The modern Burns Night menu

Scottish chef Roberta Hall-McCarron’s alternative Burns Night menu has neither a neep nor tattie in sight, and (whisper it) there’s no haggis… But if you want to celebrate 25 January with something different, Roberta’s menu showcases the contemporary side of Scotland’s food scene. It’s a little bit cheffy, but everything can be made in advance – we’ll raise a wee dram to that!

The modern Burns Night menu

Planning a Burns Supper, but fancy ringing the changes? The celebration traditionally begins with a recital of the Selkirk Grace, but the choice of other Burns readings – such as the popular Address to a Haggis – is up to you, along with the menu. Swap out traditional haggis, neeps and tatties this year for Roberta Hall-McCarron’s modern Scottish menu, including a hearty pie and sophisticated cheesecake dessert.

Roberta was head chef at Tom Kitchin’s Castle Terrace restaurant in Edinburgh before opening her own restaurant in the city with husband Shaun, The Little Chartroom, to rave reviews. They moved to a bigger venue in 2021, while also opening a wine bar, Eleanore.

“The best quality ingredients are where everything starts for me,” says Roberta. “Scotland has some of the world’s best suppliers, making the food scene here so exciting. There are so many talented people cooking in Edinburgh now, and it’s a great community to be a part of.”

A portrait of chef Robera Hall-McCarron
Chef Roberta


The cocktail

Rhubarb collins

“This tart, super refreshing cocktail uses a homemade cordial, which highlights both the sweet and vegetal flavours of the rhubarb. It’s a bright and spritzy aperitif.”

The starter

Smoked duck and beetroot salad

“This dish sings of winter, thanks to the earthy flavours of beetroot. It’s a light, flavoursome starter that’s easy to put together for a gathering, as all the prep can be done in advance – you just have to assemble on the day itself.”

The main

Smoked ham, leek and mustard pie

“I absolutely love pies, and I’ve gained quite a reputation for them. They’re great for using up leftovers, easy to prep ahead and go with every side dish under the sun – crispy potatoes and cabbage are my favourites.”

“Easy to assemble, this cheesecake is great as it provides individual portions instead of one big cake. You can include any fruit that’s in season – I’ve used rhubarb as it goes so well with the sweet chocolate, but any tart fruit can be made into a compote in the same way.”

Looking for a classic Burns Night menu, with haggis and cranachan? We have that too

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