Book Publications

Scottish Seafood


Making Better out of Good: Scotland's National Food and Drink 2015
Number 8 in The Saltire Society's series, celebrating many important achievements of Scotland's culture. Available from the Saltire Society Scotland, an independent, apolitical society set up in 1936. Cover design by Alasdair Grey.

Scottish Seafood: its history and cooking Birlinn, 2011

From shellfish-eating on a beach some nine thousand years ago to catching burn trout in the twentieth century, Catherine Brown puts the spotlight on generations of Scots who have fished, foraged, cured, cooked and eaten Scottish seafood. They made the country’s reputation as a seafood-eating nation, creating a larder of distinctive dishes from the rich natural resources around Scotland’s long coastline.

With a directory of seafood suppliers and a catalogue of seafood species, there is all you need to know about buying wisely to save future stocks and prevent damage to the health of the oceans.

Saltire Society no 8

Scottish Cookery, 1st published 1985 by Richard Drew, 5th edition revised, 1999, by Mercat Press, 7th edition revised, Birlinn 2013

This is a fully-revised edition which brings up to date a book which has been acclaimed a modern classic.

Scottish cooking, and food thinking, have evolved in recent years and the mantra 'buy local, eat local' is now widely promoted. When it was initially published, Scottish Cookery was one of the first books of its kind with an ingredients-based format, highlighting Scotland's rich and varied natural larder: vegetables, fruits, meat, seafood and game.

Besides celebrating all the ancient dishes, there is also information on how to get the best from Scotland’s noted repertoire of native ingredients. And in a new chapter for this edition, there is information on sourcing the best producers, suppliers, retailers and farm shops.

“A standard almost from the day of its first publication… in most respects it even supersedes the pioneering classic of F Marian McNeill [The Scots Kitchen] …my advice is just to buy this excellent volume.” Michael Fry, The Herald

“Catherine Brown's seminal book…” The Sunday Times

Scottish Cookery

The Taste of Britain Harper Collins 2006, first published as the Traditional Foods of Britain in 1999 by Prospect Books

A new and revised edition of 400 regional British food products with an introduction by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and contributions, with recipes, from many British food enthusiasts including - Fergus Henderson, Prue Leith, Delia Smith, Rose Prince, Gordon Ramsay, Sue Lawrence and Matthew Fort.

It’s a culinary portrait of Britain's regional foods which was originally written for the EU Euroterroir project in the mid 1990s. It links food products to the natural resources of the British land and seascape and is a tribute to a time that predates the supermarket era, tracing the historical origins of everything, from the most humble cut of meat, with culinary traditions stretching back through the ages. Sussex cattle, for example, are mentioned in the "Doomsday Book" of 1086.

“How we’ve ignored this is a rum old do.” Fergus Henderson, restaurateur and author of Nose to Tail Eating: a kind of British Cooking

“…fabulous stuff, and all on our own doorstep.” Elizabeth Luard, Literary Review

“A fantastic compendium of all that is great about regional British food ...makes you proud to be British.” Gordon Ramsay

“…a book to cherish for what it reminds us about quality, and about the culinary treasures in our midst.” Paul Bailey, The Sunday Times

“An enthusiast at HarperCollins has reissued the work as a truly beautiful book.” The Observer

“This timely book...reveals the enormous diversity and richness of British ingredients and British cooking...” New Statesman

Traditional Foods of Britain, Prospect Books 1999 (co-author with Laura Mason)

Joint-winner of the 2000 Guild of Food Writers Michael Smith Award for a book on British food.
Based on the European Commission funded Euroterroir Project, pioneered by the French, which was set up to establish a data base of information on the nature and history of regional food products, in order to protect their integrity.

“We believe in France in the idea of a European Culinary Heritage. We do not ignore the significance of food, indeed we embrace it. We accept that for many centuries it has shaped our way of life. Hence our constant wish to describe and extol both the traditional products of the land - whether food, wine or beers - and the recipes that have evolved to present them to their best advantage.”
Aleandre Lazareff, Director General su Conseil National des Arts Culinaires, Gerant d’ Euroterroirs.


Traditional foods of Britain

The Scots Kitchen by Florence Marian McNeill, new edition, Birlinn 2010, edited and with a biographical introduction by Catherine Brown; paperback edition Birlinn 2015

F M McNeill (1885-1973), Floss to her family, was a journalist and writer with a deep knowledge of Scots language, lore and tradition. This was her most popular book, first published in 1929, and is an original and pioneering account of eating and drinking in Scotland throughout the ages.

In a biographical profile, Catherine Brown traces the early influences of her Orkney childhood, her academic achievements as one of the first women to attend university, her interest and work with the pacifist and suffragette movements, and her life’s work: studying folklore, collecting recipes and researching their traditions.

“What a book! It is a real treasure from cover to cover,” said Hugh MacDiarmid in a letter to her in 1934

“A classic work on the cookery of these islands” Elizabeth David
On the 2010 edition:

“A classic from 1929 ..the stand-out book of the season, for its virtues of no photographs, white paper and seemly typography.” Tom Jaine, The Guardian

“It's a classic tome, beautifully redesigned and utterly fascinating. As much a work of reference, in fact, as a cook book, like all the greats.” Tom Parker Bowles, food writer and author


The Scots Kitchen

Maw Broon’s Cooking with Bairns with Catherine Brown, Waverley Books 2010

The Broons were launched in 1936 in The Sunday Post in Scotland, and today they have a readership which includes all generations. This is Maw’s third cookbook.

“There’s a lot o’ us cannae cook but wish we could. An’ a lot o’ us want tae learn but some dishes are awfy tricky, and it can put some people aff. Teach folk tae cook when they’re bairns, and they’ll hae the basics tae mak’ it easy tae cook onything.”


Scottish Regional Recipes, 1st published1981 by Molendinar, 3rd edition 1995 by Chambers

The idea that Scottish cooking is the same from the Borders to Shetland is as false as the delusion that there is only one recipe for haggis. Here, the diverse natural resources of the major regions of Scotland are linked with the dishes which have evolved.

Broths to Bannocks: a history of cooking in Scotland from 1690 to the present day, John Murray 1990; Revised edition published 2010 by Waverley Books

Investigating the roots of national cuisine from a study of archive material and historical cookery books. From the open hearth kitchen of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston in the 1690s to the stone-flagged dairies of Orkney in the 1980s the pageant of history is mirrored in the kitchen.

“Every catering college in Scotland ought to buy a dozen copies of Broths to Bannocks... a splendid textbook for students, a feast for the reader and one more powerful argument for all of us to value the good things in the Scottish larder.” Derek Cooper, Scotland on Sunday

“In this fascinating and scholarly work, Catherine Brown has combined the history of cooking in Scotland with wonderful, often forgotten recipes.” Daily Mail

broths to bannocks

Taste Trails of Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway 1995, Tayside 1996, Ross and Cromarty 1997, Arran 1998, Renfrewshire and Inverclyde 1999, Arran 2000 3rd edition of Arran Taste Trail, 2002 - funded and published by the local Enterprise Boards

A series of travel guides which link the natural resources and artisanal products of a region with retail and catering operations of the highest quality in the area which promote them.

Arran Taste Trail
Winner of the 2000 Scottish Tourist Board’s Thistle Award for Regional Tourism.
Arran Produce available at

A Scottish Feast, published 1995 by Argyll £9.99 ( co-author with poet and publisher Hamish Whyte)

An anthology of food and eating in Scottish literature from Para Handy’s recipe for chuckie soup to David Balfour’s attempt to eat limpets in Kidnapped.

A Year in a Scots Kitchen, 1st published1996, 3rd revised edition 2002 published NWP

The festive year, tracing the history of Celtic and Viking festivals and their influence on the Scots kitchen.

“My cookery book of the year.” Nigel Slater, The Observer


The Baker’s Tale, published 2002 by NWP £12.99

The specialities of James ‘Mr Jimmy’ Burgess who was the last craft baker to work in One Devonshire Gardens in Glasgow’s West End - one of Glasgow’s top hotels and the choice of the stars. Among his admirers were Billy Connolly, Lulu, Robbie Coltrane, Delia Smith, Celine Dion and others who all left with a complimentary box of Mr Jimmy’s tablet or shortbread.

“I would recommend this book to anyone from the inexperienced cook to the professional chef - ‘a must have book’, and I will certainly have a copy on my bookshelf.”Michel Roux, The Waterside Inn, Bray, Berkshire

British Cookery, edited by Lizzie Boyd, 1st published 1976 by Croom Helm

An edited version of a four year research project at Strathclyde University’s Scottish Hotel School by Catherine Brown (Braithwaite) senior researcher. Sponsored by the British Tourist Authority and the British Farm Produce Council. It is a repertoire of over 2,000 regional, domestic and folk recipes combined with a study of national food characteristics, as well as regional foods, and their relationship to the natural resources of the land and sea as well as the political, social and economic influences which have shaped them since the Middle Ages.

“…a British standard work (to place) alongside Escoffier, Larousse and the rest.” Delia Smith, Evening Standard

“At last, a comprehensive guide to British cooking, a textbook rather than an essay…” Joe Hyam, Caterer and Hotelkeeper


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Catherine Brown
Perthshire and Wester Ross, Scotland