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Diana Dodog

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

Watching Diana Dodog cooking, at the food cart that she and her husband, Mike, call Food Depot, is just like watching a really fine musician play, or an athlete do their thing.
No matter what the pressure – a big, snaking line of folk on a Sunday lunchtime, all of them hungry – she seems to have all the time in the world, all the time she needs for that final sprinkle of sea salt to finish the steak baguette, to carefully arrange the Toulouse sausages in their wrap, to slide the wedge of lemon into the squash and chickpea curry, before closing the lid and handing it to you.
This fluency, this elegance, translates directly into her cooking, which is assured, satisfying and instinctual, cooking that elicits immediate “Wow!’ responses from the first taste of the dish. The food is so good that you need to pinch yourself to remember that you are eating cooking that has come from a food cart, and you are eating it sitting on the wall of the beach in Courtmacsherry, in deep West Cork.
Of course, Ms Dodog is known to a wide audience as the winner of Masterchef, wowing judges and viewers with a menu that featured salmon cured in Jameson, vension wrapped in bacon with butternut squash purée, and brambles and bramley with star anise ice cream. That sort of cooking shows the deep roots the underpin her work in the kitchen, roots that go back to her native Hungary and time spent cooking and baking with her granny. “We grew our own vegetables and fruit and raised our own animals”, she told The Examiner, to who she also confided that “I was not a shy child. I was very stubborn...” But great cooks need to be stubborn, and Ms Dodog is a great cook. We will be hearing more from her in the time to come, as she conquers the world.

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