Gearoid Lynch's cooking in Cavan's The Olde Post Inn is nothing less than a culinary masterclass, says John McKenna
Gearoid Lynch is a chef whose time has come. He is a guy who is in such authoritative - almost intuitive - control of his foods, his menus and his kitchen at The Olde Post Inn that he brings to mind the old Muhammad Ali aphorism: floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee.
There is a power and authority in his cooking that comes partly from experience - he and Tara McCann have a dozen years experience now here in Butlers Bridge, up in the Cavan lakelands - but the sense of control also comes from a chef who knows the rules back to front, and knows the ways in which he can break them.
So, he takes a standard rhubarb trifle, and serves it OPI style, which is to say simplified, all the better to showcase his wonderful ingredients. And this is very much ingredient-led cooking: Mr Lynch has created menus where the foods hail from less than a six mile radius of his restaurant, and one senses also that his relationship with his suppliers also gifts him even greater confidence.
A late summer dinner here was an example of powerhouse cooking, made all the more powerful because of the subtlety of the plating - pithivier with Felix Cropp's organic lamb; baby leek cream with bacon and cabbage terrine; stunningly perfect Corleggy goat's log in katifi pastry; and elderflower sorbet made with flowers gathered by the chef himself.
Tara McCann and her team command the room with efficiency and great humour, and it all adds up to one of the great modern chefs in one of the great Irish restaurants. Mr Lynch's food shows not just his soulfulness, but also a part of the soul of this delightful, quiet county of Ireland.
Butler's Bridge, Co Cavan tel: (047) 55555