All posts tagged: caitriona mcbride

Interview with Donegal Chef Brian McDermott

Donegal chef Brian McDermott from Donegal has recently published his fantastic cookbook “Donegal Table,” we caught up for a chat all about Brian and why this book, and his home county, are so important to him. 1. Tell me about yourself and your background in food? I have been a chef for 25 years and went to college Killybegs Catering College. I’m passionate about good, honest food cooked simply and sourced locally. I’m from a family of 12, my Mum was a cook on her Dad’s potato farm so she taught me a lot about cooking and eating what could be grown on the farm. 2. Who inspired you to get into food? “Harrys” Restaurant in Bridgend , Co. Donegal. I was an early school leaver and got a job as a kitchen porter in “Harrys” and within a year they talked me into going to catering college. I’m forever grateful to Mr Harry Leo Doherty. 3. How did the diagnosis of your heart condition affect you, and your career choices? When I was diagnosed …

Review – Pullman Restaurant – Glenlo Abbey Hotel

The closest I’ll ever get to Laurence Olivier is a very unique dining experience at Glenlo Abbey. The star of my favourite version of my favourite book by Emily Bronte, “Wuthering Heights” (it feels like they invented the word brooding for the way he played the leading role of Heathcliff) used to take The Pullman Carriage on its Brighton run which saw it carry actors from London’s West End to tread the Brighton boards. The Pullman Carriage, now happily stationed at Gleno in Galway, was built in 1927 where it went on its glamorous Russia, Monaco and Istanbul routes. You might also recognise it from “Murder on the Orient Express”, the 1974 Agatha Christie film. It was also used during World War II by Sir Winston Churchill and his family. In fact its last journey was in 1965 taking Churchill’s remains and funeral cortege back near Blenheim Palace where he would be buried. This is a very special kind of dining experience. There is something about getting on board a piece of history, being greeted …

Recipe – Domini Kemp – Crab salad in baby gem parcels

One of my very favourite people, Domini Kemp, has shared this delicious recipe for a crab salad. Shellfish and Summer are a heavenly match and this is great for dinner parties and outside entertaining, the Tabasco adds a gorgeous punchy finish. Crab salad in baby gem parcels by Domini Kemp This dish, featuring baby gem is a great bit of party grub. Mixing the crab salad with some crème fraiche and a little splash of anchovy sauce (my new secret ingredients for mega-umami hits) and Tabasco was really delicious. This was a great dish to have instead of a “starter” as friends just grabbed one along with a napkin and wolfed in. It is also extremely quick and handy as you can easily buy frozen crab meat in plenty of fishmongers and supermarkets. Just thaw it out, wash your hands really well and have a little search and rescue for any excess shell. It’s not entirely necessary (unless you run a professional kitchen and are in the restaurant business) but every now and then you …

A secret spot for a great martini – The Funky Fish on Dawson Street

Oh I do love a proper martini. And it’s all the sweeter when it is being created and served by someone who knows how. The barman in Dublin’s “The Funky Fish” bar which is tucked in like a secret to the back of The Seafood Bar by Wrights of Howth, makes one of the best I have ever had. A soothing haven for all martini lovers right in the centre of town. The Seafood Bar by Wright’s of Howth 35 Dawson Street, Dublin 2 http://www.theseafoodbar.ie T: 01 5312260

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 …

Dressing up for ‘The Restaurant’

Going back to the Restaurant was a little bit like bumping into an old boyfriend, except I was given a little more warning so wanted to make sure it wasn’t dressed with a hoodie and last night’s mascara on my face. As a former producer and director, I had once enviously watched the diners from the kitchen while they sipped wine and commented on how rubbish or wonderful that night’s chef’s offering was for four years. Everyone who works on The Restaurant crew works very, very hard and the actual shoot day runs as a real restaurant with prep from early morning until the afternoon’s tastings and then diners arrive in the early evening and the kitchen kicks into service. I started as a runner on the series in 2008 and loved every step of the journey to becoming Series Producer in 2011 when I last worked on it. Seeing everyone again was a gorgeous reunion. Going on as a diner was as much exciting as it was nerve-wrecking. I was often asked ‘Where on …

Recipe – Coffee cake

One of my favourite things is a cup of scalding hot, delicious coffee, the type you could inhale all day, and a slice of buttery, indulgent coffee cake. This recipe is one I make based on two of my favourites from the queens of baking, Darina Allen in Ballymaloe and Mary Berry. I leave out walnuts because I can’t bear them, but like to decorate with pecans. Coffee cake with mascarpone icing Ingredients 250g real butter, softened 300g self-raising flour 4 eggs, beaten 250g light soft brown sugar (Or I like to use 100g dark muscovado sugar and 150g caster sugar) 1 tsp real vanilla extract 200ml of very strong coffee, (real or instant) cooled For the mascarpone icing  250g mascarpone 500g icing sugar Cooled, sweetened coffee to taste Cocoa powder to decorate Pecan nuts to decorate (optional) Method Preheat oven to 180C or Gas mark 4. Butter 2 x 20cm sandwich tins and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper. Beat the butter and sugar together until light, pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract. …