The RSE, Scotland’s National Academy, brings two days of workshops, discussions and practical sessions around food to the capital of the Highlands in the latest instalment of RSE@Inverness.

Taking place over 2 days (21 & 22 February) at the Inverness Royal Academy, the Food for Thought programme brought together by the RSE includes an evening panel discussion open to all with leading gluten free brand Genius’s founder Fellow of the RSE, Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, plant protein expert Dr Wendy Russell of The Rowett Institute and award-winning food writer Kate Young, as well as series of thought provoking and interactive sessions for students across the city over the course of the two days.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh is one of a kind, unlike similar organisations in the rest of the UK, in that its Fellowship includes people from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds– science and technology, arts and humanities,  business and the creative arts.

These Fellows give their time and expertise for free to support the RSE in delivering inspirational and educational events as well as advising on research funding and providing expert advice. The RSE@Programme delivers these opportunities to local communities around Scotland spending up to two years in different regions, previously Scottish Borders, Lochaber, Dumfries and Galloway and Arbroath.

The current RSE@Inverness programme was launched in September 2017 and to date has included school talks, story-telling events, writing competitions, discussion events and public talks on a range of topics including Scotland’s biodiversity, Scotland’s Parliament 2030 -technology and society, imaging at the speed of light and Lord Lovat, known as “the most devious man in Scotland”.

Everyone has a chance to engage with Food for Thought on Thursday evening, 21 February (6.30pm – 8.45pm) when the panel of experts comes together to explore food in a very contemporary context. Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne FRSE, founder of Genius Foods shares how she developed a ground-breaking gluten free bread at her kitchen table, for her son, and launched it across the UK in 2009. This led directly to the creation of Britain’s leading free from bakery brand Genius Gluten Free, which has normalised the lives of millions of people following a gluten free diet in the UK and around the world. Hear from Lucinda on the highs and lows, challenges and learnings that she and the Genius team have experienced as their innovative business grew from a few people in an office in Edinburgh to a 300 strong manufacturing business based in Midlothian.

With the growing numbers of vegans across the UK making diet choices for both health and sustainability, Dr Wendy Russell from The Rowett Institute considers recent research on plant proteins and how they can contribute more to the human diet in terms of nutritional value.

The Guild of Food Writers ‘Blogger of the Year 2017’ Kate Young’s recipes are inspired by her reading. Having mastered the treacle tart from Harry Potter she began blogging about her creations, following up with delights such as Paddington’s marmalade and afternoon tea at Manderley. The Little Library Cookbook captures the magic and wonders of the meals enjoyed by some of our favourite fictional characters and she will share her discoveries and inspirations with the panel and audience.

The evening event is free but ticketed and can be reserved at

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne commented, I am delighted to be involved with RSE @ Inverness ‘Food For Thought’ and look forward to telling the story of Genius to the school and public audiences in Inverness at what will be a fun and informative event’.

The first day of the school’s programme (21st February) sees Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne and Dr Wendy Russell share their insights with the students of schools across Inverness at the Inverness Royal Academy. Other sessions throughout the day include interactive workshops with the BBC Young Reporter scheme which brings together 11-18 year olds from across the city to develop their understanding of digital journalism and media skills with a focus on news literacy. ‘Real News’ asks the students to check facts and sources and filter out fake news and false information.

Robert Mackenzie of Cullisse Cold Pressed Rape Seed Oil starts the day in the school’s kitchen telling the story of Cullisse, a product made within 35 miles of the school, bringing together aspects of farming in the Highlands, growing oil seed rape, diversification into cold pressing, and the full business picture from marketing and packaging to sustainability and environment.

On day two students from across the city join Kate Young in the kitchen at Inverness Royal Academy for a practical session inspired by her Little Library Cookbook.