Rosemary shortbread. That is all.
Well, actually that’s not all that Camilla Kitchen will offer, but it’s reason enough to stop into the newly established food concept inside M. Judson Booksellers.
Camilla fills the space left empty by The Chocolate Moose, which closed at the end of August due to challenges related to operating during the coronavirus pandemic.
Camilla is the brainchild of M. Judson owners and is designed to complement not just the book shop but the roots and the why of the shop’s origins. Deep within both is a love of and for food. No just the way food tastes, but the way food brings people together, said Ashely Warlick, M. Judson’s book buyer and the person who is overseeing the menu and food production for Camilla Kitchen.
Camilla Kitchen will serve a menu of baked goods inspired by literature and cookbooks that fill shelves at M. Judson Booksellers. (Photo: Allison Schell)
It is Warlick who is responsible for aforementioned shortbread, which is inspired by a recipe from New York Times writer Melissa Clark.
Other menu items offer equal opportunity to indulge and to complement a cup of coffee, a glass of wine or a nice beer. They are also rooted in the cookbooks housed within the shop. Whereas other places might not list recipe origins, Camilla Kitchen celebrates them.
A brown butter rice crispy treat is based on a recipe from Deb Perleman of Smitten Kitchen. A cream cheese filled morning glory muffin is inspired by a recipe from cookbook author Sarah Leah Chase.
There are vegan treats and gluten free ones too, all made from scratch and designed to add pleasure to and flavor to moments small and large.
“It was always part of the original dream of the bookstore that we would carry our love of cookbooks and of home cooking forward into something that was actually demonstrable,” Warlick said. “So you could come in and taste test what you were reading.”
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Plans also call for using the Kitchen as a piece of M. Judson’s literary dinners, which weave writing and literature and food, and for using the kitchen to host cookbook authors.
For now, the menu remains small, focused primarily on sweet and savory baked treats along with espresso drinks, wine and craft beer. Camilla Kitchen also will feature items from LaRue Fine Chocolate and Southern Pressed Juicery. Wines have been selected with help from local wine distribution company, Mission Grape.
More will be added, Warlick promised, but for now the creators are taking it slow, focusing on flavor, food and stories, and the feelings all bring.
It’s getting back to, what Warlick said is “a fuller food picture that we think goes so very well with books and stories.”
Camilla Kitchen is now open inside M. Judson Booksellers, located at 130 S. Main St., Greenville The café is named for Mary Camilla Judson, who was the first Lady Principal of Greenville Women’s College, which later became Furman University.
Hours are 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday – Saturday and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sundays. Private shopping hours are also available by reservation after 7 p.m. daily. For more visit https://mjudsonbooks.com/
Lillia Callum-Penso covers food for The Greenville News. She can be reached at [email protected] or at 864-478-5872, or on Facebook at facebook.com/lillia.callumpenso.
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