By Freya Ensbey.
As Valentine’s Day rolls around, many choose to book intimate
candlelit diners at a sultry restaurant as they iron out their button ups and
lay the rose petals. As romantic as this seems, there are many of us who live
in the reality of demanding family life, with little time left to ourselves,
let alone taking the night off together with our partners.
We have found the perfect solution this Valentine’s Day for those
in the same boat. Mr & Mrs Wilkinson’s How It Is At Home, is the honest and
approachable cookbook created by Chef Matt Wilkinson and his wife, Sharlee
Originally hailing from Yorkshire in the UK, Wilkinson is
the Chef/Owner of Melbourne restaurants Pope Joan and The Pie Shop, successful
author and passionate advocate for ethical farming.
As an 18-year-old, Gibb stumbled into the industry of food
and travelled the world working in hospitality. Training under Darina Allen at
her famed Ballymaloe Cookery School, Gibb has forged a career as an event
manager and curator, now running her own events business curateEAT.
Although both coming from the food industry with culinary
backgrounds, they understand how chaotic it can be for parents at dinner time
after the busy daily schedule of kids’ activities and work. This cookbook is an
honest window into their buzzy, creative and sometimes turbulent home life with
their two boys, Finn and Jay.
Discover over 100 nourishing, comforting and inspirational recipes
which are family friendly and fuss free. From weekend breakfasts and packed
school lunches to dinners which are guaranteed to be finished, the Wilkinsons have your back this Valentine’s Day to create all of the loved ones under your
roof something special, making for the ideal gift that keeps on giving.
It’s an old fashioned saying that you should always have
cookies baking when expecting a guest you want to impress, so this Valentine’s
Day, whip up a batch of plum
jam drops and have the sweet aroma wafting from the oven as your loved one
walks through the door. Be warned though, these blushed beauties won’t last
long once the little ones get their hands on them.
For a quick and simple entrée, with minimal ingredients
needed, serve up the sexy scallops
with miso butter. The miso butter is a standout element, with the recipe
making more than enough to store in the fridge and use time and time again over
other seafood, steak and vegetables. To really kick things off on the right
foot, serve the scallops with a cheeky Pope’s kimchi Bloody Mary.
For the main affair, set the kids up with a movie to watch
as you team with the seafood theme and create this one pot wonder of smoked
tomato romesco mussels. Flowing through from the cocktail with a punchy
tomato flavour, sweetness is added through the quince paste. The dish is
rounded off nicely and served with a side of crunchy bread to soak up any
juices left on the plate.
The Wilkinson’s style is a celebration of all that is simple
and seasonal, taking a relatable approach in reminding us that with a little
planning and routine, meals can bring joy and togetherness to even the busiest of
This is an edited extract from Mr & Mrs Wilkinson's How It Is At Home by Matt Wilkinson and Sharlee Gibb, published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $49.99 and is available in stores nationally.