This blog started out almost as a dare to myself: after years of being employed and becoming a parent, could I do something on my own? Well I did back in April 2016 and little did I know of the exciting journey ahead of me. I’ve met and interviewed some great local foodies, broken the news of places opening in Tonbridge, been nominated for an award thanks to all of you, been interviewed by new cooking app developers on the eating and shopping habits of the average Brit (true fact!), co-founded a successful, local foodie networking club and last and definitely not least, today I’m thrilled that it’s publication day for a cook book that I have helped to bring to reality! Whoop! Whoop!
The Cook Book Sevenoaks Tonbridge Tunbridge Wells is a really beautiful and special cook book. It’s a cook book whose proceeds will help disabled children and their families across the country thanks to Tonbridge based charity, Tree of Hope, who came up with the idea in, about May! They asked me to be involved and of course I jumped at the chance.
There have been five of us collaborating on the project since those initial meetings, Kate Bourne & Harriet Kerly (both Tree of Hope), Charlotte Rogers and Severien Vits (food photographer): phoning chefs from our holidays, dealing with restaurants whilst coordinating Donald Trump’s visit to the UK (another true fact!), attending photo shoots with children in tow – it hasn’t always been easy! But we weren’t working alone – we were bringing an idea to your kitchens with the help of a great publisher and of course the fabulous local chefs, café owners, food producers and foodies who have generously contributed their recipes (and of course their time and energy).
On Tuesday night we had the launch party at the beautiful The Small Holding in Kilndown with contributors bringing dishes for us all to share. It was a fabulous night, seeing the contributors again, eating delicious food and celebrating what we’ve achieved in such a short space of time! It was also great to see the camaraderie amongst the professional foodies, helping each other in the kitchen, joking around – they’re all friends not competitors! Sadly Michel Roux Jr couldn’t make it as he’s on holiday but we were honoured that he had written the foreword – he’s a local boy you know! But the Eat Around Tonbridge competition winners were there and what great guests they were! Thanks Maggie and Tom!
So now it’s over to you. The book is fantastic – there are recipes for all levels of cooking confidence, recipes for all eating preferences, all dinner courses and of course drinks too! (As I have had a sneak preview I have already had a little go at Jane Beedle’s cake!) We’re sure it’ll take residence on your cook book shelf (or even your coffee table it’s that good) for many years to come inspiring you in the kitchen but also where to dine out locally. And it goes without saying that it makes a great gift!
Where to buy? The following is a complete list of stockist contributors in alphabetical order (those highlighted are in Tonbridge).
Basil, The Beacon, Bore Place, Cocolicious (Cranbrook), Daily Bread, Framptons, Fuggles, Fuller’s Farm Shop, The Greyhound (Charcott), Gurkha Planet, The Lemon Grove, Papermakers Arms, The Plough at Ivy Hatch, The Poet at Matfield, Rendez-Vous, Rustled Up, Sankey’s (restaurants and fishmongers), The Small Holding, Sulston’s Kitchen, The Swan at Chapel Down, The Twenty Six, Vittle and Swig, The Warren restaurant, The Little Brown Jug, The Chaser Inn, The King’s Head and finally Wholefood Wakeup! And of course you can also buy the book from the Tree of Hope website.
It has been such an experience creating this book, that we five cook book creators are going to embark upon a The Cook Book Trail – we’re going to visit every contributor in the book! Look out for more information on that and how you can start your own The Cook Book Trail in the coming weeks!
So, what will Eat Around Tonbridge do next? I have some reviews coming soon on the blog, interesting interviews lined up and another WFH (working from home) feature about a local foodie. If you have a project that you think I could help with, I’d love to hear about it. Please do contact me via social media (I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) or using the contact form on the Eat Around Tonbridge website.
Now all that’s left for me to say is a huge thanks Tree of Hope for the experience and to you all, it’s less than eight weeks until Christmas so go forth and buy The Cook Book!!