September 19, 2021

Zaika

Livingston

Paisley man’s love of family and homemade cooking is the perfect recipe

3 min read

A pot of homemade soup on the stove, freshly baked scones, a plate of mince and tatties with a slice of bread and butter on the side. For many people, this is the cosy comfort food of their childhood.

And, for Paisley man Peter Gilchrist, delving into his family cookbooks and much-loved recipes of his own childhood is forming a new online series of films.

Peter set up a blog, Tenement Kitchen, in 2018 which looks at Scottish cuisine and recipes.

In 2019, he filmed a video making Irn-Bru doughnuts for the lifestyle website Joe.co.uk

It went viral with more than 2.5 million views on Facebook worldwide.

During lockdown, he decided to take his interest in Scottish food one step further and film a series of mini-documentaries where he looks at the battered, handwritten cookbooks lovingly put together by his grans.

He said: “I started the Tenement Kitchen in 2018.

“I was at a point in my life where my gran had just passed away and, at those times, families come together and talk about memories they have and a lot of that is about food and recipes.

“At her funeral, everyone talked about her baking.

“I want to look at how people feel about the food they grew up eating.

“I never met my mum’s mum, but I have her cookbook. “

“Doing this blog and the videos prompted me to talk to my mum and dad about their mums and their cooking.

“Food is a really good vehicle for conversation.

“Not to get too dramatic about it, but it can be healing for families to talk about people who are no longer here.”

Peter’s first series of ten short documentaries is all about family recipes and the first one – Scottish Grannies and their Scones – has already had over 2,200 views since it was released three weeks ago.



Peter’s family Gilchrist scones recipe

He plans to release a video once a month before moving onto the next series, looking at food and the men in Peter’s life, including his granddad, who was a tomato farmer in Paisley.

Peter, 29, grew up in Paisley and Johnstone, attending Lochfield Primary, Auchenlodment Primary and then Paisley Grammar.

He works for Renfrewshire Council’s regeneration department, but has a keen interest in cooking.

He said: “I would love to move into food writing or creating content like this. It’s a hobby just now, but I’m turning 30 this year, so this is my way of moving into food and, hopefully, doing it in a meaningful way.”

He added: “I’d assume everyone has a granny’s scone recipe, memories of terrible birthday cakes or something similar.

“When you start talking about family recipes, everyone wants to talk about their own.”

Peter said his family were unsure at first about delving into family history but changed their mind once they saw the first video.

“My family were cautious at first but, once they saw the film, they really enjoyed it and saw it was nice to reminisce,” he said

. “My mum is giving me more stories.

“My dad’s mum died three years ago, so this is a really lovely way to talk about someone, the food they made and the attention they gave people.

“You don’t always remember things people said, but you remember how they made you feel.”

To watch Peter’s videos, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ajFBv-L11I

For his blog, go to www.facebook.com/tenementkitchen

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