'Stories within Our Isles' shares the new book from Skye's landmark hotel, Kinloch Lodge, celebrating its 50th anniversary. With over 35 recipes from the hotel’s head chef, Jordan Webb, each photographed by Alan Donaldson. It is, however, much more than simply a cookbook, it is part family-memoir, part love letter to Skye, its landscapes and its people.
Food has always been central to the Kinloch story. The hotel, originally built as a farmhouse and then used as a shooting lodge, was opened by Godfrey, Lord Macdonald and High Chief of Clan Donald, and his wife, world-renowned cook Claire, in 1972. From day one, Claire pioneered using local ingredients from Skye’s natural larder and working with passionate artisan producers. This ethos and passion for seasonality and sustainability has been carried on by Jordan Webb, who has created polytunnels and herb gardens at the hotel and forages each day from the loch’s shore. The new cookbook is co-written by Jordan, Claire and Alisha Fernandez Miranda and includes modern adaptations of some of Claire’s earliest dishes from 50 years ago. The book’s publication was overseen by Isabella Macdonald, Godfrey and Claire’s daughter who now runs Kinloch Lodge.
The new cookbook is split into four main sections, reflecting the scenery of Skye and the natural larder of the hotel’s kitchen. These four chapters, Forest, Field, Coast and Garden, contain standout recipes from Jordan and Claire, as well as short essays on topics such as foraging, whiskey on Skye and ancestral relatives, such as Flora Macdonald, who aided Bonnie Prince Charlie after the Battle of Culloden.
- Pickled girolles, cauliflower panna cotta, parmesan crackling
- Venison, sage and walnut polenta, with bramble jus
- Seared scallop and Jerusalem artichoke soup
- Sea buckthorn custard tart with yoghurt sorrel sorbet
Also included is a Building Blocks section in which Jordan shares details of basic recipes and techniques that are needed for dishes in the book and that will give readers a platform on which to continue cooking and experimenting. Gorgeously illustrated throughout, with photos of the hotel and the island, the tome is book-ended by essays from the Macdonald family. The foreword by Godfrey Macdonald reflects on how the hotel has changed in the past five decades, while A Kinloch Childhood by Hugo Macdonald, Godfrey and Claire’s son, reveals the adventures to be had growing up in a Highlands hotel. The book has been co-written by Claire Macdonald, Jordan Webb and Alisha Fernandez Miranda. Alisha is a writer who splits her time between Edinburgh and Skye, where she lives within five minutes of a Kinloch breakfast.
Part family-memoir, part love letter to Skye, its landscapes and its people, the cookbook sings with a very real sense of place. Scattered amongst the recipes are vignettes of the hotel’s history and heritage, interviews with local producers, tips on foraging and much, much more.
The book is available for pre-order on the Kinloch Lodge website.
Words & Photographs by Kinloch Lodge