While I was still in Ireland when The Restaurant television series started, the lack of a television set precluded me from actually seeing the stars in action but the recently published book of the series gives a good picture of how the show worked.
Heading away for a long weekend to a bach (Kiwi for holiday home) by the sea tends to concentrate the mind when it comes to cooking. You know you’ll have to bring all your supplies with you, the local shop will probably be five miles down the road and that you’ll be having to cook on an unfamiliar cooker with unfamiliar, probably unwieldy, equipment.
Walnuts in New Zealand are fantastic. Not only can you buy the boutique, high-quality nuts that are widely grown in this country – there’s even a Christchurch-based grower and processor that glories in the name A Cracker of a Nut – but even the imports are of a far better quality than we normally see in Ireland.