice of bread with quite a lot of salted butter. I think there’s a big place for salt in dessert so I use this for some puddings, too.’

Earl Grey tea

‘It always has to be Earl Grey. I’m a touch lazy, so use a bag not loose leaves, and the milk goes in when the teabag is out. I’ve also used Earl Grey tea to flavour a panna cotta.’


‘I make treacle soda bread with this. It’s really easy – combine buttermilk, treacle, golden syrup, oats, flours and bicarb, make a sticky dough and bake. It’s a great bread for the reluctant bread baker to try.’


‘I love this when it’s really oozy from the oven. Nothing fancy, just baked well with a good crusty baguette for dipping.’

Love, Corn

‘These are so moreish! Good to have with a glass of wine before dinner, or, if I have friends over, I put some out as nibbles. I’ve also used them in a sweetcorn polenta for a bit of texture.’

Smoked mackerel

‘Blend smoked mackerel with soft cream cheese, dill and lemon for an excellent pâté to snack on before dinner or eat as a starter. It’s so quick and not an expensive fish to buy.’

Sweetheart cabbage

‘This is one of my favourite vegetables. It’s lovely chopped into a simple slaw but also delicious pan-fried or on the barbecue. Really it’s all in the title – it has a real sweetness to it and complements meat and veg, but also works as a standalone if you’re veggie.’

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