Helen Cunningham is a natural. Her food enjoys all the grace notes of a naturally talented and truly authoritative cook, whether she is baking a perfect scone to go with her perfect jams, or fashioning a vivid salad of kohlrabi, candied beetroot and cranberries, before she pours over a toasted fennel seed and lemon dressing. Ms Cunningham is a hungry and inquisitive cook, and from her travels she is constantly bringing back new ideas, concepts and styles to lavish on the food at the visitor’s centre in lovely Phoenix Park. Ms Cunningham offers visitors to this splendid oasis food that is bright with colours, flavours, textures, bright with life, bright with creative culinary imagination. Working with the produce from the gardens just outside her doors, she is a cook who can unlock the essence of the ingredients she uses: she’s an alchemist of flavours, and even the simplest things shine brightly. Time and again, attempting to describe what she accomplishes with her cooking, we return to the adjective ‘vivid’. But it’s not just the food that is vivid in the Phoenix Café: every detail of this beautiful place offers a vivid experience, a magic moment, thanks to this special cook’s natural culinary creativity. She’s a star.
Photo Credit: Phoenix Cafe
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