Just the beginning…
While visiting Bangkok in 2012 as part of Visit Britain’s “Great” campaign, Mark was asked to speak to journalists about the perception of British, and more specifically Scottish, produce. The responses were varied and consisted of answers such as Fish and Chips, Cottage Pie, Haggis and Deep Fried Mars Bars. While disappointed with the understanding of what British food was, it was on this trip that the initial idea for ‘Perceptions’ cookery book came about.
“We do such an amazing job promoting our produce all around the world, but what we don’t do such an amazing job with is promoting the food we create with that produce. This is my way of promoting the food.”
Throughout the course of the book, there are stories of producers written by Mark. Some of these producers Mark has used for as little as a year and a half, while others, he’s been using for twenty years. It’s a testament to both the quality of the ingredients and the character of these producers and something that, I am sure, will be appreciated greatly by all those mentioned.
“It’s important to me that I tell their story and why I use them. It’s not just my story, but their story.”
This is not a coffee table book – it’s designed to be loved, treasured and, most importantly, used. Flowing through the book are Mark’s stories – written to be enjoyed and to educate, but also to inspire and encourage.
Perceptions, The Trailer
Dishes for the restaurant are designed, altered and the thought that Mark puts into each one of them is astounding. A group of friends, food writers and supporters were invited to the restaurant this week for the launch of the book. We were privileged enough to have the chance to look through Mark’s 26-year-old recipe book – holding some of the recipes he still uses today. In fact, the inside cover of ‘Perceptions’ shows images of some of these recipes – a lovely touch which gives the reader a sense of the dedication and life-long passion for food that Mark has.
While Mark always insisted that he would never have a signature dish, there are dishes that we have come to associate with the restaurant. The beauty of the Mark’s food is that while some favourites remain on the menu, it is ever changing, constantly developing and dishes are often tweaked and further perfected to provide a new, and better, experience for the customer.
The Launch onwards…
Mark’s October book tour will consist of restaurant takeovers around Britain – in restaurants that he has worked throughout the years, and with friends that he has made along the way. Not only does this mean that customers can enjoy a book tour with a difference, but an incredible dinner cooked by the chef himself. I’m not sure that I’ve heard of the term a ‘foodie groupie’ before, but a tour of the country doesn’t sound like a bad way to spend some time… (Stay tuned, we promise to update you!)
Congratulations to Mark and the team – the book truly is beautiful and I’m sure will be both loved and used in kitchens across the world. It certainly will be treasured in ours.