Scarpello & Co
If Kemal Scarpello was baking his sourdough breads, and serving his wood-fired-oven pizzas, in Dublin, he would likely be the most famous artisan in Ireland. You would already have read a million weekend colour pages about the splendiferous quality of his breads, have pored over eulogies to the crispness of the pizza base cooked in Ruby Red, their on-the-road pizza van, odes to the quality of the ingredients he piles on those pizzas, and testaments to the splendiferous quality of the Cetrone olive oil he imports.
But Kemal isn't cooking in Dublin. His wood-fired bakery is in Newtowncunningham, in County Donegal. Way up North. Lucky Donegal. Unlucky Dublin.
Mind you, Mr Scarpello doesn't need the acclaim. His aim is to keep his business as an authentic, artisan, enterprise, so small is beautiful. But the simple fact of the matter is that Kemal's Scarpello & Co. is one of the very, very best: this man has the magic, and his loaves will simply transport you to another place, such is their precisely delineated crust and crumb, the warmth of the flavour, the savour and texture of the loaves. To sit in the comfort of Rathmullan House at the weekend, with Ruby Red fired up outside, with a bottle of Kinnegar Brewery ale and a Scarpello & Co. pizza in front of you, is to enjoy one of those moments when you say to yourself: “It doesn't get better than this”.
That's right. It doesn't.
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