Anthony Gray is a mighty champion of his native Sligo, and is powering the local food revolution. First and foremost, he is a restaurateur, in his benchmark Eala Bhan restaurant, as well as the new Hooked, on Tobergal Lane. But just running excellent restaurants isn’t enough for this champion of Sligo, so Mr Gray is also chairman of the Sligo Food Trail, which has been energetically and effectively putting the dynamic food culture of this beautiful city on the culinary map of Ireland. Best of all, Mr Gray puts the tastes of Sligo and the North West of Ireland right there on your plate, sourcing superb artisan ingredients to complete his picture of a proud, self-contained and ambitious food world. Eala Bhan cooking is lush, rich, soulful and imaginative, with the genius of the place captured and artfully arranged on your plate: black and white pudding lasagne; beetroot carpaccio with goat's cheese fritters; 8-hour braised Sligo pork belly with orange and star anise; pan-seared scallops with kataifi prawns; rack of Sligo lamb with thyme mash; lobster linguini – and there is a smart, city-like room in which to enjoy the kitchen's modern riffs on great classic dishes. Smart children’s menus make Eala Bhán a great choice for families, but the room feels right whatever the occasion that brings you in the door.
First three photos credit Julia Dunin
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More along the Sligo coast
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