Food for Mood cookbook launch with Rosemary Shrager


Join CoolTan Arts on the 13th November 2013 from 6pm to 8pm for the launch of a uniquely creative cookbook, which will inspire you to cook and eat well whatever your mood!

Launch venue: CoolTan Arts, Third Floor, 224-236 Walworth Road, SE17 1JE.

We will be joined at the launch by a very special guest, celebrity chef and CoolTan patron, Rosemary Shrager, who will be on hand to sign copies of the cookbook.yellowCookBook Flyer-cropped

Researched, written and designed by CoolTan Arts’ participants, Food for Mood serves up recipes and stories that reflect heritages from all over the globe; from warming Eritrean stew to nourishing Turkish salad, from spicy pepe soup to fajitas, moussaka and real Moroccan couscous. There are raw juices, sweet treats, foods for a picnic and easy one-pot recipes.

The book explores the important link between food and mood and has beautifully illustrated recipes for some of our favourite culinary creations. Whether you’re after a complex meal or a simple snack, food is a way to take care of ourselves and others, to express ourselves imaginatively, and to evoke old memories or cook up new ones.

The launch will be a fun sociable event with the chance to sample some of the recipes, which will be prepared by our very own Cooking Club – a CoolTan workshop which gives participants the opportunity to cook healthier, cheaper versions of their favourite meals and to explore which ingredients could benefit mental and physical health.

The book is priced at £9.99 and is now available to order from CoolTan Arts website: can be ordered online direct from Amazon:

For more information or to RSVP for the launch please call 020 7701 2696 or email

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Food For Mood – Deadline for recipes and contributions 3 June

The CoolTan Arts Food For Mood cookbook will shortly be going into production.  We still have space for a few more recipes and short articles, and the deadline for submissions is Fri 3 June.

We’d like to get a recipe that really means something to you, so please include a couple of sentences about why you like it, or what memories are attached to it, or what it does for your mood – and confirm that you’re happy for your name to be printed with it. It doesn’t have to be fancy: we’ve got everything from goulash to cheese on toast!  Just make sure that you list all the ingredients and then describe the method in the traditional recipe book format (1, 2, 3…).

For the articles, we’re looking at all sorts of aspects of cooking, eating, sharing food – even shopping.  Can you give us a short piece about a particular cultural tradition in food?  Do you want to write something about feast days, family meals, cooking for large groups, creative cooking, or shopping in markets?

The ideal length is 100-400 words, and the tone can be personal or inspirational: if you have an idea you want to discuss, email – or just send a submission. You can also get in contact on paper via the CoolTan offices, but then please make sure to include your contact details.  Remember, the deadline is June 3rd, so get writing…

Calling all graphic designers!

Do you have experience of book design, or similar? The Food For Mood project is looking for a volunteer to help finalise the page layout for the CoolTan cookbook, and typeset the material ready for printing.  We’re looking for someone who is happy to work collaboratively, bringing together diverse visual and textual elements in a professional quality cookbook.  Evening and weekend availability is fine.  If you’re interested, please contact for more details.

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FOOD FOR MOOD – new workshops

PDF-Food-For-Mood-WebOn Tuesday afternoons, 3pm-5pm, CoolTan Arts is running exciting workshops around the production of the Food For Mood cookbook.   Everyone is welcome, and there will be a variety of artistic and practical activities relating to books and food:

- contributing recipes and discussing food
- creative writing, local research, interviews
- writing, editing, design and layout
- learning about the world of book publishing
- food heritage of Southwark

For anyone who’s interested, this is a chance to be on the steering committee for creating the cookbook. If you’d rather just attend for enjoyment, that’s fine too – you can do as much or as little as you like! Come along and take part in this exciting project. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Food For Mood book publishing session, Tuesday afternoon

Because CoolTan Arts is putting together a cookbook, this Tuesday, 1st March, the Food For Mood workshop will be dedicated especially to publishing: taking a look at the different ways to get a book made and out there.

We’ve got two guests coming: a literary agent called Diane Banks who will be able to answer all your questions about the commercial book industry (what agents are looking for; which kind of books are right for the big publishing houses) and one poet and artist (CoolTan’s own Emile Sercombe) whose work has appeared in books from independent publishers, and who has made his own books, experimenting with all kinds of methods.

It should be a big, lively, round-table discussion, so bring your thoughts and queries and come along.  Starts 3pm, at CoolTan Arts, 237 Walworth Road (we’re behind the red door at the end of the alleyway next to the Carphone Warehouse).  See you then!

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Food For Mood ARTS & CRAFTS

The first of the two Food For Mood arts and crafts workshops at the Waterloo Community Counselling centre was a great success. The women attending all contributed creative work, conversation, laughter and stories, and everyone tried new skills.

The ladies made drawings in oil pastel and soft pastel on fabric napkins, embroidered napkins, crocheted decorations, invitation cards and still-life drawing, and there was a lovely large free-hand drawing of a woman spinning in a Turkish village amongst the chickens and cows in her yard.

Food is strongly bound up with household activities, table decor and traditional female decorative arts, and talking about these things calls up stories and images from childhood.

Next week (on Friday again, at 3pm) will be the second of these workshops, and women are welcome to attend even if they did not come to the first one.  Please bring an object, a story, a recipe… The workshop takes place at the Barley Mow Welfare Centre in Greet House, Frazier Street, SE1.

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On the Friday afternoons of 25th Feb and 4th March there is a pair of women-only arts-and-crafts workshops at the Waterloo Community Counselling centre.  They will be run by CoolTan tutor Amanda Walker, and they will be around the subject of Food For Mood.
Participants can bring items that concern eating/cooking/feasting (including vegetables, bread, cloths, pots, etc) which they will arrange into a still life, and then draw the arrangement, or respond to it using craft materials such as wool and paper. 
This is a women-only activity (with apologies to the gents).  Women from both the Waterloo Counselling Centre and CoolTan Arts will be taking part.  It will be a chance to explore the emotions and cultural associations around food and cooking in a friendly atmosphere, and perhaps to try a new form of art too.
Barley Mow Welfare Centre, Frazier St, City of London SE1 7BD
Friday 25th Feb, 3-5pm
Friday 4th March, 3-5pm
If you are interested in attending, or if you have any queries, please email, or call Rosie at CoolTan Arts (020 7701 2696).
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Food For Mood Workshop No. 1: cookbooks

We had a wonderful start to the FOOD FOR MOOD 2011 workshop series.  Having put some energy into imagining (and drawing and writing about) cookbooks from different periods of history, we decided that the Celts might well have loved a hotpot, and the Tudors would have welcomed a quick, cheap recipe for swan on toast.

We then collected inspiration for the CoolTan Arts cookbook by asking what qualities an ideal cookbook would have.  Some of the ideas included: giving serving suggestions or taste combinations; including fun healthy facts; recipes for every day as well as special occasions; quick foods and children’s recipes; the connection of food with nature; and suggestions for how to treat yourself occasionally by making even the humblest meal special with flowers, nice tableware or just a sense of occasion.  One of us also mentioned the nicknames given to various mixes of anti-psychotic drugs: now that would be a set of recipes for the creative psychiatrist!

Nine people attended, including visitors from Creative Sparkworks (a Lambeth arts project) and from the Organisation of HIV Positive African Men.   We drew, wrote, pulled out random facts, and discovered how bad our memories can be…  And we swapped recipes for this week’s featured ingredient, the potato.   Apart from colcannon, good old mash, potato salad and shepherd’s pie,  how about potato wada (spicy croquettes from India), or kopytka (little dumplings not unlike gnocchi)?

The workshop’s a really good place to test our food memories, and see whether anyone can help with identifying recipes we think we know.  For example, do you know a recipe called Queen of Potatoes, where the spuds are mashed or creamed until fluffy, then put in the oven to give them a crispy topping?  Have you eaten it?

(WIth apologies to all those people who eschew veal, Ari would also like to know if anyone remembers or knows of a traditional old recipe in which minced veal is flash-fried and then pressed into a loaf, soaked in its juices reduced with brandy and garlic and I can’t recall what-all else. Come and tell us if you know of this dish.)

Did you know 2008 was the year of the potato?  Me neither.  But at least here there is some information about the spud you like:
And here’s some more, focussing on the vitamins and minerals in a potato:

Potatoes are fat-free, have no cholesterol and give you loads of fibre if you eat them in their skins.  They’re packed with vitamins and minerals, being particularly good for potassium, some of the B vitamins and Vitamin C.

Come along to the next session , learn new things, make friends and have fun! All welcome!!

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