Cookie is a restaurant in Glasgow which has an open kitchen at its heart, featuring seasonal cooking and a fusion of Scottish and Italian food traditions. Cookie Cooks brings together the restaurant's most delicious recipes, and tells the story of cooking between two countries. Melanie and Domenico are Scottish and Italian respectively, with a family here in Scotland and another home with a large, productive olive grove in Umbria, Italy. The things that set them apart as restauranteurs are their dedication to genuinely local, artisan ingredients (they use everything from their own olive oil to local southside honey), and their passion for sharing knowledge and recipes, traditions and culture.
'We run a barter system with local allotment gardeners, and often they will grow specific items for our chefs. We use local producers and source all of our products individually. We can tell you the story behind everything available in Cookie.' Cookie Cooks traces the story behind their food: from the classic southern Italian recipes cooked by Domenico's father Bruno to Melanie's allotment cooking, via home-made fishfingers and Grandma's rowan and crab-apple jelly – the book is all about how families eat and how food traditions fit with contemporary life. Fresh, simple recipes, that make it easy to eat well.
With illustrations by Glasgow-based graffiti artist Conzo Throb, Cookie Cooks is as much of a pleasure to read as it is to cook from.
'If only we all had somewhere like this on our doorsteps.' Joanna Blythman
Illustrations by Conzo Throb
The Parlour Cafe is a tiny whitewashed cafe in Dundee that changed the food landscape of the city when it opened nearly six years ago. Serving fresh, feisty, mainly vegetarian food, owner and chef Gillian Veal may have created a local institution, but her inspiration comes from further afield and reflects a whole social, relaxed way of eating more common in Southern Europe and the Middle East.
Read what Joanna Blythman said about it in the Sunday Herald.
The Parlour Cafe Cookbook covers everything from indulgent brunches, super-food salads and flavour-packed soups to kick-ass, stand alone main dishes, via deceptively easy tarts and extremely unwholesome cakes. It's a beautiful, hand illustrated book packed full of the useful, simple, and most of all fantastically tasty dishes that are so loved in the café - and it makes a great Christmas present so why not buy a few and give a bit of foodie love this year?
Illustrations by Jen Collins
2012 Main Programme Participant