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Saturday Kitchen surprise for local producers

After a busy Christmas, the last thing local artisan food company Humes Orkney expected was January to bring more of the same.

However, a live taste-test of their award-winning smoked mackerel fillets on BBC One’s Saturday Kitchen last weekend has led to the family-run business being inundated with orders.

The programme’s host, Matt Tebbutt, described the fillets as ‘possibly the best I’ve ever tasted’, with celebrity chefs Cyrus Todiwala and Shauna Froydenlund agreeing, declaring the fish ‘beautiful’ and ‘so good, my favourite’.

The fillets were appearing as part of a Burns Night section of the programme, showcasing products made by small companies around Scotland. It came as a complete surprise to Ian and Anthea Hume, the brains behind the business.

BBC One's Saturday Kitchen featuring Humes Orkney


“We really weren’t expecting it at all but the reaction was instant,” said Anthea. “We sold out of some products really quickly and we’re now working around the clock so we can meet all our pre-orders as soon as possible.”

“The number of orders coming in has just been off the scale,” agreed Ian. “We were mentioned on-air just after eleven o’clock and our first order came in less than ten minutes later. Since then, it just hasn’t stopped.”

Ian and Anthea Hume


The duo’s oak smoked mackerel fillets were awarded a coveted three stars in the 2020 Great Taste Awards, something which Ian thinks led the programme producers to their products. “It just shows how important that kind of recognition is. We had wondered for a while about putting ourselves forward, but we’re very glad we did!”

As with many other small businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for Ian and Anthea – at one point, they even considered closing the doors on the business - so the recognition from the programme has come at the perfect time. “It just shows the power of TV and the internet,” said Anthea.

“It has been a bonkers, but lovely, few days.”

Products from Humes Orkney - image by Kirsteen Stewart


The wider Humes Orkney range includes smoked cheese, olives, mussels and much more. Order online via the official website, and follow Ian and Anthea on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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