We have a great, strong community here in the Stewartry and Dumfries and Galloway at large and at Mr Pook’s we want to try our best for everyone during these unprecedented times.
In the next few days we will be lauching a home delivery and take away service, so if you don’t wish to come into the restaurant, you still have options other than just pasta and tinned tomatoes!
We are also putting in place a Pay if Forward scheme, where you can buy a meal for someone in our area that is in need. As Ed explains in the video, we are working with local charities to makes sure the right help reaches the right people.
We are proud of the support our community gives us and want to give as much back as we are able to in the coming weeks and months.
This time two years ago we weren’t getting set up for Valentine’s Day, we were busy with renovations and the fit out of the Restaurant and Bottle Shop here in Castle Douglas.
This Valentine’s Day we are preparing for another change, Chris Bain of The Bottle List is setting up a new business on King Street with his partner Lynsey Hogg, so here at Mr Pook’s we are left with the space that once housed The Bottle List and are looking at ways to re-purpose the space. We wish Chris and Lynsey the best of luck in their new venture.
We are going to start by using the space as a private dining area and our aim is to open up a bar area, so that you can pop in for a glass of wine or a cocktail, whether you are dining with us or not. You can still buy a bottle of wine from us to take home with you and enjoy.
The first step towards re-purposing the former Bottle Shop
Any suggestions you have for the space would be most welcome.
Over the last couple of summers, since I moved to Dumfries and Galloway, I have been building my knowledge of the local foraging. I have been collecting a range of sweet, savoury and sometimes unusual ingredients.
Working with Mark Williams from Galloway Wild Foods, I have slowly increased my knowledge base and confidence with foraging around the Solway Coast.
The summer months bring more of a coastal flavour with samphire, sea purslane, dulse and other assorted seaweeds. These allow me to add elements to dishes you may not have tried before and bring a real hit of the coast to various fish dishes. The seaweeds are of particular interest. I hope to use it to bring an oriental twist to certain dishes. The famed Japanese stock dashi can be re-created without expensive imports in both cost and food miles.
Start of Mushroom Season
From now, heading towards mid-summer the first chanterelles begin to appear. Known as summer gold they are easy to identify and bring not only a big flavour but also a stunning colour to dishes.
Working with Mark I have been expanding my knowledge of the mycelial world and although there are many that I would personally eat and experiment with, only the tastiest and most easily identifiable will make it onto the menu. I like stretching peoples palette and knowledge, but I understand there are limits. If you enjoy the small touches on the dishes, please speak to me in the kitchen. I am always willing to share my knowledge and if you are interested. I may even have some other tastes available to push your pallet slightly further!
We’ve been open over a year now, so time for new photos and to get some interior shots so that we can start to let the world get a better glimpse of the inside of the restaurant.
To do this we employed the skills of Kim Ayres, local photographer to help capture the atmosphere and our personality. Joined by staff, family and a few customers we had a great afternoon and managed to get a great selection of shots. We will be updating our online presence gradually, but until then, please enjoy this short video that lets you see just some of what goes in to a good photo!
After a much longer process than planned we finally received an early Christmas present and signed the lease on our new home at the Clydesdale Bank in Castle Douglas in late December 2017. The phrase all good things comes to those who wait has been a mantra for some time as the idea of my own restaurant and team has been a 20-year dream so a few months delay was a drop in the ocean.