THE couple behind one of the most popular restaurants on Glasgow’s southside hope their new cookbook will encourage more families to get together and make their own meals.
Melanie McCallum and Domenico Del Priore launched ‘Cookie’ at 72 Nithsdale Road three years ago and quickly won fans with their mix of locally-sourced ingredients and the finest produce direct from their extended family base in Italy.
Now their book ‘Cookie Cooks’, available from the restaurant, from www.kitchenpress.co.uk , Amazon, Waterstones and good independent retailers and launching at Glasgow’s Aye Write festival next month, means everyone can try the most popular recipes in their own kitchen at home.
Melanie says: “One of our aims when we opened the restaurant was to celebrate the activity around cooking. We are by no means foodies and I hate some of the pretentiousness that comes with the cookery shows on television and other cook books. With four children, home cooking is a necessity for us. Imagine the number of ready meals we’d need to buy. And anytime I look at them in supermarkets, I just don’t think they’d be filling enough for either of us or the children.”
Family is the theme that runs throughout ‘Cookie Cooks’. Each member of Melanie and Domenico’s family has their own section and has contributed their favourite recipes. So there’s pasta fagioli from Domenico’s father Bruno, the ‘Nonno’ of the family, Grandma’s venison stew, ideas for busy mums, children leaving home, solutions for junk food kids and tips for cooking with little ones. Recipes for all, using the wonders of the Scottish larder.
Melanie continues: “There’s a lot of humour in the book. My mum’s not particularly happy with the illustration we’re using of her and our son Jacob thinks his recipes will put girls off because he comes across as unhealthy. But we really want people to think about the food that’s available on their doorstep. Good local produce doesn’t need to be expensive and authentic southern Italian family cooking is about making the best of what you have and reducing waste. It’s a very economical way to cook.”
The couple don’t think Scotland deserves its reputation as the ‘fat man of Europe’ but worry a generation is emerging who’re unskilled in the kitchen.
Domenico explains: “People who cook do it because it’s in their family and they get involved. There’s a pleasure in cooking, not to mention the benefits of using seasonal produce that’s local to you. I sometimes worry that’s being lost. Supermarkets represent a false choice. And we’ve seen the problems that can cause recently with the horse meat scandal.”
Now Melanie and Domenico are preparing for the book’s official launch where they’ll discuss their fusion of Scottish and Italian food traditions and give visitors the chance to sample some of their food and wine. ‘Cookie Cabaret’ takes place at the Mitchell Library from 7.30pm on Friday 12th April and also features music from local bands, DJ sets and live art. The event serves as the official launch of Glasgow’s ‘Aye Write‘ festival which runs until April 30th. For full event listings and ticket information visit www.ayewrite.com.
Melanie and Domenico are available for interview. To arrange please call Colin Kelly on 01505 863 990 or 07758 211 585. Email email@example.com
Further images are available on request.
About Kitchen Press
Kitchen Press Ltd was supported through its development by Starter for 6. This prestigious enterprise training programme is run by Cultural Enterprise Office, Scotland’s only specialist business support and development service for creative businesses and practitioners with investment from the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland’s Innovation Fund. Starter for 6 offers tailored support to help develop micro businesses, optimising the economic potential of new starts in the creative sector, which currently has a £5billion annual turnover in Scotland. As well as providing the grounding in structured business start-up and planning specifically for innovation and growth through a five month training programme, the scheme uniquely offers participants the opportunity to pitch for up to £10,000 cash investment to take their idea to market. Since 2010 130 businesses have been supported by Starter for 6. For further information see www.culturalenterpriseoffice.co.uk/starterfor6