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Sally's blog

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Robbie and Elaine are mining the creative spirit of West Cork in their beautiful new Ballydehob destination, Restaurant Chestnut.

Robbie Krawczyk has always been good at reimagining things.
Years ago, when he was setting out on his cheffing career, we gave him an award in a competition for a dish where he reimagined a seafood dish as a day at the beach.
When Aoife Cox enjoyed his cooking at Tankardstown House, she described how “Rob makes his ingredients work hard – they come to the diners’ table in occasionally surprising guises...”

A reflection on Anthony Bourdain, by Leslie Williams

A light went out in the food world on Friday.  I had the enormous privilege of interviewing the late great Anthony Bourdain on two occasions for this site and his sad passing has left me rather bereft, I’m feeling a little like I did when I heard Joe Stummer died having barely reached 50 – I think Bourdain would approve of the comparison.  He was a dream interviewee – opinionated, precise in his thoughts, witty, focused and often profound and he had so much more to give the world.

Peter Everett is the local-boy-made-good, and his elegant Waterford restaurant is the talk of the South-east writes Eamon Barrett

A friend asked me last year what I thought of a particular starred restaurant that she knew I had eaten in. 

Before I had a chance to answer, she proffered her own view: ’I find that food stressful’. I knew exactly what she meant – food which had been overworked to within an each of its life, and visions of stressed-out chefs with tweezers agonising over the placement of a garnish.

In the car park on Schull’s Pier Road you will find the best food in the village: Nico’s food truck is a West Cork classic.

Some cooks have the right feel for food, and Nico, who runs Nico’s Street Food in Schull, West Cork, is one of those cooks.
What he does is simple – burgers; wraps; hot dogs; sausage rolls – but the way he does it isn’t simple. In fact, it’s complex, tactile, and pretty darn fantastic.

Ireland’s butchers have been conquering the world. Here’s how they became champions.

We’ve gotten used to our chefs travelling overseas and coming back with the silverware and the trophies.
But it’s not just our chefs who are doing the good thing. Quietly, confidently, Ireland’s butchers have been slaying the world’s best in international competitions.
Of course, butchers from Northern Ireland have often won U.K. competitions, but the process of conquering the world began when McCartney’s of Moira won the Supreme Award at the Great Taste Awards for their superlative corned beef.

Orla Smyth’s trio of Belfast cafés are the height of hygge coolness.

Kaffe O describes itself as a Nordic-influenced cafe - and not just because they get their pepper grinders from Ikea. It's Nordic because their coffee is roasted in Copenhagen, the interior is minimalist and simple, in a Scandi way - not a budgeting way – their candles are pointedly labelled hygge, and their bread is made with rye grains.

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