You may or may not have heard of April Danann, of Cork’s Rebel Foods, but you might very well have felt her influence.
You might take a quick look at Trish Deseine’s big, pretty, pricey, new book, “Home: Recipes from Ireland”, and decide that it’s the sort of text aimed at tourists.
Don’t make that mistake.
The history of the cookery book recalls various titles that have come into vogue as wedding present gifts - books that endow the young couple with the skills of the kitchen. The first of these was probably The Joy of Cooking, published in the Thirties, by Irma S Rombauer. Others have been the magnum opii of Mrs Beaton, Anne Willan, Delia Smith and our own Darina Allen.
It is in this stable of textbooks that Lucky Peach 101 Easy Asian Recipes should belong.
Kaph is a bit special. It’s a coffee shop, on Drury Street in the centre of Dublin, that feels like a coffee house. It feels clandestine, illicit, the sort of place where you might hatch the idea for a start-up, or plan the final stages of the dictatorship of the proletariat, or hang your art works on the upstairs walls.
Elbow Lane isn’t just a cool restaurant. It’s an effortlessly cool restaurant.
Located in a charming narrow building, right next door to its sister restaurant – Market Lane – on Oliver Plunkett St, Cork’s recently declared ‘most interesting street’, Elbow Lane declares itself a Brew & Smokehouse. There’s a small bar and then a selection of seating with the ‘Nano brewery’ located right at the back of the restaurant through a glass door.
The great Danny Meyer recently spoke in Dublin as part of the Creative Minds series, at the US Ambassador’s residence in Deerfield House.
John McKenna went along to listen, and to get his copy of “The Union Square Café Cookbook” signed.
Avoca, the Pratt family’s series of shops and restaurants in Ireland, has recently been sold to the multi-national food organisation, Aramark.
We first wrote about the Kilmacanogue shop in a piece published in the Weekend edition of The Irish Times, on March 2nd, 1996. In the Avoca Café Cookbook, published in 2000, Simon Pratt wrote: “In 1996 a glowing review of of the Kilmacanogue café appeared in The Irish Times by John McKenna. His praise and understanding of what we were trying to do was a decided watershed in our development”.
Sea Gastronomy, by Michael O’Meara.
Simplicity. Confidence. Control.
Bastible, Barry Fitzgerald’s new restaurant, at Leonard’s Corner on the South Circular Road in Dublin, shows the 2015 Dublin restaurant zeitgeist at its zen-like zenith. Even in its first week of proper business, after several days of family-and-friends test runs, Bastible purrs like the big cat it is going to be. The team are so confident, and they exercise such control over what they are doing, that this new kid makes other city restaurants seem frantic by comparison.
Over years of reviewing restaurants I’ve learned that keeping an open mind is a crucial part of the job. Sometime back in the mid 90’s, fo example, I remember pulling up to Eugene O’ Callaghan’s restaurant, somewhere deep in Co. Wexford – a site that really wasn’t that dissimilar to a truck-stop, with a fish and chip shop, a pub and Mr O’ Callaghan’s restaurant.