All posts filed under: Food Archive

Food archive artilces

A guide to Belfast, bite by bite

This article was originally published in The Irish Times. Imagine a meal that begins with the snap of crusty sourdough spread generously with Co Down’s golden Abernethy butter. Then move on to a plate of just-out-of-the-water Carlingford oysters, before a main of Mourne mountain lamb with buttery local potatoes. Round it off with a chocolate and salted caramel ice-cream from Glastry Farm from the Ards Peninsula or, for cheese lovers, Northern Ireland’s only raw milk blue cheese, Young Buck. This is just a tiny example of the endless bounty of Northern Ireland’s food produce you will find on menus these days in Belfast. Its restaurant scene has never shone brighter, making it the perfect time to visit. OX restaurant in Belfast. The past decade has seen the growth of the relationship between Northern Ireland’s producers, suppliers and restaurants. As the political situation stabilised, Belfast saw a surge in tourism with visitors taking in tourist attractions such as the Titanic visitor centre or stopping off in the city before a trip to the Giant’s Causeway or …

Recipe – Mustard and coriander cured salmon by Wade Murphy, 1826 Adare

With the abundant smoked salmon at every social occasion over the festive season, it feels just about the right time to introduce it to the taste buds again. And this showstopper of a recipe from the exceptionally talented chef Wade Murphy from 1826 Adare is one hell of a way to serve it. Curing your own salmon might seem like a lot of work but it is so deliciously worth it. The key is to start with excellent salmon and treat it with some love and care. Mustard and Coriander Cured Clare Island Salmon -1826 Adare No. of portions: 4-6 Ingredients For the oil: This is best prepared 2 days in advance 2 carrots peeled and finely sliced 1 medium red onion finely sliced 1 stick celery finely sliced 1 teaspoon mustard seeds 1 teaspoon coriander seed ½ teaspoon juniper berries 2 bay leaves finely sliced 1 sprig fresh thyme vegetable oil/ olive oil Method Marry the half vegetable oil and half olive oil with half of the herbs, vegetable and spices. Leave in the …

Dining in Donegal 2018

Donegal is magical, majestic and full of mischief. My home county is the most beautiful in the country. Of course I’m going to say that, but it’s true. You’ll find warm people, freezing North Atlantic waters crashing onto dreamy beaches, good food, cosy pubs, rich Gaeilge and the song and story that comes from it, and us. Then there are sights like Mount Errigal, Malin Head, Sliabh League and the magnificent Glenveagh National Park. Trust me, you haven’t lived until you’ve been warmed by a Donegal turf fire, its fizzing and crackly breath embracing you into the very heart of its mountains, its sea, its people and its soul. Grá mo chroí.   Here are some of my favourite restaurants: Harry’s Bar and Restaurant What can I say about Harry’s? I’ve written a longer piece here about this fine restaurant, but what makes it so special is how much they care. The owner Donal Doherty and head chef Derek Creagh are passionate about using local produce that comes from the surrounding area of Inishowen and …

Cheese Revolution

This was originally published in The Sunday Business Post a few years ago. Sadly, the wonderful cheesemaker and person David Tiernan who I interviewed for this piece has since passed away. He is much missed. Food Special: Cheese Revolution CHEESE, and particularly Irish cheese, is one of the great loves of my life. It’s been there on my soggy school sandwiches. It’s been there at supper time, when I decided to get adventurous with spaghetti bolognese. And it’s been the only thing I could stomach during the glory and heartache of falling in and out of love. My parents instilled an appreciation of this wonderful food in me from an early age, but in the last few years it has become a passionate pursuit and daily obsession in my cooking, eating, discovering and learning. I have it with marmalade with my toast, I’ve used blue cheeses with bacon and chocolate, and I’ve been known to swoon on sight when a restaurant has a cheese-board, or the ultimate – a cheese trolley – on its menu. …

Westport Festival of Music and Food 2013 – delicious in every way

Oh I do love a good summer music festival. Where I can panic buy ridiculous wellies from Dunnes, wear some kind of flower hairband and get burnt with a hot shock of pink on my forearms. Some of my loveliest music festival memories are sipping on a warm pint of beer, while listening to a band I’d never heard of with people I love, and thinking ‘Sure, isn’t this bloody marvellous altogether?’ That’s what I love about them. What I love even more is the food. The very fact that Westport Festival of Music and Food has food in its title puts a little joy in my heart. The food stalls are always my favourite bit of festivals, they colour my plans for the day, the strategy for where to go and who to see. What will my next meal be? My next tub of noodles? My next burger? And my, haven’t the festivals grown? Not just your curry chip in a plastic tray that’s thrown out a tenner a pop. No, no. Now we seek out Pad thais …

Restaurant Review: The Chef’s Table at The Pig’s Ear, Dublin 2.

Stephen Mc Allister is a talented boy. I’ve known him since the days when I was making his tea as a runner on ‘The Restaurant’ series for RTE, back in 2007. He was, like the other kitchen team chefs Gary O’Hanlon and Louise Lennox, essential to magic of the show and making the guest chef feel relaxed. So I made good tea. Fast forward, and while I was lucky enough to get to produce and direct the show, he went on to open the wonderful ‘The Pig’s Ear’ restaurant on Nassau Street. It is my brother’s favourite restaurant and a place where I have had many a treasured evening. Stephen is very good at keeping his supreme talents hidden. He is modest and any compliment is met with a ‘Ah go ‘way,’ but his food won’t let him away with that humble nonsense. He’s recently opened the very special ‘Chef’s Table’ at the top of the restaurant. It seats eight people in a gorgeous room overlooking Trinity College. I have had the good fortune to …

There once was a trip to elBulli

I was recently reminded of how lucky I was to get to dine  in elBulli restaurant. Although it was over three years ago, I can still taste every dish. It was one of the most spectacular nights of my life. Here are some words I wrote about it shortly after returning: elBulli Some people are so determined to eat in Spain’s elBulli restaurant that they’ll book a table four years in advance – like a chap I met last year who planned a table for his wife’s 40th birthday. Others, like me, create 11 new email addresses and enter the annual lottery for reservations. Since there are around 400 applicants for each available cover, we usually don’t hear anything back. But there’s always the chance of a Christmas miracle. In late December 2008, my friend Ciarán called me, breathless. “Guess where we’re going next October 17th?” I had bullied (pardon) him into entering the lottery too; if either of us got in, we would take the other person. elBulli is housed in a plain, unassuming …