Primetime Tribute to Scotland’s Ice Cream Pioneer

The Mackie family
The Mackie family

‘The Father of Scottish Ice Cream’ has been honoured with a mouth-watering dessert featured on a popular BBC2 show.

Footage for ‘The Great British Menu’ shot at Mackie’s of Scotland’s Aberdeenshire family farm, featured local chef Michael Bremner’s visit to learn more about the vision of his chosen ‘local hero’, Maitland Mackie CBE - the founder of Mackie’s of Scotland.

Maitland Mackie CBE - the founder of Mackies of Scotland

Maitland Mackie CBE - the founder of Mackies of Scotland

As one of three of Scotland’s best chefs tasked with creating their ultimate desserts, the owner of the award winning restaurant, ‘64 Degrees’ in Brighton, went back to his roots, celebrating the everyday Great Britons honoured for extraordinary achievements.

Michael spoke of fond childhood memories of Mackie’s ice-cream as it was made just a few miles from where he grew up in Aberdeenshire, and had always been inspired by late owner Maitland Mackie.

The chef styled his dish, ‘Home Sweet Home’, around his favourite childhood dessert: Scottish Teacake and a Mackie’s Ice-cream, describing it as ‘a Whisky Mac Ice-cream, consisting of whisky, ginger wine and burnt orange, alongside a salted caramel mouse and a whisky mac jelly.”

Footage showed his meeting with Maitland’s daughter, now one of three sibling owners, Karin Mackie, who said: “Dad was born here, grew up here, and spent his whole working life here. He was involved and engaged in a lot of other things including agriculture and education.”

Maitland Mackie CBE meets The Queen

Maitland Mackie CBE meets The Queen

Asked whether her father would have enjoyed the whisky ice cream dessert, Karin added: “He absolutely would! I think he would encourage you to take a generous measure of whisky alongside the ice-cream as well.”

The Mackie business was originally a dairy farm but it was innovative Maitland who diversified into ice cream in 1986, resulting in him being honoured by the queen for services to agriculture

Maitland was also a pioneer in sustainable energy, building wind turbines and a solar farm on the way to creating Scotland’s most environmentally friendly business, each year exporting a surplus of electricity to the National Grid.

Speaking on the show, Maitland’s son, Mac Mackie, said: “He was a larger than life character, never afraid to try new things, so this place was never going to stay a normal farm. Green energy was the big focus of his life for the last 5-10 years.”

Tasting the dish, fellow competitor, Adam Handling said: “I think it’s delicious, salted caramel is spot on.”

Judging chef, Daniel Clifford said: “I found the presentation a lot of fun and evoked childhood memories.”

Michael’s dessert secured him a place in the final of the Great British Menu, following the approval of the judging panel on Friday’s show, - meaning he will fly the flag for both Maitland Mackie and Scottish cuisine, up against some of the best gastronomic talent from all four corners of the UK.

Upon getting through to the final, Michael, said: “I think we’ve done Scotland proud! I am over the moon, I need to make a few adjustments to my dishes but with a few tweaks I think I can go all the way!”

Maitland Mackie led a busy and highly influential life, spanning politics, education, farming charity and business. He was Vice President of the NFU, on the board of the Scottish Agricultural College, Chair of Grampian enterprise and sat on the board at Lloyds TSB Scotland.

He was a passionate fundraiser for Help the Aged and stood as a Liberal candidate. Maitland maintained an especially close relationship with Aberdeen University graduating with both agriculture and economics degrees – and was presented with an honorary doctorate, before enjoying his role as the elected Rector at the end of his life.

Mackie’s started making ice cream in 1986 and still produces all of its flavours using fresh milk and cream from its own dairy herd on the farm. It now boasts state of the art facilities, capable of producing around 6,000 litres per hour and up to 15 million litres per year.

Firmly established as one of the UK’s most popular take-home ice creams, Mackie’s diversified into making crisps in 2009, and chocolate bars in 2014. The firm opened a dedicated £600,000 chocolate factor last month.

Renewable energy is a cornerstone of Mackie’s success, with investment of £6.5million in on-site renewables and a diverse energy production that includes four wind turbines, a bio-mass energy plant, plus a recently completed 10 acre solar farm.