Portrait of KJ

Kitchen Quiz Episode 2: Kirsten Gilmour (The Mountain Cafe/KJ’s Bothy Bakery)

For the second in our Kitchen Quiz series of  short interviews with our amazing authors, we zip up to our favourite Kiwi in the Cairngorms Kirsten Gilmour, or KJ as she is known to many.

Portrait of KJ

KJ was the lady behind the fabulously successful The Mountain Cafe Cookbook. A real cooking bible of tasty soups, exhilarating salads, hearty mains and delightful baking, this is a cookbook that every kitchen shelf simply needs to have.

Mountain Cafe Cookbook Cover

Kirsten is now focused on her latest project, KJ’s Bothy Bakery knocking out demon breads, scones, buns, meringues, muffins and swirls to those lucky enough to live nearby her in the Highlands.

We caught up with KJ to ask her a few quick questions while she stopped briefly for air….

Sit back and relax. It’s time for KITCHEN QUIZ!!!

KJ Kitchen Quiz

Q: Hey KJ, hope you are doing good! So was there a cookbook that really inspired you?

A: So many cookbooks inspire me, but I love The Edmonds cookbook from NZ. It’s a classic that all parents give their kids when they are leaving home. It is just packed full of good simple recipes that work. It’s pretty dated in some ways now, but it remains close to my heart and the baking recipes always work!

Edmonds Cookbook Cover

Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

A: My magic scraper! It’s a dough scraper I use for cleaning dough, scone mix & cookie dough off my benches. I also use it for portioning my bread, cutting pastry & it’s just the business. 

Kitchen Quiz Magic Scraper

Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook to?

A: NZ music mostly like Fat Freddy’s drop and The Black seeds. They are great for a boogie while cooking. 

Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

A: Tuscany. I would love to learn more on Italian food culture & skills 

Market Tuscany

Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice about cooking to someone then what would that be?

A: Relax! Don’t take yourself too seriously. Have fun and don’t be hard on yourself if something goes wrong. 

KJ cooking tartieflett

Thank you so much Kirsten. You are always a total champ and a star. We can’t wait to try your baking delights from your bothy bakery as soon as we can get up there!

Buy The Mountain Cafe Cookbook here

And don’t forget you can get 15% off all KP titles for the whole month of February 2021 using the code ‘FEB15’ at checkout on our website plus postage is also free!

Kitchen Press FEB15 discount code

Welcome to Kitchen Quiz our new series of short interviews focussing on the wonderful people who write our cookbooks for us!

Episode 1: Gillian Veal (The Parlour Cafe & Cambo Gardens Cafe)

The Parlour Cafe Cookbook was our very first publication way back in the mists of time. We owe its spectacular chef and author Gillian Veal a massive debt for launching our book list in such exquisite style.

cover of the Parlour Cafe Cookbook

So we thought it was only right to kick off this series with Gillian, especially as we are currently working with her on a brand new title [trumpet sounds]. 

The new cookbook is based around the food she creates at Cambo Gardens in the East Neuk of Fife. Her cafe is set in the old stables of the historic Cambo manor house amongst gloriously kept walled gardens which are packed full of vegetables and herbs for her to use in her culinary creations. It is a magical setting for any chef and Gillian has simply thrived there, so we are very pleased that soon she will be sharing that magic with you all.

view of cambo gardens in the sunshine for Kitchen Quiz

Meanwhile we caught up with her at home and asked her a few wee questions….

Portrait of Gillian Veal Kitchen Quiz

Sit back and relax. It’s time for KITCHEN QUIZ!!!

Q: Hi Gillian, was there a cookbook that really inspired you?

A: The River Cafe Cook Book was the one. I loved the relationship between the two owners. It was inspiring how they bounced off each other with their knowledge of ingredients and simple approach. It set me on the path that led to The Parlour Cafe Cook Book.

River Cafe Cook Book, Gillian's Kitchen Quiz pick
Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?

A: I love all my gran’s old pans and baking stuff. They simply don’t make them like that anymore. And I recently treated myself to a thermo mix ,which is a bit like having a second chef work with me.

Salads from cambo cafe for Kitchen Quiz
Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook along to?

A: Oh impossible to choose any one song or genre in particular.  It’s like my food, I mostly decide what I’m going to make that very day. Same with the music.  It’s a good day when the right music and food comes together. I’m lucky I have so many friends around with a passion for music, so I get introduced to all sorts in the cafe.  My only habit is I always listen to the radio from when I get to work till 10am. It’s like my timer to prepping for the days service. I normally listen to Radio 6, but flip over to Radio 4 as well if I’m not feeling it.

Some of the apple varieties grown at Cambo - Kitchen Quiz
rpt
Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?

A: There are so many places I still have to visit, but for now Andalucia in Spain would be my number one choice. It has the perfect variety of food and cooking styles. So probably an outdoor kitchen at the top of a beautiful beach from around 4pm till sunset. And perhaps with the odd glass of vino…

Andalucia view
Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice to someone about cooking then what would that be?

A: My one piece of cooking advice would be to engage all your senses. It’s not just about following a recipe.  If something doesn’t smell, taste or feel correct then do something about it. You have to feel it. While cooking it might even involve getting to know the right sound an ingredient makes when it hits the pan. It should be a passion and not just work.

Cambo feast for the Kitchen Quiz

Thank you so much for doing our Kitchen Quiz Gillian. We can’t wait to try out your new recipes from Cambo very soon!

Buy The Parlour Cafe Cookbook here