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Book review – Perceptions: Recipes from Restaurant Mark Greenaway

18 October 2016
Book review – Perceptions: Recipes from Restaurant Mark Greenaway

By Mark Greenaway

Relish Publications, £30

Mark Greenaway, whose eponymous restaurant in Edinburgh holds three AA rosettes, has produced a book showcasing his food and philosophy. The beautiful pictures by Paul Johnston show the skill, dedication, imagination and passion of a man at the top of his game.

All the recipes are simple, thorough and well-explained and might inspire a new generation of young cooks to take up their knives. Classic dishes, which highlight Mark's thorough training and motivation to deliver perfection, include the likes of grouse with parsnip bark and aubergine, and ice-encased prawn cocktail.

Harold McGee, the American author who has written so famously on the chemistry and history of food science cooking in McGee on Food and Cooking, said that a grouse, with its blaeberry (bilberry)-stained breast, coloured in a pan then roasted for about 10 minutes was "an out of body experience". This simple handling of fresh, top-quality ingredients indicates a real appreciation of Scottish cuisine.

Scotland, on account of its climate and geography, is a wild larder which is to be envied, that forms the backbone of what I think of as Scottish cuisine. There is much that sounds picture-postcard of the natural landscape, and therefore it's no surprise that much of the country's produce are major exports around the world - whether it is salmon from the great rivers, oysters from crystal clear lochs and seas, deer from the magnificent Highlands, langoustines, scallops and razor clams from pristine Hebridean waters, or, of course, the most well-known beef in the world from unspeakably lush pastures. All are celebrated in Mark's book.

By Peter Weeden

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