In March 2019 we sat down with our mentor and advisor for a weekly meeting over coffee. The conversation soon took an unexpected turn from us chatting about food, cooking, chefs, and, this time, to cookbooks! Yes, our own cookbook. As we joked about all the local dining experiences that Yorkshire’s foodies would love to know about, we soon began to think seriously about finding a way to showcase the local talent. The idea for Yorkshire on a Plate was born; we would soon compile a cookbook of authentic recipes by local chefs, featuring the best regional produce.
Straight after the meeting, we got to work, and over the next three months, we approached Yorkshire based chefs who are famous for their dedication to showcasing local ingredients. We were incredibly grateful to find that many chefs shared our enthusiasm for the project and chose to offer their recipes in support of our idea, and so Yorkshire on a Plate soon grew into a six recipe publication.
As you can imagine, chefs are incredibly busy people and rarely sit around for long enough to type up their recipes and send them over with pictures. Compiling the small publication, from start to finish, took nearly three months as every recipe and photograph had to be sent to us, often in separate emails, and biographies (based on individual interviews with each chef) was added alongside the recipe long after the recipes were complete. It’s fair to say that it was a lot of work but it was worth it. As the publication began to take shape, and we saw our idea turn into a reality on the page, we realised the process of creating this publication from scratch is what makes it really enjoyable and unique. The Yorkshire on a Plate publication shares the ethos of AirCook for You. At AirCook for You, we love local produce and believe one of the best ways to experience a place is by tasting its food. Our mission, since 2016, has been to create a foodie platform that brings visitors (and locals) who crave fresh produce and enthusiastic cooks together. The Yorkshire on a Plate publication shares in these beliefs to create another innovative way to show off Yorkshire’s culinary excellence. It is incredibly important for us to shine a light on local talent and produce and we are lucky to share this feeling with many others.
Yorkshire is home to fantastic chefs — some are young but just as talented as many established chefs, and others offer decades of experience and knowledge. By bringing these chefs alongside one another in the same publication, we hope to show that there is no shortage of culinary creativity in the county. We are proud to say that this publication is the first of its kind. We have chosen to challenge the usual focus on world-famous restaurants and Michelin stars, to instead emphasize the story of each individual chef and how instrumental local produce can be in shaping a recipe.
We hope that more chefs will join this project in the future and so, by sharing their recipes, we can make “Yorkshire on a Plate” into a bigger cookbook. We can’t wait for you to get to know the chefs behind Yorkshire’s modern dishes, and how their hobbies and careers have shaped their attitudes towards cooking and made them who they are today. We hope that you will understand our vision and support our work. I hope many other counties will join us on the journey to put Britain as a whole on a culinary map by highlighting high producing counties and talent.
There is more to this idea. In September 2019 we teamed up with one of the chefs who took part in the project and hosted our first-ever “Yorkshire on a Plate” supper club. The menu included the original recipe he produced, a dessert – Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb cheesecake. We hosted 13 guests and even served East Yorkshire wine. It was a true celebration of local produce and drink!
The eBook version of Yorkshire on a Plate was released on 1 August 2019, coinciding with Yorkshire Day and offering the perfect way to celebrate the country and its culinary offerings!
Does your county have fantastic local produce? Why not replicate this concept?
So what are you waiting for?
We are happy to help with advice on how to reach out to chefs, find a publisher, and publish it then on Amazon as ebook or hardback. Drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org