Shannen Butler Keane, the boss and baker of Ballinspittle’s Diva Bakery and Café, comes from Seattle. But, to be honest Ms Butler Keane really comes from the 1960’s. There is something of the anarchic wild child about her, and indeed about her team, many of who seem to have stepped straight out of the era of Haight-Ashbury and High Times, and simply put on an apron and started waiting tables. But there is nothing anarchic about Shannen’s food, which is a ruthlessly disciplined. This rigour means that if you order the Puy lentil veggie burger on brioche, it will be the best lentil burger you have ever eaten. The same is true of the Lebanese flatbreads with lamb kebabs, of the pinch me! delight of the best ever lemon meringue pie. Diva cooking is statuesquely fine, and utterly convincing.
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