Politicians and their plates: Mark Ruskell's cheese and herb omelette
Describe your favourite plate of food. Why is it so special? Who have you shared this plate of food with and what was the occasion?
I love food and enjoy cooking when time allows, but sometimes you just need a quick crowd pleaser for the family. We keep hens in the garden and in the summer there is a glut of eggs, so a nice fluffy omelette with some garden herbs, a bit of local Strathearn cheese and some leftovers always hits the spot. We have a wood-fuelled cooker stove which fires up in the evening, heats the home and is ready to cook on for a couple of hours. It’s a good slot to rustle something up at the end of a long day.
More generally, what’s your most memorable meal and why?
There’s a lot to choose from, but I’ll always remember a lovely Moroccan tagine I had with my wife on our honeymoon in Paris. We were down to our last 10 euros and it was a magical atmosphere in the restaurant.
Have you ever had any culinary disasters?
I once spent a whole day wrestling with a pasta maker and a pumpkin. The resulting sloppy ravioli were barely edible.
What would be your last meal of choice?
I was struck by the story of Francois Mitterrand’s lavish but cruel last meal of ortolans, foie gras and oysters. Is there a veggie version? If Greggs can create a vegan steak bake, anything is possible.
What’s your comfort food?
White pudding supper. I remember school mountaineering trips stopping off in Callander at the chippy on the way back home. Soaked and exhausted, survival food was needed.
Is there any plate of food that you would never eat?
White veal schnitzel. Although rose veal from Scottish herds such as Mossgiel would be a more ethical choice.
What is your favourite thing on the Scottish Parliament menu?
I do like the summer barbecue, it’s just a big sigh of relief from everyone at the end of term and we all eat Arran ice cream like big kids.