Food & Drink

Eat out, drink up


oor Nina Planck. Here she Psets out to write a much-

needed and useful cookbook on how to prepare all that fresh produce available at farmers’ markets. And what should happen? Its publication release date falls during the foot and mouth countryside crisis. Travel restrictions have, unfortunately, cancelled many farmers’ markets for the time being.

Well, look on the bright side. Her recipes heavily favour non-meat dishes. While this first looked like an oversight, given all the nice (and in many cases organically produced) meat and poultry that our local farmer markets offer, it turns out to be the book’s silver lining. As meat stocks dwindle and

‘The British palate has come to appreciate many new vegetables, from fennel to cavolo nero.’

prices rise, those who cook at home should welcome a new book of vegetarian cooking, even if we will have to make do with the fruit and veg shops or supermarkets rather than farmers’ markets for our supplies.

Planck - a US-born journalist and former diplomatic speech writer - was raised on a small chemical-

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free farm in Virginia. She is credited with organising

London’s first ‘producer’s only’ farmers’ market in 1999.

One has since become seven weekly markets and two dozen are planned for greater London. ‘The British palate,’ she writes, ’has come to appreciate many new vegetables, from fennel to cavolo nero [black cabbage] to rocket . . . Today these once-exotic crops are grown right here at home.’

Didn’t know what to do with that strange winter squash you bought? Planck is perfect, offering a pink jumbo banana and white bean soup that ‘works with any flavourful winter squash’. Or how about early calabrese coming into season soon? Try her pasta with

purple-sprouting broccoli and chillies, or a quick ten- minute dinner of broccoli with chick peas and sage.

In addition to recipes, Planck also tells us which fruit and vegetables are best in what season, how long they can reasonably be stored, and what to do with any surplus. Given that farmers' market produce is never as glossy or perfectly formed as that flogged by the supermarkets, she also writes about what to look for. Take apples. Bruises and breaks in the skin are bad. But ‘rough, russeted patches are fine,’ she writes, ‘even desirable.’ (Barry Shelby)

I The Farmers' Market Cookbook by Nina Planck, Hodder & S/oughton, E 78.99.

Bambou is just one of the new places listed and reviewed

1 12 THE LIST 29 Mar-12 Apr 2001


A recent Radio Scotland report stated that nine new restaurants open every week in Edinburgh. Well. that seems to be hyperbole. But no one would deny that the market is dynamic, with many new places opening (if only to replace. in some cases. the old). Go to the Royal Lyceum Theatre expecting to find Tuscan Square and y0u're in for a surprise: The Marque Central. Or maybe it's the Arches Bistro (now Bambou) or, in Glasgow, Back Alley (try Stravaig lntO) or City Brasserie (soon to become Chandon d'Or).

Change appears to be the rule. these days. rather than the exception. Similarly with existing places: El Barrio in the West Port. Edinburgh, now features an Andalucian chef who whips out tapas while Pattaya. Glasgow‘s casual Thai restaurant on Sauchiehall Street. is now open until 5am.

What's a poor diner to do? Well, you can start by using The List Eating and Drinking Guide. The eighth edition is scheduled to come out with the next edition of The List.

Bigger than ever. with some 160 pages. The List Eating and Drinking Guide is the most comprehensive directory of restaurants. bistros. cafes and bars in the central belt. In addition to updated listings and reviews of more than 750 venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow. new features this year will include advice on where to eat within an hour's travel from both cities. Other articles will explain your rights as a diner, the art of ordering wine. and the origins of Indian cuisine in Scotland. And visually, thanks to the effons of Jonathan Littlejohn. The List's photographer-in-residence. the book should look better than ever, too. (Barry Shelby)

I The List Eating and Drinking Guide. out 72 April.

Extra helping of news

DAVID RAMSDEN MAY HAVE left his highly regarded (fitz) Henry behind in Leith, but the restaurant has not abandoned the waterfront. Under new ownership of two experienced managers, Alan Gordon Morrison and Valerie Faichney, little will change at 19 Shore Place. Head chef Hubert Lamort is remaining, as are the eccentric and eclectic furnishings in the atmospheric 17-century former commodities warehouse. Faichney told The List that the restaurant will close on 29 March for seven days. Ramsden, meanwhile, readies his new venture Rouges in the Scottish Widow’s West End site.

IN GLASGOW. CAFE Cossachok (pictured) celebrates. somewhat belatedly, its third anniversary on 1 April with a masquerade ball. The Russian cafe/gallery in King Street will offer a raft of musicians on the big night including fiddle-playing owner Lev Atlas joining fellow violinist Oleg Ponomarev. guitarist Nigel Clark and keyboardist Stephen Adam. The fools on that date may be those who haven't booked a table.

AT THE TOP END OF THE dining scale in Glasgow, the big news of the last fortnight is double-barrelled. The City Brasserie has been taken over by Le Gavroche, the renowned London restaurant headed by the Roux brothers, and will be relaunched Chardon d’Or (or Golden Thistle). Ayrshire-born Brian Maule, who has been head chef at Le Gavroche for several years, will head the kitchen. And Gordon Ramsay’s long-discussed move north was confirmed as he signed an agreement to open Amaryllis in the already Michelin-starred One Devonshire Gardens. Tongue- wagging worked overtime when it was also announced that Fiona Nairn, the ex-wife of Nick - who Ramsay delights in baiting - will become the restaurant’s manager.