My book review for the July issue of Scottish Home and Country Magazine.
Carina Contini’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook By Carina Contini
Published by Frances Lincoln – £25
Some people are just born to cook, the passion for food evident in their daily life. Cara Contini is one of those people.
In her new book, Carina Contini’s Kitchen Garden Cookbook: A Year of Italian Scots Recipes Carina tells the story of that inherited love of food, the connection to simple seasonal food, along with her personal recollections of growing up in an Italian Scottish family.
After arriving in Scotland in 1919, Carina’s grandparents opened an ice cream shop in Port Seton which developed into a thriving café, restaurant and catering business. Fast forward almost 100 years and the mantle has now been taken up by Carina and husband Victor at their two award winning Edinburgh restaurants, Contini Restaurant and the Scottish café at the National Gallery of Scotland.
At the family home on the outskirts of Edinburgh Carina and Victor established an outstanding kitchen garden that grows an abundance of seasonal produce. The garden now supplies the seasonal fruit and vegetables to both of their Edinburgh restaurants.
Each monthly chapter celebrates the best of Scotland’s seasonal produce, with a selection of simply cooked recipes. Arbroath smokies, black pudding, venison, beef and lamb, are added to the kitchen garden fruit and vegetables to create a collection of mouthwatering recipes.
The recipes include many old favourites such as Isle of Mull macaroni cheese with cauliflower, leek and potato soup with leek and barley bon bons and kitchen garden cottage pie. To celebrate Scotland’s wonderful soft fruit season, there are recipes for fennel, raspberry and cucumber salad, kitchen garden summer pudding and burnt cream with blackcurrant compôte.
Carina is a great champion of Scottish produce and was recently named Scotland 2014 food ambassador. She is also the first female chef to be appointed to the Slow Food Chef Alliance. RG