as a Chef in Australia and coming from a long line of Scottish ancestry, I
have focused most of my work towards what I call Celtic Cookery, food
mainly that of Wales, Ireland and Scotland. All of the classics prepared
adapted to the modern appeal suited to a restaurant, and new modern dishes
using typical Celtic flavours and produce.
Grandmother ran her kitchen like a typical Scottish kitchen, clean and
organised, seemingly militant, nothing went to waste and she was a master
of Celtic cookery methods when it came to preserving, cakes and puddings.
Grandpa (Grandpie) grew a lot of his own food for use all year round,
fruits, herbs and vegetables were all used, as were eggs from farmed
poultry, which we later learned to tend to for our own household.
My mother is
also a terrific cook and collector of food books and history and has
taught, shown and supported me in all areas of my cooking.
Cookery is a proud food with lots of good character. Wholesome and
nutritious, which still makes good use of ancient cooking methods in its
To date I am
yet to visit the UK, but have researched TV food programs with many
professional and celebrity chefs, such as Nick Nairn, Rick Stein, Gary
Rhodes and Delia Smith. I have met Sue Lawrence, Scottish Food Writer, in
person when she visited Sydney Fish Markets Cookery School for her
Scottish Cookery Class, where I gained additional inspiration.
I had taken
into account early at the start of my career what I had seen and helped my
Grandparents with and worked with my mum in our kitchen, I had started to
build up a large archive of Celtic Cookbooks and UK Food History.
opportunity soon came at my TAFE College where I was currently completing
a level IV course in Australian Contemporary Cuisine, which was
unfortunately being phased out for a new version. Some of the casual
cookery teachers dropped out of the course modules that left the class
with no class.
I offered to
write and teach Celtic Cookery in place. I took two weeks off the research
and write a series of recipes from Wales Ireland and Scotland that I could
teach in 6 hours. There was six in the class including myself and we
cooked some 26 dishes, taking the remaining out to the local National Park
for a picnic, a great day to end the year.
Evan William McVey