A cookbook written by a Scots chef who has featured on the Great British Menu has been shortlisted for a top international award to find the world’s best cookbook.

Perceptions, the first cookbook by Mark Greenaway, who runs the eponymous restaurant on Edinburgh’s Castle Street, has been named the Scottish winner of the chef category in the World Gourmand Book Awards.

The book, which also features profiles of local producers used by Mr Greenaway’s restaurant, will now be up against the winners of around 15 national categories to compete for the title of best cookbook in the world, to be announced at a ceremony in China in May.

Food writers from more than 200 countries will compete for the top place in a string of categories, including books aimed at new cooks and those focusing on specialist international cuisines.

Mr Greenaway, who will make his first appearance on BBC cooking show Saturday Kitchen tomorrow (Saturday the 7th January), said he created the book to combat international perceptions about British food.

He has claimed the idea had stemmed from a trip to Bangkok when he realised that overseas chefs believed that English people live on roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, while Scots eat nothing but haggis and porridge, despite a reputation for good quality, fresh ingredients.

Mr Greenaway said: “To win such a global award is such an honour for my first cookbook. The reason for the title of the book, Perceptions, is because in our own little way we are trying to change the perception of Scottish food and show just how amazing the cuisine is in Scotland.”

He added: “This is a global award, so there really is no bigger platform to showcase this message.”

The book, which was published by Relish Publications and includes a foreword from crime novelist Ian Rankin, was created over a six-month period with all of the photographs taken in the private dining room at Mr Greenaway’s Edinburgh restaurant.

Mr Greenaway, who began his career 20 years ago, has also starred in a BBC2 documentary series called Teen Canteen, in which students from Linlithgow Academy in Scotland set out to start up a healthy take-away business.

Edouard Cointreau, president of the jury of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, said: “This is a world class cookbook to show the excellence of Scotland food products and their cuisine. It is the first book of the star chef, who waited to have 20 years of experience.

“It is informative and useful, professional and practical, beautiful, delightful and even fun. It will inspire all lovers of Scotland.”

The awards began 20 years ago after Mr Cointreau –part of who is from the French family behind the liqueur of the same name – found it difficult to find cookbooks at the Frankfurt Book Fair and wanted to recognise the genre.

The winner will be announced on the 27th of May at the annual Gourmand Awards Ceremony in Yantai, China.

Mr Greenaway’s restaurant, which has been awarded three AA Rosettes for Culinary Excellence, was last year number 13 in the UK by website Square Meal in their list of the UK’s top 100 restaurants.

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Jane Bradley

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