When the weather gets tough, it’s time to get baking. Just made Carmel Somers’ Banana and Chocolate Cake from her Eat Good Things Every Day cookbook and it’s a winner.
Category: Cookery Books
In the last few years, The Cliff House Hotel has really put Ardmore on the map. A small seaside village in Co Waterford, Ardmore was one of those places we visited as children during our summer holidays along the coast in Youghal. We always loved the cliff walk and I remember the old hotel that we used to pass on our way there, remarkable only for the large garden alongside.
I might have missed Donal Skehan in last year’s Eurosong Finals but I have been following and enjoying his food blog for the last couple of years. Skehan, who juggles his music career (he’s a member of pop group Industry) with food writing, has just produced his first cookbook, Good Mood Food. With a few basic rules – eat a variety of colourful fresh foods and drink plenty of water – this is good, solid, sensible eating presented in a bright, accessible format.
For generations, perhaps scarred by the shared memory of starvation, Irish eating habits were simply about having enough. Food was plain, but plentiful: steaming piles of potatoes, well-boiled vegetables (often home-grown) and meat from the local butcher.
Growing up in a household where Punjabi rotia and English casseroles each had their own places, Vicky Bhogal revels in placing ingredients from different cultures side by side. In the introduction to Flavour, she talks about making the most of imported as well as local foods, explaining her own democratic approach to ingredients. She revels in comforting risotto as much the tartness of tamarind, the garam masala of her Indian childhood used as much as Italian peccorino.
From Burdass-Reared Wold’s lamb to Ampleforth Abbey Apple Tart Tatin, Andrew Pern’s Black Pudding and Foie Gras is as firmly rooted in the food of Yorkshire as his Michelin-stared establishment is embedded in the village of Harome. Andrew’s Star Inn is a 14th century country pub in North Yorkshire which opened 13 years ago. He laughs as he recalls that it all started with just three people – himself in the kitchen, his wife Jacquie working front of house and her mother behind the bar. Now they run a total of seven interlinked businesses in Harome, including self catering cottages, a deli and a butcher’s shop, employing some 120 people.
During my first couple of years in Dublin, I worked on Great Denmark Street, just off the top of O’Connell Street. At that stage, there weren’t many lunch-friendly places around the northside so, if catching up with friends for lunch, the usual thing was to meet outside Trinity (cue Caroline legging it down O’Connell Street, over O’Connell Bridge and up Westmoreland Street at the rate of knots at 12.55pm) and go from there. One of my favourite places to go with the Tax Advisor – if we could grab a seat – was Cornucopia on Wicklow Street. We would fill up on warming winter soups, my favourite Spanakopita or hearty quiches, always with a big debate over which salads to choose. After a feed there, the Tax Consultant used to be terribly impressed at the fact that he didn’t get hungry all afternoon long.