The Montenotte Hotel, Cork
You’re damned if you are going to be the last one amongst your friends to get to Ichigo Ichie to eat Takashi Miyazaki’s kaiseki menus, and you have also been hearing great things about young Aisling Moore, head chef at the city’s Elbow Lane restaurant.
So, time to head south. We suggest two things: first, stay at the Montenotte.
Second, book well in advance: getting into these two city centre rooms is as difficult as it gets.
Chef of the Year - Kevin O’Toole
Cafe of the Year - The Farmhouse Cafe
Shop of the Year - O’Mahony's Butchers
The Megabytes Award - Seagull Bakery
Neven Maguire's Home Economics for Life (Gill)
Good Vibes Cookbook (Orca Publications)
Jane and Myles have made a cookbook with the excellent Good Vibes, but they have also, perhaps accidentally, done something much more: they have created a community, both in these pages, and with their work in the brilliant Shells café, in Strandhill, County Sligo.
Larder by Robin Gill (Absolute Press)
Joe Macken has always known how to put the funky into flavour, and how to mix fun into food.
His restaurant rooms are amongst the most clubbable, witty and exhortatory of Dublin dining spaces, and he works endlessly to polish and refine and contemporise his food offers. Macken is a self-critical restaurateur, which means his locations are always like works-in-progress, evolving to accommodate his latest discoveries, enthusiasms and obsessions.
Cork city has always attracted culinary maestros.
From great mavericks like Declan Ryan and Seamus O’Connell, through to contemporary masters such as Takashi Miyazaki and Gautham Iyer, cooks wash up on the shores of the River Lee and set to work doing creative things that succeed, even though they most likely wouldn’t spark a fire in any other Irish city.
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