There is a Proustian quality to Frances Kelly’s cooking, a lingering of detail in every aspect of a dish, a search for definition that goes far beyond what is normal in the food world, a search for detail that will unearth the goddess in every bite. Several years back, we wrote this: “Every single dish we ate on a recent family visit to Stella Maris was perfect in every detail. Not fussy perfect, or pretentious perfect, or obsessive perfect. Just perfect in and of itself...”. Like the best female cooks, Ms Kelly knows where perfection lies, and she knows that it’s not in demonstrating ego, but rather in its opposite: lose yourself in your work, and perfection arrives with your vanishing.
The food is the hallmark of the modest Stella Maris, a bright Mayo star where Terence McSweeney’s service complements Ms Kelly’s culinary magic.