What would you get if you synthesised the work of food writers such as Claudia Roden, Deborah Madison, Diana Henry, Sam Clarke, Alice Waters, Skye Gyngell and Marcella Hazan? The answer is: you would get Georgina O’Sullivan’s cooking in The Ballymore Inn. For more than fifteen years, Mrs O’Sullivan has been taking the work of people whose food she loves, and refracting it through her own prism. She is the Newton of Irish cooking, and it is regrettable that there isn’t a cookery book with her name on it, though, of course, she was initially celebrated as the person who created many classic recipes for An Bord Bia.
Here in the Ballymore, she weaves her influences in the most sincere way imaginable: Dunlavin pork stir-fry with Wexford wild mushrooms, chilli, pak choi and black bean sauce; Duncannon salmon with new potatoes and spinach and chimichurri dressing; West Cork beef fillet with tarragon aioli; pistachio meringue with Kildare raspberries. Ireland’s kids should eat, and then be taught how to cook, this food, and we would have children as wise as Mrs O’Sullivan, one of the great Irish food heroes.