Watch: Local chef brings Scottish street food to Finnieston’s Dockyard Social with Fish Bar

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Mickey Goldsmith became a chef to fulfil his ambitions of travelling.

Starting with a meatball stand before transitioning to pakora, Mickey Goldsmith’s latest endeavour at the Dockyard Social presents locally sourced seafood - returning to his roots with an ode to his childhood food palette. He uses recipes and culinary techniques to produce, at its heart, Scottish street food. 

Scottish cuisine specialists are a relatively new entity for me despite having lived here most of my life. From small towns to big cities we are spoiled for choice with restaurants and takeaway inspired by cultures far and wide. So while the existence of Scottish cookingmay have always been prevalent, it was hidden in plain sight. I naively assumed our produce and dishes as something universal. 

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We visited Mickey at his stall in the Dockyard Social and asked what influenced the change of business: “I grew up in a seaside town and seafood was everywhere. I sort of thought of it as the norm, that everyone eats a lot of seafood but it’s not really like that. A lot of people aren’t that used to it. It’s an interesting way to think about food - where it comes from.”

When asked what inspired him to step into the hospitality industry, Mickey said “I wanted to move abroad, I wanted to move to Canada. So for that I needed a job that would allow me to travel as much as possible. Everywhere does food so if you learn to cook it’s very easy to travel, and also restaurants will take you on for three or four months, for a short season and it won’t be an issue. It’s a great job for people who want to travel.”

And he did make it to Canada where he lived for four years before his visa ran out: “I would love to go back one day and I probably will.”

On the face of it the Dockyard Social, situated within a residential street just off of Argyle Street in Finnieston, is an unassuming tin structure. Inside however, it is a vibrant array of food stalls, industrial wooden tables and artwork. It is a multi-generational space for casual dining. A literal hidden gem in Glasgow. 

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“So the Dockyard Social is a street food venue that also has a bar and does events and weddings and things. It’s a start-up that likes to help other start-ups. All the food stalls in here are independently owned. It’s independent traders with small businesses starting up. It’s a great place for people who would have no chance of building a business and being successful outside of here really. A food truck costs £20,000 and I haven’t got that, but I can pay my rent here at the Dockyard no problem. 

“It’s for people who want to do things their own way and not bother with investors. And wouldn’t be able to get investors because it’s not an easy time to have a food business right now it’s very scary. 

“Food is an expression of love and an expression of joy to people that you don’t know. Everyone has to eat but you don’t have to eat well. You make the choice to eat well. It’s a good line of the practical, the logical, the organisation, but also the creative in that yes, you can have something simple and something uninteresting, but you can choose to eat really well that day and that decision will impact your whole day and maybe the next day as well.”

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