an array of food on a table

The Cairn
Tim Maddams

For millennia, cairns have inspired people to explore new paths. And at The Cairn Distillery we aim to inspire people to take the first steps – and realise a long-held ambition or dream.


Two aspiring foodies - Dave Cox from Surrey and Fiona Patterson from Drumnadrochit – applied to our recent competition, winning the chance to begin their journey under the watchful eye of our menu curator, Tim Maddams.

Dave and Fiona visited the distillery for a tour and were then whisked off with Tim to meet the local suppliers who provide the ingredients that make up the distillery menu. The duo were then tasked to develop two new dishes (see below) inspired by their experience and involving the suppliers they met – culinary treats that would take their place on the refreshed menu.

Discover their path, from concept to plate.



“It was a real honour to work with The Cairn and Tim on this exciting project. It was such a privilege to spend time learning from, and cooking with him, seeing behind the scenes at the local food producers and inspiring my burning desire for working with food.”

Fiona Patterson
Dave Cox



“Travelling across the Cairngorm National Park and beyond with Tim was a wonderful journey. Hearing him talk about suppliers and their produce was as fascinating as it was inspiring. I loved every second - and it’s rewarding that our dishes now proudly sit on the distillery menu.”

Mutton Pie


Roast Asparagus



Prepared with Cora Lynn cheese, sunflower sprouts, lemon and olive oil to delight the tastebuds.



Served with Rambo radish shoots and sweet picked vegetables - a veritable taste sensation.


Our suppliers were specially chosen by Tim Maddams, not only because they are outstanding examples of Scottish produce, but also due to their products being crafted with a high level of care and skill, not dissimilar to the care and skill that our distillers display when producing our spirit.


Patrick Harrison of Balliefurth Farm

Balliefurth Farm and Shop

Balliefurth Farm and its shop are located near the distillery in the spectacular Cairngorm National Park, near Grantown-on-Spey.  The 400-acre Highland farm belongs to Patrick and Abby Harrison and stocks breeding Shorthorn Cross cows, two bulls, Highland Mule ewes and Texel Tups sheep, and not forgetting six beehives. The farm supplies mutton for the distillery's modern take on the class Scotch Pie.

Braemar Chocolate Shop

Starting their journey with two shops in Shetland and Orkney, owners Dave and Cathy made the decision to move back to the mainland in 2020, opening their new premises in Braemar in the heart of the Cairngorm National Park.  

The small firm carefully pairs selected chocolate from all over the world with classic flavours, then adds a unique Scottish twist with the wonderful food and ingredients on their doorstep. Using ingredients as diverse as the Cairn's CRN57 18 year old blended malt, cheese and even bread, they align with the distillery by offering a modern take on an ancient craft.

Braemar Chocolate

Dave Williams of Braemar Chocolate Shop

Rising Roots

Daniel Oliveira of Rising Roots

Rising Roots

Operating from a small farm on the Moray coast, Rising Roots provides the highest quality and nutritionally dense microgreens to The Highlands and Grampian communities of Scotland, including our very own distillery.

Their devotion to providing microgreens stems from a responsibility to encourage healthy living for all.

KJ's Bothy Bakery

Showcasing a fantastic array of delicious baked goods all prepared on their site near the distillery in Grantown-on-Spey, KJ's works with incredible local suppliers to create deliciously fresh treats to the Cairngorms community. Their sourdough loaves are a firm favourite at the distillery.

KJs Bakery

Megan Hughes of KJ's Bothy Bakery

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