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New Scenic Café: The Cookbook arrives

Many would agree that New Scenic Café is not a typical Northland restaurant —and that chef/proprietor, Scott Graden, has an exceptional approach to food. It should come as no surprise, then, that the newly-released cookbook is just as unique as the café and personality it represents. The cookbook offers readers a rare behind-the-scenes look at this north shore gem.

At an impressive 408 pages, the size alone gives an indication of the scope of information contained within. Beyond the realm of a standard compilation of recipes, the book includes a foreword by Garrison Keillor, charming tales from talented local writers such as Louis Jenkins, breathtakingly-beautiful photographs of the region and naturally rugged shores of Lake Superior (all taken by Graden), and humorous excerpts from diners’ journals.

The book explains the Café’s history. For example, why is it called the New Scenic Café? For many years, The Scenic Café was a favorite spot on the north shore for hamburgers and fries or picnic lunches. When Graden purchased the business 15 years ago, the name was changed to New Scenic Café. The dining experience remains ever “new” due to Graden’s creativity, the use of seasonal ingredients from local suppliers and frequent variations in menu choices.

For years, Café diners have asked how menu items were inspired. Each recipe included in the cookbook is accompanied by a description explaining how the idea for the dish came about. There is also an in-depth interview with Graden about his influences, the inspiration behind the café, as well as his approach to cuisine and the community. For more than a decade, New Scenic Café has been an active part of the Duluth community, providing memorable dining experiences and supporting local charities and arts organizations.

Arlene J. Anderson is the co-author of the New Scenic Cookbook and is a native Duluthian turned explorer and teacher in Zhuhai, China. Her columns on her experiences while living in China appear monthly in the Budgeteer.

New Scenic Café: The Cookbook by Scott Graden with Arlene Anderson 408 pages containing 128 recipes and 200 photographs

10 x 10 fabric hardcover

Price: $50

Available: At New Scenic Café, located eight miles north of Duluth on Old Highway 61, or The cookbook will also soon be available at select local and regional bookstores.

Arlene Anderson

Arlene J. Anderson is a Twin Ports native turned writer, teacher, traveler and speaker on resilience and leadership. She is currently working on her memoir to be released next summer. She believes there is always more music to play and dancing to do.