Chef Mark Greenaway cookbook to change perceptions of Scottish food

By Emma Eversham contact

- Last updated on GMT

Mark Greenaway with his new cookbook Perceptions. Photo: Paul Johnston at Copper Mango
Mark Greenaway with his new cookbook Perceptions. Photo: Paul Johnston at Copper Mango

Related tags: Chef, British cuisine

Chef Mark Greenaway has produced his first cookbook which he hopes will help change dated perceptions of Scottish food. 

The chef has spent the last year putting together Perceptions, Recipes from Restaurant Mark Greenaway, a collection of 250 'modern recipes using the latest techniques and culinary innovations'. 

Greenaway, who opened Restaurant Mark Greenaway in its current location in Edinburgh three years ago, said he'd decided to finally put his recipes into print following growing demand from customers and a need to set the record straight about his native cuisine following a marketing trip abroad. 

"A lot of people were asking for a cookbook after I'd done Great British Menu and every time I do a cooking demonstration somewhere I'm asked if I have one," he said. 

"I guess the idea for it came from a trip four years ago to Bangkok with VisitBritain. We were doing the GREAT campaign where I had to do talks around our food. I asked people there what their perceptions of British food were and the answers I was getting back were pretty shocking.

"They think the English live on roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, shepherd’s pie and Eton mess and Scottish people live on haggis, porridge and deep fried Mars bars, so I thought if there was ever a time to really challenge that perception it is now." 

Labour of love

Greenaway's book was a true 'labour of love' with recipes written up on the chef's days off and photography of dishes shot in the restaurant's private dining room. 

"I'm here at the restaurant five days a week lunch and dinner, so we needed to find a way to keep it in-house. We did one photo shoot a week for six months in our private dining room. We'd block the room out for the day, get the photographer in and have a makeshift studio. I think anyone looking at the images would be surprised at the quality." 

The book also features double page spreads with nine of Greenaway's favourite Scottish producers.

"It’s important for me to tell their story and why I use them," he said. "Some of them I’ve known for 20 years and I’m still using them. It’s more about not just my story, but their story." 

Punching above its weight

Greenaway said while Scottish produce was revered around the world, Scottish cuisine had not yet received the recognition it deserved internationally, which was another reason why he had created his book. 

"For Scotland being such a small country, for ingredients and restaurants, we are punching above our weight," he said. 

"When I was a commis chef, you had to leave Scotland to learn the trade with many chefs going to London or France. I went to Sydney for five years to learn mine, but I don't think that's the case any more.

"In the last 10 years, all those chefs are coming back so now the younger generation don’t have to leave Scotland to learn, especially modernist cuisine like mine. It's changed massively which is what I want to prove with my book." 

Perceptions, Recipes from Restaurant Mark Greenaway, which includes a foreword from Edinburgh-based author Ian Rankin, is available to pre-order from Mark Greenaway's website and Amazon for its July release date. 

A video showing some of the dishes in the book can be viewed here. 

Related topics: People, Restaurants, Venues, Food, Business

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