Sally's blog

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Nick and Kathy Price

Here's the sort of people Nick and Kathy Price are. When you first meet them, you always recall that first time.
For us, it was at Daft Eddie's in Strangford. Mr Price was carving some meats for the lunchtime service, standing behind a table of beautifully prepared salads. The year was 1978 and the Prices were already out-of-the-box. No one had ever cooked food the way they did it at Daft Eddie's – it was fresh, alive, vibrant, smart. Much like Nick and Kathy.

The Tao of The Tannery - Eamon Barrett pulls up a stool

Back in 1997, when our home was nearing completion, Julie and I were in a furniture store in South Dublin called Enclosure looking at tables we hadn't yet come to terms with not being able to afford. The assistant was taking some details to send us on a brochure and on hearing that we lived in Waterford, told us about a new restaurant that was opening in Waterford that they had just supplied tables and chairs to. 'It's going to be called The Tannery', she said 'and it sounds like it's going to amazing'. True story.

OX, Belfast. Review by John McKenna

Let's borrow a title from Deborah Madison, and let's call it the new vegetable literacy.
Where other chefs are still struggling to express themselves with the basic alphabet of vegetables, Stephen Toman of Belfast's OX restaurant is using his vegetable vowels and consonants to write vegetable haikus, to create odes and poems about the earthy stuff he serves in his bowls and on his plates.

Restaurant Man, by Joe Bastianich (Viking)

I suspect Joe Bastianich, the wildly successful New York restaurateur who runs scores of restaurants throughout the world with his partner, the chef Mario Batali, is a great bloke to have a drink with.
A guy who literally built his very first restaurant – Becco – with a couple of his mates and his own hands, and whose biggest venture – Eataly, New York – entailed an investment of $27 million and returned revenues of $80 million in its first year of trading, is going to be a bloke with a lot of good stories.

Vegetable Literacy, by Deborah Madison (Ten Speed Press)

Deborah Madison doesn’t write cookery books. She writes Kitchen Companions.
Her first book, “The Greens Cook Book” has been my constant companion since 1987. Her masterwork, “Vegetarian Cookery For Everyone” is, along with Diana Henry and Marcella Hazan, the go-to resource depending on whatever lands into the kitchen.
And her new book, “Vegetable Literacy” takes the companionship even further, through the kitchen doors and into the vegetable garden.

Wild and Free: Cooking From Nature, Cyril and Kit O Céirin

First published in 1978, this beautiful book was ahead of its time. A generation ahead of its time, that is. What is today fashionable – an appreciation for the wild foods of nature; foraging; respect for practical skills – had all but vanished when Kit and the late Cyril O Céirin wrote and illustrated this timeless work. A handsome new edition will reveal its wisdom and learning to a new generation, and not a moment too soon. The prose is as fertile and rich as the folkloric stories and the beautiful illustrations. Buy a copy for yourself, and one for your children.

Martin - Back In Print!

A glitch meant that Martin Shanahan’s “Fishy Fishy Cookbook” was out of print for a few months so, once that was sorted and I had new copies, I drove over to Kinsale to bring some to Mr Shanahan.
I arrived at 3.50 pm and walked in the restaurant. It was a Tuesday afternoon. The place was packed.
Now, hang on. Who eats at ten minutes to four in the late afternoon on a Tuesday in the month of May? Every other serious restaurant in Ireland will have been empty on that Tuesday afternoon, yet Fishy Fishy was jammers. How does Martin Shanahan do it?

The Good Little Cook by John McKenna

Chocolate pasta ought to offer a quintessential synaesthesia moment.
Your mouth suggests chocolate should be this – milky, melting – whilst your head tells you pasta should be starchy and textured. There should be a fundamental disconnect between your head and your mouth.
But what if the pasta is silky and melting – so, close to milky and melting – and the chocolate – coming from cocoa powder – simply plays a bass note, rather than a front-of-the-mouth hit.
You wind up with an eating experience which is not synaesthesiastic, but simply delightful.


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