Ghillie Basan

Ghillie Basan is a writer, broadcaster and food anthropologist who lives in a remote part of the Cairngorms National Park where she runs a Culinary Experience business, Spirit & Spice, hosting groups from all over the world to pair wild food and local ingredients with whisky.

Formerly a journalist and teacher with a degree in Social Anthropology and a Cordon Bleu diploma, Ghillie has worked in Turkey, the Middle East, North Africa, India and Southeast Asia. Her food and travel articles have appeared in the Sunday Times, Sunday Herald, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Tribune, Press & Journal, BBC Good Food Magazine, Delicious Magazine, Diet & Nutrition USA, and various Middle Eastern and Internet magazines.

Ghillie has been described as one of the ‘finest writers on Middle Eastern food’ and has written more than 40 books on different culinary cultures – some have been nominated for the Glenfiddich, Guild of Food Writers, and the Cordon Bleu World Food Media Awards and have appeared regularly in the ‘Best of the Best’ and ‘Top 50’ lists. She is also the author of the non-fiction title, The Moon’s Our Nearest Neighbour, and of Spirit & Spice which weaves her travels and lifestyle off the beaten track through recipes and whiskies to pair with them.

As a broadcaster, Ghillie has many BBC credits as a presenter and contributor to a variety of food programmes and she produces her own podcast, also called Spirit & Spice, on food and drink stories in Scotland. As an ambassador of food and drink in Scotland, she has given TED talks in Canada and Ireland and has been a winner of the Highlands and Islands Innovation in Tourism Award.
Instagram : @ghilliebasan

Ghillie Basan is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Ghillie

Seafood Journey: Tastes and Tales from Scotland

Birlinn, November 2023

Scotland has some of the best seafood in the world, so we why don’t we eat more of it? Why don’t we highlight the bounty of our seas and the people who fish, produce, sell, preserve and cook it?

Acclaimed cooker writer Ghillie Basan embarks on a journey around Scotland’s coastline and over to the islands to capture the essence of our nation’s seafood through the stories of fisherman, farmers, artisan smokers and curers, boat builders and net makers, creels and shacks, skin tanners and age-old traditions.

In addition, she offers 90 original recipes showcasing the wonderful produce she encounters on her journeys to all parts of the country.

Praise for Seafood Journey:

‘It is easily one of the most comprehensive seafood cookbooks I’ve seen’ -Scottish Field

‘This is a model cookbook – quirky, informative and a thoroughly good read’ -Country Life

A Taste of the Highlands

Berlinn, October 2021

From the wild glens of the Cairngorms National Park and the bountiful fishing villages of the Moray Coast to Loch Ness, Fort William, Ullapool, the rugged bays and barren moors of Caithness and Sutherland and the rich sea lochs and glens of Argyll, Ghillie travels many mountain roads and windswept landscapes.

The result of her travels is a spectacular celebration of local produce, including local lamb and grass-fed Highland beef, wild venison, fresh salmon and juicy scallops, seasonal fruits and berries, artisan cheeses and breads and, of course, beer, gin and whisky.

The Scottish Brunch Bible

Birlinn, April 2021

Food writer and broadcaster Ghillie Basan offers 50 recipes in seven themed sections: brunch in a bowl, brunch with eggs, brunch on bread, baked potato brunch, sweet-tooth brunch and boozy brunch. Featuring Scottish ingredients in traditional recipes as well as imaginative combinations – from herring in oatmeal with creamy scrambled eggs and cranachan smoothie to pancetta scallops with Caesar salad bruschetta and bacon butties with honey gooseberries – this little book is the perfect inspiration for those days when time is more generous and food less rushed.