Along with whisky and salmon, we now have another top Scottish food export.
Isle of Lewis based, Coinneach MacLeod, has signed a publishing deal with Sourcebooks to release his cookbook in the US and Canada on May 3.
Head of marketing at Sourcebook, Liz Kelsch says; ‘We are delighted to be bringing the Hebridean Baker to the US. We know America is going to fall in love with him, his recipes and that beautiful Hebridean accent”.
The Hebridean Baker: Recipes and Wee Stories from the Scottish Islands, which was published by Edinburgh-based Black and White Publishing in the UK last year, features traditional-with-a-twist couthy dishes including clootie dumpling, Dundee muffins - his take on Dundee cake, Gaelic coffee, whisky tiramisu and lobster mac (leod and cheese).
This book promotes, as MacLeod calls it, a Hebridean hygge lifestyle, and sold extremely well when we needed some lockdown comfort.
“After finishing 2021 as the best-selling Scottish cookbook author in the UK, I am really excited that I have lots of new projects ahead in 2022,” he says.
As part of the deal, MacLeod will be crossing the pond for a media and book tour, which will mean leaving his beloved West Highland Terrier, Seoras, who also features on the cover of the book, at home with his mum.
“He’d be bigger than The Beatles, if he could have made the journey”, says MacLeod. “I cannot wait to share my recipes and wee stories from the Scottish islands across America. Over 20 million Americans have Scottish heritage and I hope to meet as many of them as possible on the tour”.
His schedule already includes television and radio appearances, as well as a book signing tour in May with bookseller Barnes & Noble. Until March 6, he’s also been inviting his US followers to vote online to decide which six cities MacLeod will visit on his trip. “We’ve already received thousands of votes,” he says.
So far, New York, Boston, Seattle and LA are looking like strong contenders, though the author would like a few more from the Tennessee area.
“It’s so exciting that I could be visiting anywhere from Dallas to New York but I do have a secret hope that Nashville gets enough votes to be selected, as I’d love a trip to Dollywood”, said country music fan MacLeod.
This blogger and author became famous on his @hebrideanbaker TikTok account, where he’s been posting videos of recipes and island life since 2020.
He currently has a huge 238.5k followers on that platform, and a large proportion of them are from overseas.
“Since the launch of the Hebridean Baker on social media, I've had an amazing following in the US - now over 70 per cent of my followers are in North America. Many of them are ex-pats and those with Scottish ancestry who love seeing traditional recipes and Scottish ingredients being used,” MacLeod says. “Everyday I get photos from my US followers trying out my recipes - particularly cranachan, vegetarian haggis and clootie dumpling!'
The Hebridean Baker, Black and White Publishing, £20