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Skeehan Brothers Cookbook

Wendy Johnson

What makes industrial designer and bar manager brothers self-publish their own cookbook? A love for food.

There’s nothing fancy or pretentious about ‘Skeehan Brothers Cookbook’. Nothing sickly slick about it. And so the photo of the bowl of lemons has not been photoshopped to be perfect. They are what they are but are no doubt juicy and delicious.

This cookbook is downright honest about the importance of food and family and friends. It’s a heart-warming experience as much as it is a collection of recipes.

Tom Skeehan, an industrial designer, and Dan Skeehan, who manages Hippo Co. bar, have dished up some beaut recipes from both the Aussie and American sides of their family.


Tom Skeehan, left, and Dan Skeehan, right.

Dad Skeehan was born in Denver, Colorado. In travelling the world, as adventurous souls do, he landed of all places in Bateman’s Bay where he met Mum Skeehan.

The boys and sister Carman have spent oodles of time in the US and so the cookbook features recipes from the aunties who run a bakery in Colorado and the grandma who has herself published a cookbook (Injoy).

From our neck of the woods come recipes celebrating Australian produce, like the fresh oysters from the Clyde River, where Nan and Pop live on a farm. Fresh is a major theme and the photos of local produce sourced from local markets showcase mouth-watering potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, beetroot and garlic.

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It took the Skeehan lads about a year to pull the cookbook together. Work included meticulously cataloguing family recipes and documenting the process of cooking. Dan was the head cook and Tom the main photographer. The brothers spent hours and hours and hours cooking, styling and photographing dishes.


Skeehan brothers’ Mac and Cheese

Recipes include the Mac n’ Cheese, always requested for Tom’s birthday dinner, that doesn’t skimp on good old cheddar. Nan’s famous spaghetti meatballs, always made at Christmas, are included with the boys transforming them into a hearty roll inspired by the Lorimer Market in Brooklyn. The Skeehans love camping and the great outdoors and have included a chicken skewers recipe. ‘We love making shit loads of these before we go fishing,’ says Dan. ‘It’s a perfect bbq snack.’

Dad Skeehans’ flour tortilla recipe has only three ingredients—white flour, boiling water and salt. See if you can make as many as he can in 90 minutes. He has a solid reputation for easily whipping up 140 in that time frame.

Dad is as famous for his tostadas. Tom’s favourite ceviche is served on these hand-made tostada shells. The ceviche is fresh and intriguing, with chilli, fresh lime, fresh coriander and other delicious ingredients. Brilliant on a hot summer’s day.

The Skeehan Cerviche

The Skeehan Cerviche

The recipes conjure up many fine memories for the Skeehan clan. ‘The green apple pie recipe was inspired by the beautiful pies our Aunties make at their bakery in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, and the cinnamon rolls are straight out of grandma’s Injoy,’ says Tom. ‘Every one of us took the “Starlight Butter Cake” to primary school to share with our classmates.’

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Pagosa Springs Pies

Recipes by friends who operate in hospitality in Canberra have their place in the cookbook, like the baked eggs inspired by the original crew at Two Before Ten and the Southern fried chicken by the guys at eightysix.

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The Skeehan Brothers Cookbook was designed by Canberra’s Inklab. Tableware was provided by Bison. Photos, other than those taken by Tom, are by locals too, including sister Carman.

This is the first short edition cookbook by the brothers. Order it now at: [email protected]

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, a few decades ago. She’s been living in Australia since 1995, having fallen in love with eucalypt trees and kangaroos. Wendy is passionate about Canberra and all the nation’s capital has to offer. She loves to write (about everything and anything) and owns her own pr and advertising business. More about the Author