Supper with Joanna Blythman


Last Tuesday during a quiet moment at work – lets say lunchtime… I had a wee flick through twitter to see what was going on in the world, when I noticed someone had re-tweeted Taste Communications tweet about a 2 course supper with Joanna Blythman who has just launched her new book – What to Eat.  Even better, this was to be held at Earthy Foods at Canonmills on Thursday evening – a mere saunter from our flat.  It was a no brainer.  A covert operation ensued, as I snuck into a meeting room, phoned Earthy and in a hushed voiced ordered 2 tickets for Stuart and I, casually returning to my desk as if i was up to nothing.

Last Thursday evening saw a dash up the M9 from work to make it back in time. But once in Earthy with a glass of wine in my hand the stress of the journey home melted away.  We were a bit early, but people were arriving in a steady stream.  We were seated, with Stuart and I being by the window looking into the busy restaurant.  The evening started with a welcome and introduction to Earthy from director Pete Jackson, followed by Stephen Jardine talking with Joanna about her book.


Joanna’s book – ‘What to eat’, is based on20 principles of eating well. She talked about some of these, such as not eating processed foods, doing away with faddy diets and eating the great local food that is available to us (especially here in Scotland).  The book goes on to cover various meats and vegetables etc., why, how and when we should eat them.

After this, we went onto the food itself, which was keeping to the principles of the book – local and unprocessed, and not to mention delicious.  For starter we had Chargrilled wild St.George’s mushrooms in a teriyaki marinade served on a bed of Phantassie Farm and foraged leaves and raw organic beetroot.  Finished with a foraged bittercress pesto.


For main course we had Spicy Moroccan Tagine of Peelham Farm lamb shoulder and organic aubergine finished with a yoghurt mint dressing and flatbread, which had a certain kick to it!


After dinner, Stephen opened up a discussion with Joanna on the topics covered in her book, it was very interesting listening to her views on the current thought that saturated fat is evil, fad diets and the increase of farmers markets, to mention but a few. The evening wrapped with a Q&A session from the diners, and then a chance to chat to Joanna afterwards.


I had a lovely evening, including a nice chat with Joanna herself.  I came away feeling quite inspired by what she had said, some of the things echoed what I have felt myself over the the last while, especially around fad diets and seasonal eating.  Eat what your parents and grandparents ate, was what she said at one point, which for me rang true – I was definitely at my healthiest living at home eating my Mums fresh, seasonal and cooked from scratch food. Maybe its time to turn the clock back and cook like my Mum (though maybe not exactly she’s great at burning things!).