Ask your friends which Irish chef has garnered most awards over the last few years, and few will guess that the answer is David Hurley, chef at Gregans Castle, on Corkscrew Hill in The Burren. The great thing is that Mr Hurley has won all his awards for his cooking, pure and simple. He has no media presence whatsoever, and no desire for one. He simply stays in the kitchen of Simon and Freddie Haden’s beautiful country house, and fires out food that can take your breath away: wood pigeon with smoked leek and hazelnuts; crab with morcilla and saffron mayonnaise; halibut with caramelised lemon; blackcurrant soufflé. Every dish contains surprises, as Hurley adds an unexpected element, or transforms an ingredient with the batterie of techniques he commands, all the better to amaze you.
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