David McVey

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I have over 16 years’ hospitality experience in various roles and positions ranging from bar management to restaurant management and in 2016 I became a restaurant owner myself. After our first year Ostara won best newcomer in The List Food and Drink Guide and best café in the Skinny Magazine. Ostara is a member of the Scottish Food and Drink Guide created by chef alliance member Wendy Barrie

I have a passion for Scotland’s natural larder, food culture and traditions, emphasizing season and locally across my menu. Supporting our local food producers and building relationships with the people who create what we eat is at the heart of Ostara. Although I have never been trained, my family taught me how to prepare, enjoy, understand and appreciate simple Scottish cooking. This family conviviality is the essence of Ostara.

In 2016 I completed the MSc Gastronomy at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, the only course of its kind in the U.K to take a multi-disciplinary approach to food studies. My final dissertation project focused on the motivations and experiences of those who use community gardens to grow food and how this benefits the individual but also promotes community development and resilience. In January 2018 the paper was published and is available as a free open resource journal.

After graduating I set up The Leith Food Assembly, the first one in Scotland, introducing Edinburgh to a new way of accessing locally produced food from small producers that found it equally difficult to connect to more customers outside the usual weekend farmers market. This has encouraged at least 6 other Food Assemblies across Scotland. The Leith Food Assembly is now managed by Slow Food Edinburgh members.


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