When Catherine Fulvio came to Stradbally to do a cookery demo for us at the Theatre of Food at Electric Picnic, she made a pasta dish from scratch, all the while chatting away, telling stories, charming the audience, whilst she made the pasta, kneaded the pasta, rolled the pasta, cooked the pasta, made the sauce, finished the dish, and thanked the audience. She never, in any sense, broke sweat: it was as if she was cooking in her own kitchen, listening to the radio, all the while making something that many people would find extremely challenging. It was virtuosic.
But that is the thing about Mrs Fulvio: she is a virtuoso. Her capaciousness simplifies things to their essence, a gift she has always had. She runs her B&B superbly, she runs her cookery school superbly. Recently, when her name came up in conversation, a friend – who is a professional cook – asked: “How does she do it?” The answer is that she does what others can't do because she is so gifted, so she is always in charge, and she always has gas in the tank. Ballyknocken is one of the great Wicklow destinations, and she cooks like an angel. Virtuoso.
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