Publishers Note :Carina Contini and her husband Victor are the grandchildren of two immigrant Italian families that arrived in Scotland at the beginning of the last century. Their families have been at the heart of serving food in Scotland since then. Originally their grandparents were shepherds in the Abruzzi mountains. Weeks on end were spent up on La Meta, the highest peak in the Apennines with their small flock of sheep and a few goats, making cheese over open fires. In their smallholdings down in the valley they would grow just enough to feed the family, a few pigs to supply enough sausages, prosciutto, lardo and salame for the winter. Vegetables like spinach, cavolo nero, potatoes and green beans.When they came to Scotland they opened cafes selling ice cream and then fish and chips and, of course, great Italian coffee. Carina's parents took over the family cafés in Cockenzie & Port Seton in 1952. With the end of rationing the food became more adventurous and Scots classics also crept in. But remembering their heritage, fresh and best ingredients were at the heart of everything they did.Fifty years on, Carina and Victor have Edinburgh's most highly regarded Italian restaurant, Centotre, and the award-winning Scottish Cafe at Scotland's National Gallery. They have regularly cooked for First Minister Alex Salmond and are given the special honour of cooking for Sir Sean Connery when he has been in Scotland. Ian Rankin, Jack Vettriano, Pippa Middleton, Brian Cox, JK Rowling and Nick Nairn are all frequent guests.They are passionate about the best local ingredients and work closely with over 50 artisan Scottish suppliers. This ensures that throughout the year they get the best of Scotland?s larder. In recognition of her achievements and support for local, seasonal cuisine, Slow Food Chefs Alliance invited Carina to join as its first female chef in January 2012.