All posts tagged: the mcbrideguide

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 …

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 …

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 …

*CLOSED* Wineport Lodge competition – Winner announced soon

Would you like to win a break away to the luxurious Wineport Lodge in Glasson, Co. Westmeath? The bank holiday is now a distant memory, the nights are already far too short so this is the perfect chance to win a gorgeous treat! This gorgeous prize includes one overnight stay for two people sharing, with a delicious dinner in the Wineport restaurant and breakfast the next morning. I’ve been lucky enough to stay in this Blue Book listed hotel, and the lucky winners have a treat in store seeing the sienna streaked sunset on the terrace or waking up by the serene waters of Lough Ree. Fans of ‘The Restaurant’ TV series will be familiar with The Wineport Lodge which hosted the show for many happy years. THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED. Terms and Conditions Entrants must be 18 years or over This prize cannot be exchanged for cash Entry to win is via Twitter or Facebook The closing date for entries is midnight on Tuesday 03rd November 2015 Entry for this competition is free …

Recipe – Derry Clarke’s Chocolate fondant with Rum and Pecan Ice Cream

There was a little girl, Who had a little curl, Right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, She was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid. – Henry Wandsworth Longfellow Longfellow’s description of the little girl and her curl also reminds me of chocolate fondants. A tricky, temperamental creation that can be glorious or utterly horrendous.  This is my favourite chocolate dessert and certainly is hard work to pull off, getting the gooey, rich, decadent centre just right, not too soft, firm on top but not overcooked, not too sweet and not too bitter.  This recipe from Derry Clarke, owner of Dublin’s Michelin star restaurant l’Ecrivain is a stunning dessert and paired with the boozy Rum and crunchy pecan ice-cream a total knockout for any dinner party. Very good, indeed. Ingredients: 1 lb dark chocolate ½ lb butter ½ cup cream flour 1 cup sugar 5 eggs Ice cream ingredients: 50g of ground pecans 50ml dark rum 4 egg yolks 250ml milk 250ml double cream 100g castor sugar …

Recipe – Earl Grey Tea Cured Salmon by Stephen McAllister

This elegant starter recipe is a signature dish in Stephen McAllister’s restaurant ‘The Pig’s Ear’ in Dublin. He has kindly shared the secret to getting the beautifully delicate balance of the tea infusion just right in this recipe. Stephen said: ‘This salmon recipe has been on The Pig’s Ear menu in some way, shape or form ever since we opened in 2008 and has always been a big hit with our guests. It’s also a great dinner party starter as all the work is done ahead of time leaving you free to mingle with your guests.’ Earl Grey Tea Cured Salmon, Apple, Cucumber, Yogurt & Dill Ingredients : (serves 4) 500g organic Irish salmon, skin off & pin boned Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon 70g sea salt 90g sugar 30g dill or fennel Tea from 2 Earl Grey tea bags 100g yoghurt strained in a muslin cloth over night 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced into crescent shapes 1 cucumber, one half sliced thinly length ways, seasoned with salt to soften The other peeled and …

Memories of Paolo Tullio

My dear friend Paolo Tullio passed away in June this year. In the cruel chasm and heartache of death, the indescribable void he left for those who were lucky enough to know him grows every day. I miss him dearly. I met him as a young pup starting out in TV on ‘The Restaurant’ back in 2008. He offered wisdom, guidance and support throughout the years of our friendship. He was an oracle on food, and taught me the true meaning of kindness. It was an honour to hear all he had learned about food from him. He taught me how to pronounce bruschetta properly and that every chef, no matter how good, can have a bad day in the kitchen. But it was not just food, he taught me tolerance, in everything from relationships to my career. He had a fantastic way of knowing exactly what to say, even if it was a painful truth, but delivered in a sensitive and kind way. I will think of him every time I smell fresh Parmigiano …