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New book Dining Tales celebrates stories of stars behind Glasgow’s best loved restaurants

30/05/2024

Dining Tales to tell the stories of some of Glasgow’s most famous restaurateurs, kitchens and head chefs

New book Dining Tales is coming to a city eatery near you soon, giving unique insights into what makes good, long-lasting Glasgow restaurants as told by the driving forces behind some of the best.

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The book (subtitled Savoury Stories, Tasty Tales) is a collaboration between two people. Marco Giannasi, who conducted most of the interviews, is an experienced restaurateur with nearly 50 years in the trade who transformed a dilapidated former tram halt into the hugely popular and multi-award-winning Battlefield Rest restaurant in Glasgow. Marco also owns several other successful restaurants across Scotland, including one on the isle of Skye.

Alex Meikle, who edited and wrote up the interviews, loves eating out and has dined regularly in a large number of Glasgow’s best restaurants. Therefore, coming from the angle of an experienced restaurateur and a veteran customer and diner, both authors believe they are the right people to write and produce this book.

Priced £14.99, with a portion of sales going to Beatson Cancer Charity, the book will be launched at The Battlefield Rest this Sunday, 2nd June, with many Dining Tales contributors in attendance.

They include: John Quigley, Giovanna Eusebi, the Sarti family, the Coias, Domenico Crolla, Michele Pagliocca, Graeme Cheevers, Ryan James, Seumas MacInnes, Paul Hutchinson, Gillian Eagleson, Marco Giannasi, Jane Docherty, Alex Matheson, Guy Cowan, Natalino Cellino, Chris Martinolli, Peter McKenna, Zoltan Szabo, Trevor Lee, Stephen Crawford, Ferrier Richardson, Brian Scanlan, Aurelien Mourez, Rashaid Ali, Stefano Giovanazzi, Mario Gizzi and Brian Maule.

The ethos of the book is best summed up in its foreword, penned by Gordon MacIntyre (Founder & Associate Dean for Hospitality & Tourism, City of Glasgow College, as well as founder and chair of Hospitality Heath) who wrote: “What an amazing collection of stories Marco and Alex have gathered in Dining Tales. It highlights the great and good of Glasgow’s hospitality and restaurant scene. Each one of them is a name that will be well known to all in Glasgow and beyond, even if you are not a “foodie”. It is amazing the number of extremely successful restaurant operators and chefs Glasgow has produced over the years … and is still producing.

“They have all worked extremely hard at their business and listened to their guests along the way, ensuring they are offering the right menu choices, ambiance, and service to the customers. They have developed the offer as they progressed through the years, always adapting to what was required, ensuring the business continued to be successful. For many the hours were long, kitchens small and uncomfortable, restaurants tightly cramming an extra table in when it was possible. A tough career path to be following. It took passion, grit, determination, dedication, energy, and empathy to succeed both then and now.

“Things are however changing, 2020 saw businesses closing and guests being told to stay at home as COVID hit the UK and everything changed. As many of the chefs and restaurateurs reflect in the following pages, life in catering could be tough and harsh. As we move forward post covid things have got to be different. Staff and teams require to be managed in a different way. Empathy is now so important in the business of hospitality; wellbeing has become a new term that has emerged where owners and managers are supporting the wellness of employees in more compassionate ways. And as is borne out by their testimonies in Dining Tales this new approach significantly boosts morale, encourages good teamwork, is far better for recruitment and improves quality and service for customers. Everyone wins.

“Dining Tales is arriving on the scene at a perfect time, one to allow reflection on the past as we move towards a new chapter in the restaurant and hospitality scene. It is full of wonderful stories, highlighting stressful and worrying times, educational advice, and funny anecdotes. A perfect book for your coffee table, for you and any visitors to your home to read.”

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