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Richard Jacob

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

There's a problem with Doctor Who.
That list of the Doctors, more than a half century of them – Bill Hartnell; Patrick Troughton; Jon Pertwee; Tom Baker (that scarf!); Peter Davison; Colin Baker; Syl McCoy followed by Paul McGann, Chris Eccleston followed by David Tennant, then Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi – is incomplete.
A Doctor is missing. A Who is not on the list.
And who is the missing Who?
Why, Richard Jacob, of course.
Ever since Mr Jacob piloted his Tardis – now named Idaho Café – to dock on Caroline Street, in Cork's city centre, in the early 'noughties, he and his partner, Maireád, have dished out dizzying adventures to food lovers in the most magical and compact room in Irish food.
Idaho Café is Doctor Who's Tardis re-invented for culinary adventures. It is the tiniest pace, yet there is room for all, and that's the sort of trick only a real Doctor Who – a master of the laws of physics, gravity, quantum mechanics and string theory – could do.
Mr Jacob showed his potentate-like mastery of the laws of the universe right from the out. Idaho, he declared, would be a place of “zero pretentions”
Since then, economies have exploded, dark forces have beset the land, invading troikas have seized power behind puppet-like governments.
But Idaho sails serenely through it all, on its mission to make people happy.
Richard Jacob himself has abetted the error over the missing Doctor Who. His résumé never mentions his role as Master of the Tardis, instead referring to degrees in hotel and catering management, stints in Ballymaloe House, stages with the late, great Hugh O'Regan, time working in Australia.
But those of us who know what Idaho achieves – brilliant food in the best atmosphere in the smallest room in Cork, all set at a steady pressure of zero pretention – we know what the truth is about the real Doctor Who.


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