Helen Cunningham’s cooking, in her award-winning Phoenix Café, in the Phoenix Park, has all the grace notes of a naturally talented and truly confident cook. 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: her scones, for example, are legendary, and we would walk to the Park just to eat her powerfully delicious breakfast blaa. 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 sublime culinary creativity.
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