Like Food, November 2015

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Like Cork’s FREE seasonal food guide



The enduring appeal of Cork’s Il Padrino


We talk wild Atlantic food with Ireland’s coastal queen

COMFORT FOOD From risotto to champ - recipes to take you through winter

T H E E S S E N T I A L G U I D E T O E V E R Y T H I N G Like E DMagazine I B L E I N T H E C U L I N A R Y C A P I TA L O F I R E L A N D .1








CONTENTS THE ITALIAN JOB Like is talking Italian with the Godfather of Italian food in Cork, Il Padrino.



05 �������������������������������������������������������������������������� Dinner Dates 06 ����������������������������������������������������������������������� Like it? Love it! 08 ������������������������������������������������������������������ Twenty Questions 11 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������ Food Notes 14 ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� Melting Pot 24 ��������������������������������������������������������������������������� Competition 25 ����������������������������������������������� A recipe from chef Kay Harte 28 ���������������������������������������������������������������� Come Dine With Us 41 ������������������������������������������� A recipe from chef Rachel Allen 45 ��������������������������������������������������������������� The Sweetest Thing 46 ���������������������������������������������������������������� Christmas Crackers 50 �������������������������������������������������������������������� Cork, for the win 55 ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� Glass Act 57 ���������������������������������������������������������������������������� Homewares

We chat to Kay Harte and Sally O’Brien of the family food dynasty, Farmgate.

COASTING ALONG Rachel Allen tells us all about her wild Atlantic adventure.




The Cork producers finding success with their sweets, chocolates and cakes.


The family owned pubs keeping the “pub” in “People’s Republic”.




hen we first started toying with the idea of producing a Like Magazine spin-off dedicated to food, it was the height of summer (in so far as you could say that this year!), and in our first brainstorming session we furiously scribbled down everything we associated with that season – salads, cocktails, vegetable gardens, cold beers, fruity desserts, al fresco dining, and lazy brunches as much about people-watching outside Cork’s hotspots as enjoying the food. It’s hard to believe that we’re already well into autumn, but sure enough the clocks have gone back, the nights are darker, and there’s a notable chill in the air. But just as it is with fashion, each new season brings a wealth of new things for foodies to obsess over, and this issue’s brainstorming session kept coming back to one word – comfort. And just as it is with fashion, in many respects we’re still obsessing over the same things, but this season they have a little wintery twist, and it’s all about being cosy! We’re still loving salads, but for winter we’re LovingSalads the Jason Carroll way, with seasonal ingredients treated with creativity and flair to make the heartiest salads we’ve ever tasted! We’re still loving cocktails, but this season it’s all about warming them up with heat and with spices. We’re still loving our lazy Sunday brunch, but for winter it’s about finding a cosy spot with an open fire to while away a Sunday afternoon. We’ll never stop loving desserts, and for winter the more decadent the better! Most of all though, we’re loving the indomitable spirit of the Cork food scene, and as our ten page profile special highlights, for new kids on the block and Cork stalwarts alike, there is no more vibrant place to run a restaurant. Winter is all about comfort, so curl up by the fire and enjoy the best that Cork has to offer – from features on the international foodies whose hearts and cuisines have found a home in Cork, to our homegrown heroes Kay Harte and Maróg O’Brien, the matriarchs at the heart of the Farmgate family dynasty. From the godfather of Italian food in Cork, Il Padrino, to the Queen of the Wild Atlantic Way, Rachel Allen. If it’s Cork and it’s food, it’s between these pages.

SAY HELLO f  T @likemagazine_ie Cover: Cooking up a storm at Il Padrino, 21 Cook Street, Cork Photographed by Fiona Casey Like Magazine Team Editor: Carolyn Moore Deputy Editor Maria Tracey Graphic Design: Inspire, Skibbereen Photography: Fiona Casey Agnieszka Bączkowska Advertising Manager: Niamh Keane, Ph. 087 6839589 Circulation/distribution: Carey Media Like Magazine is published by: LIKE Magazines Ltd., 4 Carey’s Lane, Cork, Tel: 021 4252256 Company Registration number: 550302 The entire contents of the magazine are copyright LIKE Magazines Ltd., and may not be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publishers.

Eat up!


Like Magazine circulates 20,000* copies. *Publishers statement.

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DINNER DATES Fancy a foodie night out? Here are our essential dates for any food lover’s diary…

FOOD AND FILM As the Cork Film Festival celebrates its 60th year, 2015 sees an expansion of the Festival’s culinary strand, celebrating classic cinema and Cork’s inimitable food offering with three great events - each with its own style and flavour. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7th Get a taste of Cork and a taste for the Cork Film Festival on a Fab Food Trail, a walking tour of Cork’s culinary hotspots, with food samples from the city’s cheese mongers, fish mongers, butchers, bakers and more. The trail leads to Triskel Christchurch and a screening of the Japanese film An (Red Bean Paste). Tickets €55.

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9th The Cork Film Festival returns to the Farmgate Café with a screening of the French classic Chocolat. The captivating Juliette Binoche plays a free spirited chocolatier in a conservative French village, and the lush chocolate making scenes will whet your appetite for a Chocolat inspired menu from the Farmgate. Tickets €40.

LET IT GLOW As winter rolls in, there’s a light in the middle of the tunnel Christmas. We Irish have always known how to do Christmas, but there’s one tradition we’re now borrowing from our European cousins that’s adding an extra dollop of festive cheer, the traditional Christmas market. As Glow, A Cork Christmas Celebration returns this month, the city centre will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland, and food markets will make Grand Parade a festive food lover’s paradise with carol singers and a carousel overlooked by a Ferris Wheel. Christmas in Cork starts with the switching on of the city lights on November 19th, and Glow takes place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from November 27th to December 20th.

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 13th An exciting new addition to the film festival’s culinary strand takes place at Ballymaloe House, where guests will enjoy a fabulous meal before being treated to a screening of the multi-award winning comedy classic Some Like it Hot in the beautifully converted Ballymaloe Grainstore. Tickets €65.

For tickets to the above events, see

Happy Hosting Even if you’re not charged with preparing a Christmas day feast for all the family, December is a time for catch-ups and get-togethers, and there’s bound to be at least one dinner party on your festive calendar. Whether you want a casual meet up with friends, a full Come-DineWith-Me experience, or you feel you’re ready to take the baton and make Christmas dinner, you can take the stress out of hosting by arming yourself with the recipes and the know-how to wow your guests with your culinary skills. Book a “Cooking for Friends” class with chef Richy Virahsawmy of Richy’s Bar and Bistro, Clonakilty (December 1st at 6.30, two hours, €45 p/p), and his hands-on,

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interactive lessons will have you in the kitchen making starters, mains, and some tasty treats to finish the evening; or invest in a course with kitchen maestro Rachel Allen at Ballymaloe (December 9th, two and a half days, €625 p/p) and she and her team of teachers will impart a wealth of culinary ideas for the festive season – from tips on the important things to watch out for when entertaining, to plenty of great recipes that will be sure to impress even the most discerning guests.

Call 023 8821852 or see to book Cooking for Friends, and call 021 4646785 or see to book Festive Entertaining with Rachel Allen.


Like it? Love it!

Artisan Bakery and Deli

Producers of homemade Dinners Cakes, Salads and Desserts.





OPEN Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 9:30-18:30 Friday 9:30 to 19:00 Saturday 9:30 to 17:30 Sunday 10-16:00 Closed Monday




Monastery Road, Rochestown, Cork

Phone: 021 4894922

Christmas at Flemings is Special

Now taking bookings for Christmas parties & private dining with full bar facilities & function area Delicious seasonal dishes, beautifully decorated Georgian surroundings and exceptional service. Soak up the ambience of Candlelight & Open Fires CALL US NOW TO DISCUSS YOUR REQUIREMENTS

FOR RESERVATIONS Flemings Restaurant Tivoli, Cork Tel: 021-4821621 Check out our website:


1. FRO YO: These delicious Claudi & Fin ice pops are the guilt-free way to treat your kids – or yourself! With fewer calories than an apple, they contain nothing but real fruit, whole milk and creamy, Greek style yoghurt. €3.50 for 4, Dunnes. 2. WINE NOT? We love Saturday nights watching The Graham Norton Show with a glass of wine, and now you can get twice the Graham as the comedian’s branded Sauvignon Blanc hits our shelves! It’s available at Centra and SuperValu, priced €12. 3. THINK PINK Son of a Bun, new kid on the McCurtain Street block, is the first restaurant approved by the HSE to serve burgers pink. We recommend The Stack with two 3oz patties, smoked bacon and American cheese. Flippin’ brilliant. 4. PERFECT PÂTISSERIE Oh là là. Something sweet has reopened at Mahon Point Shopping Centre with Franco–Irish couple, Claire and Cathal’s Amandine Patisserie serving up cupcakes, fruit tartlets, and Belgian chocolate gateaux. 5. BRUNCH MUNCH Just when we thought brunch couldn’t be any more delicious, there’s a new must–try dish available at The Sextant… fried chicken and waffles with crispy bacon and bourbon maple syrup. Salty, crunchy and sweet! Yum!

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Ideal for



Christmas Parties

Large groups catered for in our new dining floor

Open 7 days 6. TOUCH OF CLASS Get ready for a chuckle over your morning brew with this Casey Rogers–designed ‘Classy Bird’ mug from Shruti. In the immortal words of Ron Burgundy “stay classy”. €11.99, Unbound on Bridge Street. 7. PUNC ROCKS ‘Tis the season for hot drinks, so keep them hot in a funky PUNC bottle. Made by a Cork company, they’re BPA–free and non toxic, so good for the body and the environment. Grab one from Brennan’s Cookshop, priced €21.85.

Shop ’til you drop this Christmas, then drop in for a coffee or wine & tapas.


Stay for a minute, stay for the evening, it’s up to you Kill a half hour with us after work- weekdays 4-6pm Happy Hours- 100ml glass of wine and tapas only €5

8. SHOW STOPPER Bake a cake and it doesn’t look perfect? Don’t fear, Tiger Stores have a decorating template that will make any cake a worthy Great Irish Bake Off entrant. Nab it for just €3 and channel your inner Rachel Allen. 9. HONEY, HONEY When it comes to treating coughs and colds, you can’t beat comforting homemade remedies like hot water, lemon and honey — especially Ballyseedy’s Wildflower Clear Honey (€4.99). Splash of Jameson optional. 10. SALAD DAYS We’re loving everything about LovingSalads on Academy Street – the bright, interior, the pop of green from the “living wall”, but most of all the mind blowing flavour explosion in Jason Carroll’s hearty salads, curries and soups.

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Great selection of tapas from around the world inluding seafood, gluten free dishes, vegetarian

exciting new specials every day

Enjoy original food in a unique location Serving selection of homemade sangria and wine cocktails.

31 Prince’s Street, Cork

TEL: (021) 42 75 078 •


1) What do you do? I run a collection of Italian restaurants. 2? Why do you do it? My husband, Stefano and I married into the restaurant business, and we remain passionate about it! 3) What did you have for breakfast? Strong Barry’s tea and wholemeal bread with Glenilen butter and Helen Gee’s blackcurrant jam. 4) What’s the best thing you’ve eaten this week? Stefano cooked risotto with saffron, truffle and porcini mushrooms creamed with Parmigiano, perfect with a glass of Valpolicella!


uestions with… Eileen Dunne Crescenzi

8) What's your favourite ingredient? Olive oil, preferably an early harvest, cold-pressed, single estate. 9) What’s your happiest food memory? My grandmother making me melt-inthe-mouth mashed potatoes, whipped up into a volcano, with melted butter and chopped ham in the crater. 10) Do you listen to the radio when you cook? Yes, I love cooking Sunday lunch listening to the Marian Finucane show. My son tunes in from Malaysia, so it’s on our list of Irish cannot-dowithouts: Barry’s, smoked salmon, Kerrygold, bacon...

5) If you could have a meal with anyone, who would it be? Sophia Loren. She experienced real hardship during World War II and made the best of it, she fell in love with an older married man, worked with the greats, and best of all she loves to cook.

11) What's your most epic food disaster? I remember a very embarrassing meal when I was in Italy, aged 17, and not at all savvy where food was concerned. Not realising it’s perfectly acceptable in Italy to use your hands to peel prawns, I instead tried crunching through their shells!

6) Where would you take her and what would you order? Da Michele Pizzeria in Naples. We’d order three pizza Margherita between us, a bottle of Taurasi, and finish off with rum baba.

12) What's the last cookbook you read? My own, Festa, since it just came out, and my bible cookbook, Il Talismano della Felicita, by Ada Boni.

7) What’s your favourite restaurant in Cork? Farmgate in the English Market. I love everything Kay Harte does. Even when she’s not there you can feel her presence.

13) What food reminds you of your childhood? Apple tarts, my mother made the best tarts I have ever tasted.

14) What chef do you most admire? Gianfranco Vissani. I love his unpretentious approach and his honest-to-goodness reinterpretations of everyday Italian dishes. 15) Dinner or dessert? Dinner, but I wouldn’t shy away from a good dessert either! 16) Tea or coffee? Tea, I drink about 10 cups a day, and one good coffee. 17) Chocolate or wine? Both. I love to finish off dinner with red wine and dark chocolate. 18) Casual dining or fine dining? I love casual dining. Eating is time for relaxation, chat, laughter, tears, debate and celebration. 19) What’s the one food you couldn’t live without? Bread. Think about toast, bruschetta, Panini, stuffing, croutons, dumplings! The smell of bread! Soft bread, hard bread, rolls, loaves, and as they say in Donegal “a cake of bread”. 20) What’s been your proudest food moment? When I made a Bucatini all’amatriciana that finally met with Stefano’s grandmother’s approval! “Buono,” she murmured, and I knew things would be fine. Eileen Dunne Crescenzi’s book Festa – A Year of Italian Celebrations is available now from all good bookshops, priced €24.99. Follow T @DunneCrescenzi.

Spectacular, spectacular! You might not be ready for any mention of the “C” word just yet, but like it or not, Christmas is just around the corner! Ease yourself into the festive season on December 6th at the Spectacular Vintage & Handmade Christmas Fair, taking place at the Imperial Hotel on South Mall. The fair will feature dozens of stalls selling vintage, craft and locally produced, handmade gift options, and festive foodies can feast on a delicious selection of baked goods and artisan foods. Kids will love the vintage grotto; big kids will have to be dragged away from the


luxury hot chocolate bar; and everyone can enjoy the ambiance of live music and pop-up beauty bars, all while giving their Christmas shopping that personal touch. Fair organiser Kate Parle will be known to vintage-loving brides as the woman behind Bella Bleu bridal boutique, and she’s also been organising the much-loved Spectacular Vintage Wedding Fairs for the last three years. With the Christmas Fair set to attract a much wider audience, Kate hopes it will help showcase the hidden talents of many of Cork’s local businesses, and give Corkonians a chance to truly shop local this Christmas. Admission is €3 on the door, or for tickets and further information see

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FOOD READY, SET, BAKE Show–stoppers, signature bakes… and soggy bottoms! Having been enthralled by The Great British Bake Off — (yeah for Nadiya!) — we’re thrilled that the TV3 equivalent, The Great Irish Bake Off, has returned to our screens. A new judge this season is Cork’s own queen of cakes, food writer and chef, Lilly Higgins, who’s joined Paul Kelly and host Anna Nolan to find the country’s best amateur baker. For more floppy flans, burnt buns and gorgeous gâteaux, tune in to TV3 on Sundays at 9pm.

GOING VEGAN Fancy going vegan for 30 days? November is World Vegan Month, and right now, all over the globe, people are “pledging” to try an entirely plant–based diet. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out the blog of Cork vegan Louise Kelly (imalittlevegan. for recipes like comfort food spag bol with a veggie twist, or try the revolutionary vegan fare of Dee’s Wholefoods, also from Cork. The organic omega burgers, available at Tesco, SuperValu, and Holland & Barrett, with whole grains, seeds and vegetables are gluten–free and have no artificial additives. Dee–licious!

SNACK ATTACK Coming into the festive season, it’s a challenge to avoid gorging on the sumptuous, calorie loaded food on offer, but one thing you can do is look for healthier options when snacking. Swap the odd glass of wine for a sparkling water, a slice of gâteaux for some fruit, and if you can’t live without crisps, try Joe’s Farm Crisps, an artisan product by Killeagh vegetable farmers Joe and Sandra Burns. The deliciously crunchy beetroot, carrot and parsnip crisps are sprinkled with sea salt, and are so good they recently won a prize at the Irish Food Awards. Snap them up at Here’s Health stores and Douglas and Mahon Farmers’ Markets for €3.

#GIVEPEASACHANCE Peas. You either love them or are slightly traumatised by the look of them, reliving childhood dinner memories of having to finish every last one. To help bring back the love of protein packed peas, Grow It Yourself (GIY) and Cully & Sully ‘sprouted’ the Grow at Work campaign, dubbed #GivePeasAChance, encouraging people to grow in the unlikeliest of places — at their desks. And the winners? None other than Optimal Chiropractic in Ballincollig, who nominated Cork Association for Autism in Mogeely as its chosen charity for the €3,000 prize of a GIY food garden.

TEA TIME There is nothing better than afternoon tea. Dainty finger sandwiches, scones topped with cream and of course, the tea itself. While we’d all like to enjoy it in luxurious five–star surroundings, that’s, unfortunately, not sustainable on a regular basis for most mere mortals. So Kilkenny has delighted us with these gorgeous treats to ensure a chic table for those long catch-ups. The Butterfly Bloom three–tier cake stand from the Waterford Wedgewood Collection at Kilkenny is €95, while the teacup and saucer is €42.

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TREATS • Light Fruit Cake Log • Madeira Cake Log • Cherry Cake Log • Lemon Drizzle Cake Log • Christmas Puddings • Christmas Yule Log • Homemade Mince Pies • Belgian Chocolate Pudding

• Christmas Puddings • Christmas Cake • Mince Pies

• Chocolate Mars Bar Cake • Chocolate Toblerone Cake • Chocolate Fudge Cake • Banoffi • Lemon Meringue Pie • Pear & Almond Tart • Bakewell Tart • Deep Dish Apple Pie • Winter Berry Lattice • Raspberry & White Choc Tart • Pear & Chocolate Ganache Tart • Chocolate Crunch Cake • Coffee Cake • Rocky Road • Christmas Biscuits & Christmas Cupcakes • Fresh Fruit Pavlova • Fresh Cheesecake - Lemon, Baileys, Strawberry, Malteasers or Oreo • Fresh Cream Gateaux - Black Forest, Pear & Chocolate, Strawberry & Vanilla or Mandarin

• Quiche • Homemade Sausage Rolls • Vol au Vents • Homemade Chicken Liver Pate • Fitzpatrick’s Signature Brown Bread (Freezes perfectly over the festive season!)

To place your order please contact us on 021 4353299 / 4353093 All orders to be confirmed and paid for in full by Sunday 20th of December Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore Glounthaune, Co. Cork. T : 021 4353299 / 0214353093 • W:

DINING WITH DELIVEROO With a hop, a skip and a jump... meals from our favourite restaurants can now be delivered directly to our door as Deliveroo has expanded to Cork. A fresh approach to food delivery, the service offers restaurant quality food, from the likes of Café Gusto, Rocket Man and Gourmet Bistro Burger, with the luxury of short–order take–away delivery time, averaging just 30 minutes. There’s also real–time visibility through the Deliveroo app, noting every step of the food preparation and delivery process. Hop onto or follow @Deliveroo_Cork for more.

Food served Monday to Sunday 10am - midday Tea/Coffee & Scone/Cake


5pm - 9pm Evening Menu

Midday - 5pm Carvery Monday to Saturday


Carvery Sunday


Private & semi private rooms available @ no extra cost Choice of finger food, carvery or sit down meals Live music every weekend

Book your Christmas party with us today

Whether it's a work night out or a girlie get together we can cater for all!! 


Leemount, Carrigrohane  021 4871167 theanglersrest 

GORGEOUS GOURMET Forget the ready meals of yesteryear, there’s a new take on convenience dining with kit cooking. Serving up good food with minimum stress, the rebranded Kinsale Gourmet has fresh meals — like Hake in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Tiger Prawns & Chorizo Paella — that can be served up in less than six minutes. The kits, made up of four individual pots — veg, fish/meat, sauce and carbs — are gluten–free with no added preservatives, flavours or colours. It’s not hard to see why it won the prize for innovation at the Blas na hÉireann food awards! Pick them up at select SuperValu stores.

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FOOD CATCH OF THE DAY Who would have thought that sardines and squid could look so good? We all know how nutritiously awesome the ocean’s little fish can be, and making these often overlooked options all the more appetising is eye–catching Portuguese food brand José Gourmet. With packaging featuring charming illustrations by well-known local artists to grab your attention — all good enough to frame —you’ll want to stick around to try the delicious product inside. They are available at The Cinnamon Cottage in Rochestown, priced €5.25.

s a m t s i r h C ONAL ADITI







WINTER WARMERS While we can’t deny the pleasures of cracking open a cool one during the summer months, we’re less inclined to think of beer when the winter months roll in. But with O’Shea’s Spiced Winter Ale hitting the shelves at Aldi, this subtle blend of fruit and spices makes for an enticing seasonal option. With a dry cinnamon finish balanced by the sweetness of crystal malt, it’s an ideal post-dinner companion to crumbling, hot winter desserts, or, as winter ales are traditionally brewed stronger, richer and more full-bodied, simply enjoyed by a roaring fire or toasting the upcoming festive season. €1.89 per 50cl bottle from Aldi stores.

Speciality Wine Hampers Luxury Christmas Hampers FOR ALL YOUR CHRISTMAS FAYRE:

• Free range new york dressed turkeys • Traditional cured hereford spiced beef • Boned & Rolled turkey (stuffed if required) • West Cork free range geese and ducks • Green & home smoked hams • Honey baked hams & oven roast turkeys • Dry aged hereford beef our speciality

JOIN THE CLUB Long dedicated to making the best artisanal sausages, O’Flynn’s Gourmet Sausages are now giving their devoted customers a chance to get a taste of the action by joining their sausage club. For a proposed €25 per month subscription, club members will get a monthly seasonal box of gourmet sausages with recipe ideas, a loyalty card with discount offers, plus invitations to tasting events, workshops, and cookery demos. O’Flynn’s elite sausage enthusiasts will be the first to taste the family’s new products, and will be invited to help develop new products. If that sounds like sausage heaven to you, drop them a line at

Finalists in Check Out Fresh Food Store of the Year Awards

STOCKISTS OF AN EXCLUSIVE RANGE OF ARTISAN PRODUCTS Off Licence offers Ireland's largest selection of wines of the world

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Ballinlough Road, Cork •

Tel: 021-4292194

Christmas Event Friday December 4th: 3pm - 7pm



Gautham Iyer at Iyer’s restaurant on Popes Quay



Coffee anyone? Rosa Escribano of Feed your Senses

Peruse Cork’s dynamic restaurant scene these days and you’ll find a melting pot of cultural and gastronomic diversity. We chat to the international restaurateurs who have made Leeside home, and brought the glorious cuisine of their homelands with them.


he food we eat today has drastically changed. Stroll down Pana and it’s bustling side streets and there’s a tantalising variety of international cuisines on offer, from sushi to chicken liver & foie gras parfait; chimichangas to beetroot and paneer tikki chaat. The cultural melting pot that is Cork has brought with it new and exotic flavours, dishes and experiences — putting gastronomic diversity on a plate. Gautham Iyer is one such chef bringing the taste of his home country to Leeside. Born in Coimbatore, a city situated in Tamil Nadu, south India, he comes from a traditional Brahmin family, where ancient beliefs and orthodox values have had a strong influence on food and kitchen traditions. “Historically, Tamil Nadu has never been invaded by any of the armies or races which occupied and ruled a lot of India,” he explains. “So food and culture have evolved in isolation without too much foreign influence.”

Photos by Fiona Casey and Agnieszka Bączkowska


French native Isabelle Sheridan of On The Pig’s Back

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F E AT U R E Isabelle celebrates her award winning produce

Bottles of sparkling wine at Feed Your Senses

The strictly vegetarian diet is immensely varied, and Ayurveda — where the goal is to incorporate six main tastes: sweet, salty, sour, bitter, pungent, astringent, into every meal — and eating seasonally, are central to the cuisine. “This has resulted in food that is very unique,” states Gautham, “not to mention healthy and ecologically sustainable. The land is also very fertile and the dense forests are full of spices like pepper, cardamom and cloves. The ready availability of so many spices has resulted in a cuisine that is highly complex and remarkably flavoursome.” When Gautham ended up in Cork because of his love for an Irish cailín — Caroline to be precise — he decided to open Iyer’s on Pope’s Quay, focusing on southern Indian vegetarian cooking, the food of his homeland. The standout dish has to be the dosa, a thin and crispy crêpe– like delicacy made from fermented rice and black gram and traditionally served with chutneys and sambar — a tamarind and lentil–based broth. As John and Sally McKenna’s Guides said about the establishment’s dishes: “Its beauty lies in its subtlety”.

“As a vegetarian living in Ireland, I have always been aware of the lack of options when eating out,” outlines Gautham. “Over the last 10 years, there has been a gradual change in the general attitude and openness towards vegetarian food. Traditional Brahmin cuisine is both tasty and meat–free and as a result of evolving over millennia, it also provides an immense repertoire of recipes to suit different palates. “Though we were dreaming of opening a vegetarian café in Cork for a long time, it wasn’t until we felt our children were a bit grown up that we were able to actually do it. Now, we are delighted to be doing what we love doing — and are fortunate enough to be considered as one of the best in the country.” While Gautham is intent on bringing a taste of India Leeside, Alicante couple Rosa Escribano and Vicente Ruiz have created a mini Spain on Washington Street, at their enchanting eatery, Feed your Senses. The charming and intimate space is very much a traditional Spanish restaurant in style, with its bare stone walls, checked tablecloths, and of course, an effusive Alicante welcome.

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South Indian food and culture have evolved in isolation without too much foreign influence. “We have dishes like delicias alicantinas, which is a fried date with an almond in the centre, wrapped in Spanish bacon. It’s a little piece of Alicante heaven,” gushes Rosa. “When I recommend it, people sometimes say, ‘oh no, no, I don’t like dates’ but I say ‘no problem, if you don’t like it, don’t pay’. I just want people to taste it, and when they do, they love it! “I am a person who loves their food, and I want people to feel at home, in my home.” Rosa, who is front of house at the restaurant, and Vincente, who’s chef, decided to make the move to


F E AT U R E   Ireland because of their evident and unrelenting passion for food. There’s everything from jamón Ibérico puro de bellota (hand sliced pure acorn Iberian ham) to albondigas (homemade Spanish meatballs cooked with Irish beef and pork, onions and garlic, served with homemade tomato sauce); gambas al ajillo (Atlantic wild prawns, fried in extra virgin olive oil with garlic and chilli pepper) to queso manchego con miel y membrillo (manchego cured cheesed with honey and quince jam served with crackers) on the menu, all served up in the sociable Spanish dining custom of sharing plates over good company and good wine. “We both love food, but were working as salespeople for a big company,” explains Rosa. “We didn’t want a boss anymore… we wanted to be our own boss, and decided we are going do what we want to do. “We are very happy living here, and I believe the restaurant found us, and not that we found it. People back in Spain did say we were crazy, but everyone who knows us, knows we are capable.” Rosa adds that being a Spanish restaurant in Cork means they aren’t just “one more”. “We are a Spanish restaurant that wasn’t on the street before,” she states.

Alicante couple Vicente Ruiz and Rosa Escribano

For French native Isabelle Sheridan, the lack of options in Cork from her native homeland was the main motivator behind her decision to establish On The Pig’s Back. Missing cheeses and pâtés so much when she first came to Cork, she started the business in the English Market back in 1992. “I would make pork rillettes, and eat the whole pot by myself,” she laughs. “One of the reasons I first started making my own pâté

What’s most important for me is the quality of the product, whether it’s French or Irish

Award-winning Cork Dairy Products

Clóna Dairy Products Ltd., Sand Quay, Clonakilty, Co. Cork P: 023-8833324 | E: | W: 16

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Gautham Iyer

and terrines was because of the food I just couldn’t get here.” Having met French couple, and famed cheese–makers, Anne–Marie Jaumaud and Martin Guillemot who had a stall in the English Market, Isabelle joined them, selling charcuterie like confit and pâté from the space. “When I ran out of stock of the pâté I was importing, I started making my own, and that’s how that started,” she explains. It was when Anne–Marie and Martin stopped selling cheese that Isabelle began buying local and imported cheeses. “My favourite food in the world is cheese so I didn’t want there to be no cheese stall in the Market,” she says. As the homemade pâtés started to get more popular, it was decided a bigger kitchen was needed, and in 2009, Isabelle opened a café and deli, with a specialty food store, a “tasting room” for cheeses, a charcuterie and wine selection and a brand new kitchen at St Patricks Woollen Mills in Douglas. The awards have quickly ensued, and most recently, Isabelle’s spiced pork terrine with apricot & figs — available this Christmas — won a gold medal at the 2015 Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards. Special themed nights, with a distinctly French flair,

are also held regularly at the Douglas eatery, whether it’s French music from the likes of chanteuse Caroline Moreau served up with some beautiful gastronomie, or soirées based around some French produce like Beaujolais Nouveau. “What’s most important for me is the quality of the product, whether it’s French or Irish,” says Isabelle, who’s originally from the Loire Valley. “Ireland is booming with an appetite for quality food and people are more and more interested in artisan food, and its origin. It’s an exciting time for foodies.” Certainly, with the endless bounty of incredible flavours now available, Cork’s reputation as one of the island’s culinary hot spots is only strengthened by this melting pot of cuisines.

A pork terrine from On The Pig’s Back


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That’s Amore The Irish love affair with Italian food is still going strong, and when it comes to an authentic Italian dining experience in Cork, our hearts belong to Il Padrino.


talian food is all about passion. In every bite, the simplicity and freshness of quality ingredients are showcased, whether that’s a delicious pasta, tantalising antipasti or stunningly good seafood. Combine such perfect classic dishes with the relaxed conviviality that so represents the Italian dining experience, and you have Il Padrino, where mouth–wateringly good, simple food and a friendly, lively atmosphere are the order of the day. The old–world charm sets the tone at this landmark dining institution, which has been delighting Italian food lovers since it first opened its doors on Cook Street 15 years ago. Directly translated as “The Godfather”, it’s evident just why Il Padrino is one of the big bosses in Italian cuisine Leeside. Having established itself in March 2000, six years later the restaurant expanded to include a stunning second floor while in 2010, it went on to double its space with a cosy wine bar, The Cellar. The layout of this much–loved eatery reads much like a story, with the front half of the restaurant whisking Cork diners off to a buzzing Italian ristorante straight from the cobbled streets of Florence, while an old stone corridor leads into another world, with a more classic décor, complete with 100–year–old chandelier, soft lighting, rustic furnishings and elaborate mirrors. Seasonal produce, uncomplicated and bold flavours and authentic Italian ingredients, like good quality extra virgin olive oil, shape the menu, and delicious aromas waft from the open kitchen, where diners can witness the expert chefs at work, dedicated to the creation of beautiful dishes. Head chef at this wonderful trattoria is Lukas Dabrowski,


who’s relishing the opportunity to showcase Italian fare in all its glory, conjuring up nostalgic memories of leisurely lunches al fresco over crisp glasses of pinot grigio on Tuscan holidays in the sun. Along with senior chef, Italian native Simone Zecchin, and a passionate kitchen crew, it’s not about innovation at this Cook Street kitchen, but simply perfecting classical Italian food. “Italian cooking is full of flavour and extremely delicious,” enthuses Lukas, who has worked in kitchens across the globe for 21 years, and is head chef at Il Padrino for almost nine of those. “It’s simple, fresh and tasty.” A modern take on a classic, Mozzarella di Bufala — Buffalo mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, olives and extra virgin olive oil served with focaccia — sets a new standard for antipasti, while the inspired Cozze alla Provincial (mussels in Pomodoro sauce, spring onion, garlic, white wine and a dash of cream); and one of the most classic summer seafood dishes in Italy, Calamari Fritti (deep fried squid Mediterranean style) can also be enjoyed as a starter. The hearty mains are also exquisite — fresh and simple. The kitchen turns out options likes Lukas’ own favourite, the Il Padrino interpretation of Osso Buco with a fresh Irish lamb shank, slowly cooked to perfection, and served with a silky smooth risotto Milanese; while diners swoon over the restaurant’s other risotto options, each one topped with beautiful fresh produce from succulent chicken to spicy chorizo to tender fillet steak. Il Padrino’s famous pizzas are done the traditional Italian way — dough, made fresh daily; a thin and crispy base;

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We are doing Italian the Il Padrino way, and you know you are doing something right when customers become regulars and return time and time again


loaded with a fantastic array of seasonal toppings and a house– made Pomodoro sauce — while pasta dishes also tempt, from the traditional Lasagne and Spaghetti alla Bolognese, cooked to perfection, to the more innovative like Penne Ruspanti of grilled chicken, mushrooms and smoked Italian bacon with a white wine sauce. Leaving room for an indulgent dessert, a must–try here is the delicious and velvety Il Padrino Tiramisu, with its layer upon layer of finger biscuits, flavoured with Italian ground coffee and liqueur, and interweaved with a delicious mixture of cream and mascarpone. It’s sheer perfection, especially when served up alongside a beautifully aromatic espresso. From 12 noon to 5pm every day, Il Padrino is also a bustling lunchtime spot, and along with the extensive main menu, there’s also a sumptuous lunch offer enticing people in, with the restaurant’s legendary pizzas, with any three toppings; pastas; salads; panini — served with a side portion of pasta or salad — and daily dish of the day, in the region of €10. For an additional €1, diners can add a soft drink, coffee, or espresso,


making it exceptionally good value. For those who fancy a tipple, the restaurant’s beautifully adorned cosy nook, part of its most recent expansion and imagined through owner Peyman Nasser’s keen eye for detail, is also home to almost 70 excellent wines from both the old and new worlds. Try a fruity and spicy Chianti or a light, dry Riesling, with most wines available by the glass. The wine glasses themselves are also a thing of beauty, all exclusive to Il Padrino, and for bottles that require it, the restaurant’s sommelier will decant wine prior to serving. For special occasions that call for something sparkling, Champagne and Prosecco are chilled and ready to serve, and for after dinner drinks, there’s a 20–year–old Wiese & Krohn Colheita port or a dessert wine like a decadent Moscato d’Asti, a great match with a gooey chocolate treat or juicy and fresh fruit plate. “We are doing Italian the Il Padrino way, and you know you are doing something right when customers become regulars and return time and time again,” says Lukas. “For us to see that is so important.” Indeed it’s these diners that are at the very core of Il Padrino, as customers are made to feel like guests in an Italian family’s casa. The vibe is charming and inviting, where all ages mix, from young couples on first dates to golden wedding anniversary celebrations. The friendly, familylike feel commences as soon as diners walk through the glass door, greeted by the affable front of house, and the efficient service continues with the attentive and knowledgeable waiters throughout the course of the meal. For birthday celebrations, the staff make it a truly interactive occasion, with cake, candles, and

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of course, the singing of “Happy Birthday” as well. In a sense, for those who choose to dine here, Il Padrino becomes their dining room, with the unique and intimate ambience a true representation of how the Italians really like to eat — taking time to enjoy great food, superb wine and of course, good company. This ambience is one that can’t be replicated and coming into the festive season, with the restaurant also offering a Christmas menu, it is the preferred choice for those wanting to hold a truly special occasion. Owner Peyman explains that for regular diners, Il Padrino is part of their life. “For some, they used to come on dates here, then they proposed here, have christenings, birthdays and anniversaries here. We are part of their story and they are part of ours,” he smiles. Channelling Italy in the heart of Cork with its authentic convivial atmosphere and top–notch wholesome specialities, it’s plain to see just why Il Padrino, the Godfather of Italian cuisine in the city, is so beloved Leeside.

Il Padrino, 21 Cook Street, Cork. Ph: 021 4271544 / 021 4272160 or see


Il Padrino cut-out-and-keep recipe When it comes to food, there’s no question – Italian’s do it better! Our sizzling cover photo shows one of Il Padrino’s talented team cooking up a storm, and you can try their authentic recipes at home with a tasty risotto or delectable arancini.

RISOTTO Ingredients:


•  250g of Carnaroli or Arborio rice. •  600mls of vegetable broth •  1 glass of white wine •  100g of diced onions •  2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese •  2 tablespoons of olive oil •  2 spoons of butter •  (Steak and mushrooms, or an assortment of seafood or vegetables can be added if desired.)

1.  Sauté the onions in olive oil and add the rice.* 2.  Once the rice is coated in olive oil, add the wine and cook until it evaporates. 3.  Add the stock, one spoon at a time. Ensure that each spoon is fully absorbed by the rice before adding the next. Continue until rice is al dente. 4.  Add the butter and the Parmesan at the end and stir through.

* The additional ingredients can be either pan fried separately and added at the end, or pan fried at stage one of the process with the onions.

ARANCINI Ingredients: •  300g of saffron risotto •  120g of fresh mozzarella •  2 beaten eggs •  200g of bread crumbs •  350g of fresh spinach •  100g of flour

6.  Roll the ball in flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. If you want a crunchier coating, roll once again in just the eggs and breadcrumbs. 7.  Place in a deep fat frier and cook in batches at 180 degrees until golden brown.

Method: 1.  Cook the spinach, allow to cool, and then add to the cooled risotto. 2.  Take some of the mixture and shape it into a ball, just bigger than a golf ball. Repeat until all the mixture is used. 3.  Make a hole in the top and push in a piece of mozzarella. (Ragu sauce can also be added at this stage if desired). 5.  Ensure the hole is closed.

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FAMILY Farm A family affair: Kay Harte and her niece Sally O’Brien at the Farmgate in the English Market

The past 20 years has seen a food revolution take place. Among those who led the charge were Maróg O’Brien and Kay Harte of the Farmgate, creating delicious dishes using fresh local produce. Maria Tracey finds out more about this award– winning culinary dynasty.

Photos by Agnieszka Bączkowska



e’re all aware of the long– touted Irish food revolution. Foders perhaps said it best, gushing that new Irish cuisine has changed the “beige, boiled and boring food of yore into a bounty of gourmet delights”. Certainly Ireland is now a treasure trove for foodies, focused on locally–sourced, seasonal produce, where the ingredients speak for themselves. However, for some talented Cork chefs, this has always been their way. Three generations of the Ballymaloe empire — Myrtle, Darina and Rachel Allen — have long championed local produce, and so too have the women behind dining institution the Farmgate — sisters Maróg O’Brien and Kay Harte, and their respective daughters, Sally and Rebecca. These strong culinary matriarchal figures are trailblazers, paving the way for those who follow. Speaking about her mother, Sally O’Brien reveals she meets people daily who’ll tell her how ahead of their time Maróg’s concepts were. “When I was younger I remember my mother working incredibly hard but she kept me out of the business at much as

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possible. That meant she could fully concentrate on the business whilst there and at home it was very much family time,” outlines Sally. “In later years I became very aware of how ahead of her years she had been. She was doing then what is now very much ‘on trend’.” The Farmgate was established when Maróg opened a small food shop specialising in local seasonal produce in Midleton in 1983, in a premises across the road from where the restaurant is now located. In 1988, it expanded to the larger premises, becoming the now renowned Farmgate Restaurant & Country Store, and six years later, Maróg was joined by her sister Kay, as the café in the English Market opened. A generation on, both Kay and Maróg are joined by their daughters to continue the well– loved culinary concept. For both generations, a respect of food was nurtured at a young age. “I always loved my food,” laughs Kay. “Youghal was a healthy place to grow up and the Atlantic Ocean guaranteed to work up a great appetite. Food times were strict and there was no snacking between meals.

“There wasn’t as much talk around food as there is now — and local food was the order of the day. Comments would be passed on ‘how fresh the fish was’ or ‘how good the meat was’, but Christmas was the most exciting with endless food discussion. “Timing the turkey, trying out a new stuffing, suet or butter in the pudding, brandy or poitín for the cake, and preserving eggs in November for the Christmas baking. The discussion started weeks before and it definitely contributed to the sense of excitement.” Kay adds Maróg and herself are self-taught, but with guidance from “very good mentors”. “We were surrounded by women interested in food and could cook very well,” she reveals. “Youghal was an interesting place to grow up as at that time there were six hotels — all owned and run by women. I remember thinking what an attractive job it was, especially the idea of owning your own business.”

We were surrounded by women interested in food and could cook very well For Kay’s niece Sally, good food was, of course, integral at home. “My mother is a great cook,” she smiles. “There were no takeaways when I was growing up! We ate simply but well.” She adds her food philosophy now is the one she was reared with. “I’d like to say I’ll instil that in my own daughter but as she’d tell you, we are partial to the odd ‘man in the van’ dinner,” she admits with a chuckle. “We always eat well at home using good quality produce but we do have the odd lazy meal from time to time.” Sally highlights that although she was a toddler in the early 80s, when her mother opened the Farmgate in Midleton, she does remember baskets of fresh produce outside the door in the courtyard. “When mum moved premises to where Farmgate is now, I’ve a clear memory in 1987 of first seeing it,” she recalls. “The walls were black with oil and I remember walking along a plank of wood to where the doors of the dining room are now. It had been Hanover Tyres and there was a car pit to my right as I walked along the plank!” The ambitious vision Maróg had for that tyre shop was one she also

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A piece of tranquillity above the market bustle at the Farmgate Café


A delightful dining experience for two in Bellini’s Restaurant at the Maryborough Hotel & Spa.

had for the mezzanine at the English Market. Laughing, Kay admits it was Maróg who saw it as a logical place for another Farmgate and “more or less booted” her in there. “Standing in the Market one day she looked up and immediately saw the potential. She’s a natural–born entrepreneur,” says Kay with a smile. She adds she feels blessed to be operating out of the foodie landmark. “It’s truly a great place to work,” she says. “I can honestly say that as soon as I enter the Market and hear the sounds and feel the energy, I know I definitely like what I do. There’s a wonderful camaraderie in the place and I’ve made lasting friends here. “I’ll always be in Maróg’s debt for believing in me because when I went in there first — 22 years ago — I can assure you I did not know what I was doing. I was lucky too to have Midleton Farmgate as my mentor… the product had been tried and tested.” Equally, 23km away in the east Cork town of Midleton, Sally, who started in the business full–time 10 years ago, is as enthusiastic about the brand as her aunt. “Oh gosh, it sounds so cheesy but I just love the Farmgate,” she laughs. “I love the people I meet

COMPETITION One of Cork’s leading hotels, the Maryborough Hotel & Spa offers an exclusive product and premier service, and in Bellini’s Restaurant guests will enjoy a fabulous ambience along with award winning food and service. With a reputation for providing a unique experience with each visit, sophistication and luxury imbues each element of the Maryborough, and the kitchens are a proud extension of the excellence guests have come to expect, whether stopping by for an impromptu drink and light bite in the bar; a special celebration in Bellini’s; soaking up the atmosphere with a cocktail; or enjoying the soon-to-belaunched Afternoon Tea.

THE PRIZE: Dinner for two people in Bellini’s restaurant, where you and a guest will be welcomed with a complimentary Bellini cocktail – a Maryborough specialty – before enjoying a delicious meal from chef Stephen Sullivan and his team. Offering an eclectic mix of European and traditional flavours, “Our team strive to work with only the best local farmers, butchers,


everyday, most of whom are regulars. There’s a really good vibe at work as the team have been here so long and we all know each other so well. “It’s like home. I’m incredibly proud of it and thoroughly enjoy my job. I realise I’m incredibly lucky to feel that way.” Sally adds that she’s also “incredibly fortunate” to have both her mother and aunt to turn to for advice. “I’ve a very close relationship with them both and enormous admiration for how they have built the brand,” she says, adding the food philosophy that has, and always will be, at the Farmgate is “good home cooking — simple, seasonal and fresh”. It’s about, outlines Sally, buying the best product possible and “letting it speak for itself”, whether that’s a loin of lamb from Frank Murphy or rock oysters from O’Connell Fish. “We’re truly blessed in Midleton and Cork city that we’ve access to amazing produce,” she says. “My mother would always say we should only serve what we would be delighted to eat at home.” This creed, it seems, has unquestionably stood the test of time.

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fisherman, growers, craft and artisanal producers” says Stephen. Sourcing local seasonal produce, like Ballinwillin Farm Wild Boar, Iasc Shellfish butter, and Ardsallagh Goat’s Cheese, with the English Market on their doorstep, a wealth of the finest fresh produce and ingredients is at their creative fingertips each day.

TO WIN: To be in with a chance of winning this meal for two at Bellini’s Restaurant in The Maryborough Hotel & Spa, answer the question below and email your answer to Q.  From which Cork food institution does chef Stephen Sullivan source fresh produce daily for Bellinis? a)  The English Patient a)  The English Market a)  The English Language Terms and conditions apply. Closing date Friday, November 27th. No cash alternative. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.


Corned Beef

with Mustard Sauce & Champ

A perfect winter warmer, this dish from the Farmgate is a comfort food classic. INGREDIENTS •  1.5kg of corned silverside of beef (we suggest 1.5kg as there is always a little shrinkage, plus it’s good to have some left over as it’s delicious served cold with a nice relish or chutney) •  2 carrots •  1 large onion •  Béchamel sauce — unsalted butter, flour and milk •  8 potatoes • Scallions •  300ml of milk •  100g of butter •  Salt and pepper •  Chopped parsley

ristorante italiano

Cork's Premier

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METHOD 1  Put the beef into a large saucepan of cold water and cover with the carrots and the large onion, roughly chopped. 2  Slowly bring to the boil, then immediately turn down the heat and simmer for around 90 minutes. Do not continue to boil as it toughens the meat. This stage could be completed several hours or even a day in advance. Allow the meat to cool down in the cooking liquid. 3  Make sure to reserve the stock as this is used both to reheat the meat, and also for the mustard sauce. 4  For the mustard sauce, make a classic béchamel sauce but use one third stock from the corned beef cooking pot and two thirds milk. A little cream can be added if you wish. 5  For the scallion champ, peel the potatoes and steam until cooked. Put finely chopped scallions into a saucepan with roughly 300mls of milk and 100g of butter and bring to the boil so it’s cooked through. When the potatoes are cooked, add salt and pepper to taste, then the scallions, butter and milk, then mash. Add the milk slowly as you don’t want a gooey mix. 6  Serve with sliced corned beef and mustard sauce. Add a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley.

Early Bird from

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The best selection of Farmhouse Cheeses in Ireland from the best Irish and French Cheesemakers, matured to perfection



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BAR & GRILL Gold Winner for our Spiced Pork Terrine with Apricot & Figs

Stall 11 English Market, Cork

Tel: 021-4270232


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Unit 26 St. Patricks Mills, Douglas, Cork

Tel: 021-4617832

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A Healthy

Take on Take Away

Why put that health kick off till the New Year? The festive season is fast approaching, so bin the sins now and earn those Christmas treats! Sian Horn, of Elite Pilates, shares some of her favourite healthy recipes – delicious, speedy meals to turn to when the take away is calling.





•  2 large chicken breasts, chopped

•  1 x 400-500g pack of turkey mince

•  3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

•  1 medium onion

•  A thumb sized piece of ginger, grated

•  ¼ of a punnet of mushrooms, chopped

•  Spoon of coconut oil

•  2 cloves of garlic

•  Tamari – a gluten free soy sauce

•  A teaspoon of coconut oil

•  Vegetables of your choice

•  Salt and pepper to taste

•  1 head of cauliflower

•  1 tablespoon of Chinese 5 spice seasoning


A quick and tasty go-to to keep take-away cravings, and carbs, at bay!

A simple, fun starter or a great snack for kids!


•  A handful of sesame seads


•  1 head of iceberg lettuce

For the cauliflower rice:

•  Chopped parsley

1.  Take the stump out of the cauliflower, and pop the whole cauliflower into the food processor, blending until it resembles rice.

•  A large scoop of natural yoghurt (optional)

2.  Spread the “rice” on a large oven tray and pop into a preheated oven at 180o celsius for 8-10 minutes.

For the stir fry: 1.  Meanwhile, finely chop or grate your garlic and ginger and fry in the coconut oil. 2.  Add your chicken pieces. 3.  When the chicken begins to brown, add your veg, chopped in large chunks. 4.  Add a good shake of tamari or soy sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. 5.  Take the rice out of the oven and serve straight away! For more information on Elite Pilates, call 021 436 9097 or see

METHOD: 1.  Crush the garlic gloves in a teaspoon of coconut oil and add to a hot pan. 2.  Add the onions and turkey, fry till the turkey begins to whiten, then add the Chinese 5 spice seasoning, the salt, and the pepper. 3.  When the turkey mince seems half cooked, add in the chopped mushrooms. 4.  Meanwhile, take the iceberg lettuce and cut out the stump, leaving a hole in the bottom of the head of lettuce. Run this under a cold tap and slowly you will feel the iceberg leaves falling away to create lovely iceberg wraps. 5.  Returning to the pan, sprinkle your turkey mince with sesame seeds. 6.  Scoop into lettuce leaves and top with chopped parsley and, if you like, a scoop of seasoned or coconut flavor yoghurt.

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oldbergs must have the Midas touch, as the stylish bar on Victoria Road — which wouldn’t look out of place in New York’s Meatpacking district — has already secured a dedicated following of die–hard food loving fans who appreciate that little something special they offer. The stunning exterior, with its subway tiles and reams of fairy lights, sets the tone for the culinary adventure ahead — a quirky twist on classics where the focus is on quality, local ingredients and great taste, with breakfast, brunch, lunch and Christmas party menus that showcase the passion head chef Eric McCarthy pours into his gastronomic delights. Breakfast, from 10.30am to 12 noon, has the likes of homemade granola; chorizo fried egg on a fresh bap, and Inferno Chilli scrambled eggs, with “mild, hot, or blow de head off ya” options. Equally Goldbergs’ much loved Sunday brunch, served on Sundays

from 11am till 4pm, hits all the right notes. Featuring classics like Eggs Benedict and Eggs Florentine on brioche topped with a fresh Hollandaise sauce, their take on this Sunday morning ritual is so renowned that even culinary goddess Rachel Allen has praised it in her latest cookbook Coast, hailing the spicy scrambled eggs, nutritious smoothies, and warm, freshly– baked scones. For lunch the feast continues with the likes of slow–braised lamb pulled off the bone and stuffed into a crusty roll — the bread is delivered fresh every morning by artisan bakery Pana — and a hot bowl of Goldbergs’ French Onion Soup. Seasonal dishes like melt– in–the–mouth beef bourguignon are part of the ever changing menu, while there’s a regular special lunch deal of a cup of soup, sandwich and coffee for just €10. “We focus on everything being fresh, and made on–site,” explains Eric, who hails from culinary

pedigree, as his grandmother was the first female head chef in Cork. “It’s good food at a reasonable price.” And the approaching festive season offers this innovative young chef an opportunity to further showcase why Goldbergs is one of Cork’s most creative new eateries. The appetising culinary escapades on the Christmas menu include ‘Posh Dogs’ of sausages roasted with wholegrain mustard and Mānuka honey in a brioche bun; O’Mahony’s spiced buffalo beef sliders and a steak sandwich platter. “Again, it’s something different and it gets people talking,” states Eric. And talking is definitely what they are doing about this glittering Marina gem, with its clever cuisine, that continues to strike gold.

Goldbergs Bar & Kitchen, Victoria Road (off Albert Quay), Cork City. Ph: 021 496 5848 or see


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ith a diet based around super–fresh, seasonal dishes, Japanese food is amongst the healthiest in the world. Paired with its perfect flavour combinations, interesting textures, and visual elegance, the cuisine has opened us up to a new world of taste. The star of this oriental experience in Cork is Sakura, serving up pure authenticity with every dish. Such is the insatiable appetite for seriously good sushi and tasty bento boxes, the dynamic eatery — firmly established on MacCurtain Street for over two years — has expanded and opened the take–away friendly Sakura Sushi Bento on Anglesea Street in

recent months. Between the two locations, all tastes, budgets, and preferred dining styles are catered for. For those seeking a more traditional Japanese restaurant experience, the original and very stylish Sakura on MacCurtain Street is still the go–to destination, with delightful Asian dishes including sushi, sashimi and norimaki, along with golden tempura served up with a soy and ginger dip, and grilled teppanyaki dishes like the exquisite beef teriyaki. However, if it’s a fast take–away option you’re after, for lunch or dinner Sakura Sushi Bento is the perfect choice. Conveniently located at the corner of Copley

Street and Anglesea Street, it’s a fish lover’s dream, with fresh food as visually appealing as it tastes. The delicious sushi bento boxes include the appetising Rainbow Set of two Californian, two salmon & avocado with masago, and two tuna & cucumber uramaki, four mixed sushi nigiri, mixed baby leaves with toasted seeds, spicy wasabi, ginger and soy sauce. There’s also a mouthwatering list of sushi classics like nigiri, futomaki, hosomaki, uramaki and temaki available, and those looking for sushi alternatives can try the hot Japanese favourites like Chicken Yakisoba, Tofu Pumpkin Curry and Beef Don Buri, or a dessert option of the popular Japanese pancake, dorayaki, in red bean, custard and green tea custard flavours. Owner King Lin explains that while both restaurants offer something different, they have a common bond in that only the freshest ingredients are used to create authentic Japanese dishes. “More and more people are discovering Japanese food and love just how delicious and healthy it is,” says King. “Everything must be fresh, it must be beautiful, and we work with local suppliers, like The Good Fish Company, to get the best fish for the best sushi.” Delighting the senses with mesmerising flavours, textures and presentation, Sakura promises an unforgettable Japanese culinary adventure.

Sakura Sushi–Noodles, 38 MacCurtain Street, Cork. Ph: 021 4508228, and Sakura Sushi Bento, 8B Anglesea Street, Cork. Ph: 021 4840008, or see

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pinch of salt. It’s a key ingredient in savoury dishes, bringing out the flavours of food. So with a focus on taking locally–sourced seasonal fare and showcasing their flavours through innovative dishes, the name of the city’s latest café wine bar couldn’t be more apt. Salt, located on Victoria Road, is championing all that’s great about local produce, both food and drink, wrapped up in a relaxed atmosphere. There’s no pretence, just great ingredients and service. From 7.30am, Monday to Friday, the restaurant opens its door, enticing commuters with the aroma of freshly–made scones and granola, served with creamy Greek yoghurt and west Cork honey while for coffee aficionados, Moak beans provide an early–morning caffeine hit. For those who love lazy weekend brunches, the café serves up delicious eggy delights from 11am on Saturdays and Sundays, along with smoked salmon and pancetta options. For lunch, there’s a veritable savoury feast at Salt featuring seriously sumptuous salads, sandwiches, and soup. Culinary highlights include their La Fisherman salad, with its artisan smoked salmon, baby potatoes and marinated fennel; while Le Pork Belly sandwich is a pork belly delight, slow cooked with beer, pickle, apple and mint, and served on crusty ciabatta with wholegrain mustard. There are three types of burgers — minced sirloin,

vegetarian and salmon — along with Salt’s famed chicken wings, served with Louisiana hot maple sauce and a vegetarian option of the Italian dish Parmigiano Di Melanzane. From 5pm, Tuesday to Saturday, the evening menu kicks in, a tasty tapas spread to suit all palates. Try duck spring rolls, Spanish Tortilla, any of the four plate options — meat, fish, cheese and bread — or the “amuse bouche” of two mini beef burgers served with red onion marmalade. The extensive wine list ranges from aromatic whites like a Viognier from Languedoc to a full–bodied Cabernet Sauvignon from South Africa’s Western Cape. There’s a

well-crafted rum menu, a choice of bottled beers, and they’re soon to install two taps to allow for beer and food pairings. With such a cleverly thought out concept, it’s no surprise to learn that owners Stéphane Hugues and Frank Bradley have years of experience in the industry. Frank is the proprietor of The Roundy, while French head chef Stéphane has worked in kitchens for almost 30 years. Now combining their expert knowledge, the pair, along with their team at this gourmet gem, are intent on offering something truly special Leeside.

Salt, Victoria Road, Cork City. Ph: 021 239 0430 or see


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rom the bright green exterior to the clean finish inside, everything about LovingSalads on Academy Street screams “fresh”, but nothing more so than the colourful array of salads that greets diners, and the wonderful aromas that hint at an explosion of flavour to come. For chef Jason Carroll, LovingSalads is the culmination of a lifetime spent travelling the world and working in its finest kitchens - from working with Cork’s Micheal Fleming, he went on to Anton Mosimann’s in London; the Michelin starred kitchens of Pierre Koffmann in London and Phillip Escabeche in France; via Germany, Australia and Fiji. Absorbing cultures and food as he went, it was in the southern hemisphere that he began to experience the influences you can taste in his food now. Six–years as executive chef at the Sheraton & Westin Resort in Fiji opened him up to the kind of exciting flavour combinations, like pineapple with fresh coconut, chilli, and mint, that you’ll find in LovingSalads. When he returned to Ireland, Jason was determined to pour that knowledge, passion and experience into salads. Now, having built a loyal following at farmers markets,

he’s bringing the market spirit to the heart of the city; a spirit that extends to the relaxed atmosphere, personal service, and the star of the show — the food. Using organic, seasonal produce sourced through local farmers and markets, LovingSalads puts the best of Cork in a bowl and imbues it with an international edge. Eating in or takeaway, diners can chose from over 20 salads made fresh everyday - like roasted pumpkin with red onion and garlic, sumac, zar’tar, tahini & lime juice or enjoy a warming Sri Lankan style curry or a gluten or dairy free soup. There’s a selection of raw vegan desserts, like avocado chocolate mousse with sour cherries, and 12 varieties of healthy power balls made with raw ingredients, like lime and fresh coconut with chia seeds, dates, oats and almonds. For extra nourishment, 100% organic, cold pressed juices are made daily, with a juice cleanse programme in the works for Christmas and the New Year. The caffeine hit comes courtesy of Maher’s coffee, with whom they worked closely to create a blend unique to LovingSalads. With a great team around him, pouring their experience and passion for great tasting, healthy food into every delicious bite, in

LovingSalads Jason has created a unique culinary experience, where ingredients are key, and flavour is king.

LovingSalads, 15-16 Academy Street. Ph: 087 711 3000 or see

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ate Lawlor is a chef with vision. Since taking over the running of the much–loved Fenn’s Quay seven years ago, she has injected energy into the venue, serving up highly imaginative dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. Such is the dynamism, the Sheares Street eatery has scooped the title of Best Restaurant in Cork for the last two years running and is one of McKenna’s Guides’ top 100 Irish restaurants. Fenn’s Quay’s philosophy is simple. Use only the best produce from the best local suppliers and treat them with care. The dishes are therefore a showcase of creativity, oozing fun, flair, and fabulous flavours. The early dinner menu — priced just €24 for three–courses — is a culinary adventure that brings you through starters like poached egg colcannon with Rosscarbery Black Pudding and hollandaise, to mains like O’Mahony’s feather blade of beef with pickled Ballyhoura mushrooms and onion purée and desserts such as vanilla Carrageen Moss with accompaniments from rhubarb to seasonal fruit. The vision, however, fails to stop there. Dinner, aptly named “Cork on a Fork… with a Few Spoons From Over the Border”, is equally inspiring and innovative —feast on red onion tarte tatin with roast cauliflower and almond dust and O’Mahony’s collar of bacon with savoy cabbage, parsnip purée and spiced walnuts — while lunch features the restaurant’s famed Mediterranean fish

soup and creative sandwiches like O’Sullivan’s chicken and Rosscarbery bacon dust. Weekday breakfast is served Monday to Friday from 8.15am, with delights like Paddy O’Granola with Glenilen Farm Strawberry and Yoghurt pot and fruit compote, and “The West Cork”, complete with Rosscarbery pudding, red onion confit and smoked Gubbeen Cheese, all toasted on homemade bread. On Saturdays, brunch is served up from 10am to 3pm, with the aforementioned gourmet treats on offer along with Eggs Florentine and Benedict, Durcan’s spiced beef hash, chicken croquettes and McCarthy’s buttermilk pancakes, while the waft of freshly baked scones, pastries and Fenn’s Quay renowned banana bread fills the air. The restaurant is also involved in the Kids Size Me initiative, meaning child size portions of adult meals are available. “Fenn’s Quay has gone through a lot of changes,” says Kate. “I started here 14 years ago under Brenda Harrington, and I find I’m going back to where we began — coming full circle. It’s the same ethos — fresh, local, and quality produce — but evolved. It’s about using quality ingredients and creating something special.”

Fenn’s Quay, Sheares Street. Ph: 021 4279527 or see


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tep inside enchanting L’Atitude 51 and prepare to explore a world of wine. The team at the Union Quay fully–licensed wine bar has selected some of the best, with over 50 wines from the old and new worlds available by the glass, from pleasant easy–drinking quaffers to more serious tipples. Run by wine lovers Beverley Mathews and Emmanuelle Legrand, the L’Atitude 51 philosophy is simple: To share their passion for good wine and food in a relaxed environment. “We want people to have an adventure,” explains Beverley. “If you want to taste before you try, you can. We are more than happy to offer advice. Just ask for a recommendation. We know wine can be daunting, but it should be fun. We’re really about creating a whole experience around wine.” While good wine is at the core of what L’Atitude 51 does, there’s a firm belief that an aromatic riesling or a complex pinot noir works best when paired with good food. The tapas–style evening menu is designed for sharing, perfect whether you want something small or something more substantial. Head chef Yoann Avignon has devised a French and Italian influenced menu with local ingredients at its core.

However, a visit to L’Atitude 51 is not just for evenings, as the venue serves up Badger & Dodo coffee and freshly made scones and pastries on weekday mornings from 8am. From 12.30pm to 3pm Monday to Friday, their lunch offerings feature a hot dish, a soup and three sandwich options — with gluten–free bread available on request — all changed daily. Expect offerings like kale, bacon & mushroom bake; a lightlyspiced root vegetable soup, and a pastrami, caramelised onion & horseradish sandwich, with produce sourced from the English Market. Aside from wine, beer, spirits, and food, L’Atitude 51 also hosts a variety of events, such as Cine Café the third Wednesday of every month, screening a film with a food or wine theme and incorporating a tasting tying in with the theme of the movie; and Speed Tasting — a fun, sociable way to learn about wine. There are also wine appreciation courses, while upstairs has a capacity for 50 and can be booked for exclusive use. And as L’Atitude 51 occupies the spot where The Lobby Bar once stood, live music takes place on regular basis, as a nod to the iconic music venue. From wine exploration to culinary delights to innovative gatherings, it’s a feast for all the senses at L’Atitude 51.

L’Atitude 51, 1 Union Quay, Cork City. Ph: 021 2390219 or see

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he New Yorker Bar & Bistro at The Cork International Hotel is off to a flying start. The stylish eatery combines an American style bar with a warm Irish welcome, and with the sounds of the piano in the evenings, it’s hitting all the right notes. Diners can taste their way through a menu named for New York’s varying districts, from the Ellis Island appetisers like spicy buffalo chicken wings in hot sauce; the Manhattan salads such as garlic and sweet chilli tiger prawns; or South Street Seaport fish options like the “Oysterhaven” three–in– one seafood sandwich. In the Meat Packing District, there’s pressed slow–roasted pork belly and in Little Italy, a range of gorgeous pastas and pizzas, all with coeliac friendly options. Carvery is served Mondays to Fridays from noon to 2.30pm, perfect for those tight on time, but there’s also a more leisurely lunch menu, packed with gourmet sandwiches and tasty treats, served until 5pm. A full dinner menu is available daily from 5pm, ideal for business meetings or catch–ups with friends and family, and for a decadent treat, there’s The New Yorker’s lavish afternoon tea — available between 1pm and 5pm

— with delicate pastries, freshly baked fruit scones, macaroons and finger sandwiches, all for €30 for two people. Creating these new dishes fit to challenge any New York bistro is head chef Martin O’Mahony, whose passion and excitement is evident across the menus. “It’s about development and encouragement to keep your team motivated and challenge their skills and techniques,” he explains. “Each week our chefs create their signature dish and the winning option is placed on The New Yorker menu for the following week.” With this in mind, focus is placed on sourcing the freshest local produce — such as Matt O’Connell Seafood, Haven Shellfish, and McCarthy’s Meats of Bishopstown — and using these ingredients in ways that maximise flavour. This creative thinking is synonymous with the hotel and its contemporary design, and finds the bistro at the Cork International Hotel rated one of the country’s top hotel bars having won Hotel Bar of Year in 2014. With its outstanding food — whether a light snack, quick lunch or dinner — and exceptional service amid luxurious and relaxed surroundings, it can only be onwards and upwards for The New Yorker.

The New Yorker Bar & Bistro at The Cork International Hotel, Cork Airport Business Park. Ph: 021 454 9800 or see


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he newest kid on Cork’s culinary scene is perfect for those craving a little something different. Take a dollop of imagination, add a pinch of Asian inspiration, a taste of late night dining, and a bit of smoke and barbecue action and you’ve the St Patrick’s Street dining experience, UpDown. It’s all about exceptional food, value and service, all served up in a beautiful setting where space and light are the order of the day. With Australian head chef Matt Roberts at the fore, the brasserie focuses on slow–cooking the freshest ingredients from local producers, all used to stunning effect in the menu. The early bird, available everyday from 5pm to 6.30pm — priced €16 for two courses and €19 for three — has dishes like potted smoked mackerel, pork belly ribs, served with garlic shoots, Asian greens, rice pilaf and soy glaze, and mouthwatering pistachio semifreddo, while the set dinner menu, available from 6.30pm to 10pm — priced €22 for two courses, and €25 for three — is seriously special, with twice cooked cheese soufflé, tea–smoked duck breast, and Carrageen Moss pudding. À la carte options are also available. For night owls, UpDown is the city’s only late night restaurant, with the kitchen open and offering gourmet dining until 2am on Fridays and Saturdays, and for those who love lazy mornings with an indulgent brunch, on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm,

there’s the usual brunch suspects ready to be sampled, like the incredible Eggs Florentine. On the beverages side, the “something different” approach continues. Wine is supplied by Ireland’s only wine–on– tap specialist, WineLab. The revolutionary system, using kegs, is environmentally friendly as it massively reduces packaging waste; and ensures the wine, from a crisp Pinot Grigio to a silky smooth Tempranillo, is perfectly fresh. Without the waste of packaging, savings are also made, and therefore passed on to the customer. On the beer side, Mitchelstown– based Eight Degrees is on offer, all bottled, while Barefoot Bohemian Pilsner Lager is on draught. The restauranteur behind creative UpDown — so named because it’s upstairs and down the city — is Dubliner Shannon O’Connor, who saw an opening in the local culinary scene. “I love Cork,” he enthuses. “It’s known enough for having great food and restaurants so rather than competing, we’re just adding to what is available.” With more forward–thinking plans in the pipeline, along with genuinely creative food, UpDown is certainly moving in the right direction.

UpDown Brasserie & Grill, 71/72 St. Patrick’s Street. Ph: 021 4248872 or see

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alance. The word epitomises Zamora, where there’s balance to be found in the restaurant’s inspired menu, attentive service, stylish interior, and relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Ticking all the right boxes, the Academy Street gem — a stone’s throw from St Patrick’s Street — is focused on good food, wine and coffee. Fast becoming the go–to place to eat, drink and relax in the city centre, it shifts seamlessly from a bright space by day, with its large windows, natural tones and minimalist vibe, to something more intimate by night. From noon Tuesdays to Saturdays, Zamora throws open its doors, enticing diners with creative

seasonal lunch dishes, like warm salad of panko–crumbed goat’s cheese, kumquat compote, pomegranate pearls and mixed leaves, and Mediterranean fish stew with chorizo, saffron potatoes and samphire. Equally, diners can enjoy an afternoon chat over an indulgent dessert — the spelt chocolate brownie with vanilla bean ice–cream is a must–try — and a delectable coffee from the Italian roasts of Agust. The evening selection is just as inspired, showcasing the culinary talents of the kitchen crew — overseen by Ballymaloe cookery school teacher Pat Browne — who’ve perfected the art of keeping everything apparently simple whilst still delivering exceptional dishes. The one–page menus, aptly presented on the lids of timber wine crates, are labelled “As You Like It”, so you simply have whatever you like! There are plenty of light bites like marinated olives, spicy toasted almonds and artisan breads with dips to savour over a glass of wine, while the potted shrimp in chilli, garlic and herbs with a crostini is justifiably the restaurant’s signature dish. Other stars include a melt–in–the–mouth seared beef salad with rustic potatoes and Cashel Blue cheese; and cod with miso glaze, risotto rice and pickled vegetables. A three–course pre– theatre menu — the restaurant is just yards from the Cork Opera House — is available all evening from Tuesdays to Thursdays, and from 5pm to 7pm on Fridays and Saturdays, priced just €25. Zamora, 11/12 Academy Street, Cork. Ph: 021 2390540 or see


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This is all matched by a spectacular wine list where much– loved classics sit comfortably alongside less familiar, but need– to–try, treasures. It’s a winning combination, a place where good food and wine is key. So whether it’s a pre–theatre meal on a Saturday night, a coffee on a late Tuesday morning or a leisurely lunch on a Thursday, Zamora is transforming the city’s dining scene with its simple and honest approach to food and drink.


Afternoon Tea at Fota Island Resort


ota Island Resort is the perfect spot for an indulgent afternoon tea – at a price that won’t frighten the piggy bank! Afternoon tea is just the kind of frivolous, delectable pick-me-up that everyone needs at the moment. A special treat like afternoon tea makes the sky seem bluer, the sun shine brighter and everything seem right with the world – and Fota Island Resort’s afternoon tea has all the necessary dainties and goodies to ensure immediate gratification! Served daily from 12 noon until 5 p.m., afternoon tea at Fota Island Resort begins with delicate savouries – such as brown soda bread with smoked salmon & chive cream cheese, lemon and dill scones with minted egg mayonnaise and ciabatta with caramelised red onion and roast sirloin of beef – followed by a selection of sweet treats. From the reliable favourites of plain and fruit scones and tea cake, to the frou-frou fancies of strawberry tartlets, raspberry millefeuilles and Jameson chocolate truffles, afternoon tea at Fota Island Resort, at just €39.00 for two sharing, is also an absolute steal! With a wide variety of speciality coffees and teas including fruit and herbal tisanes, afternoon tea is available in the Amber Lounge and on the terrace, when weather permits. If you deserve a little decadence in your day then afternoon tea at Fota Island Resort should be just your cup of tea! Anyone who has been a guest at

Fota Island Resort will know how much the talented and imaginative kitchen team contribute to the pleasure of the guests. The skill of Executive Pastry Chef Rachid Zaouia is spectacularly showcased by the delectable and indulgent afternoon tea, and lovers of all things sweet will adore Rachid’s book Simply Pastry. Rachid began his career in baking with an apprenticeship at just 15 years of age, and has gone on to work for some of the world’s finest kitchens. Commencing his role in Fota Island Resort as Executive Pastry Chef almost seven years ago, Rachid can also be seen regularly on TV’s Seven O’Clock Show. Simply Pastry – a selection of recipes for year-round pastry treats from the kitchens of Fota Island Resort – imparts lessons from a master on baking delicious

breads and creative desserts fit for every occasion. A tribute to the exceptional art of the pastry chef, the book will be enjoyed by anyone who loves to bake.

Fota Island Resort, Fota Island, Cork. Ph: 021 488 3700 or see

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OCEAN ODYSSEY Long stereotyped as a nation of potato eaters, the growth of innovative cooking on these shores means opinion on Irish cuisine is shifting. To showcase some of our culinary gems, gourmet goddess Rachel Allen takes a road trip along Ireland’s Atlantic coast for her latest TV series and cookbook, and tells Maria Tracey about her adventures.

Image courtesy of RTÉ


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f I had one regret it would be allowing myself to be put into a wetsuit in the programme.” The quip comes with a side order of laughter from Rachel Allen, who adds with a chuckle that one person told her, after she was seen on the nation’s TV screens crab diving in Kinsale, “it wasn’t your best look”. This self–awareness — being unafraid to poke fun at herself — and her indomitable charismatic nature is why it’s hard not to love the Ballymaloe– based TV chef, author and mother. There’s a dynamic energy about this unstoppable doyenne of Irish cuisine, who is currently showcasing the culinary odyssey that is the Atlantic coast in both a TV series — Rachel’s Coastal Cooking — and her cookbook, Coast: Recipes from Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. “It’s been brilliant,” enthuses Rachel. “I’ve loved it more than any other series, and I’m not saying that just because it’s my latest one. I literally have been getting out and about, sourcing some really amazing things. I have loved it. Really loved it.” Certainly it’s evident through both the 12–chapter cookbook and the 12–part series just how much “grá” Rachel has for the west coast of Ireland, with the rugged terrain of wild natural beauty on show, and the traditional food of coastal towns and villages unearthed. The magical trip sees Rachel exploring local fare, starting her journey near her home in Ballymaloe and travelling all the way up to the untamed headlands of Donegal. For Rachel it was an adventure she first considered taking several years ago, before the marketing success of the Wild Atlantic Way. “I wanted to get out on the road and travel a bit, but because of the ages my children were at, it wasn’t

so easy,” she reveals. “About a year after that, the Wild Atlantic Way was marketed and then I said ‘oh wow, this is pretty much the route to do’. It was perfect.” With a strong belief that the Ireland’s Atlantic coast has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and some of the best produce, her coastal expedition in print and on TV is filled with breathtaking locations, and heartwarming dishes. It’s cooking at its best — fresh ingredients for fuss–free dishes packed full of flavour with an added dollop of personality. “Most of the crew I was filming with were English and they went to parts of Ireland they’ve never been before,” says Rachel. “We were in Slea Head in Kerry, on the most beautiful day when there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the crew were blown away. I was like ‘yeah, yeah, I know, this is Ireland’. I was loving it! “They were also blown away by the food, and hugely by the people. We met so many characters on the way.” The authentic and simple recipes created by Rachel are inspired by her travels and the produce in the areas she visited, be it cheese from Durrus Farmhouse and Milleens in Beara or seafood like smoked wild salmon at the wonderful Woodcock Smokery in Skibbereen. In Coast: Recipes from Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way she outlines the little treasures she seeks out in Cork city when she visits, be it Eggs Benedict at the Crawford Art Gallery; a flat white at Idaho Café, or a wander around the English Market for charcuterie and cheeses at On The Pig’s Back, fish from Kay O’Connell’s and Ballycotton Seafood, and meat at Bresnan’s. For lunch, it’s up to The Farmgate Café, Zamora on Academy St or the Long Valley Bar while for dinner, Rachel praises Isaac’s on McCurtain Street, The Club Brasserie on Lapp’s Quay, Les Gourmandises on Cook St, and Arthur Maynes on

There was fantastic produce of course to be found throughout Cork, with lovely pork and bacon everywhere in the west and wonderful fish. Like Magazine

Pembroke St. For Sunday brunch it’s Goldbergs on Victoria Rd, while a visit to Rising Sons Brewery inspired her beer bread with caramelised onion and blue cheese recipe. For the series, travelling to west Cork, she visited her old friend Fingal Ferguson, a renowned charcutier and highly skilled knife maker at Gubbeen Farm in Schull who created an essential tool for every good cook — the chef’s knife — that Rachel used throughout the series. The beautiful chorizo made by Fingal inspired Rachel’s west Cork paella which appears in the cookbook. “There was fantastic produce of course to be found throughout Cork, with lovely pork and bacon everywhere in the west and wonderful fish,” highlights Rachel. In Kinsale she joined Max’s Seafood Restaurant’s head chef and owner Olivier Queva for a spot of crab diving — and a tango with the aforementioned wetsuit — off the Cork coast. “He is just a darling, such a nice guy and a brilliant teacher,” she gushes. In Midleton, it was onto a masterclass in whiskey tasting from Jameson’s Master of Whiskey Science Dave Quinn — resulting in a beautiful recipe for a quick chocolate moose — and a hands–on lesson in barrel– making from Ger Buckley, who’s keeping the craft of coopering alive. “We had to do a little bit of whiskey tasting as it would be very rude not to,” laughs Rachel. However, a highlight for Rachel was snorkelling with Irish Seaweed Kitchen’s Prannie Rhatigan in Sligo, a medical doctor with a lifetime’s experience of harvesting, cooking and gardening organically with sea vegetables. “She’s such an expert, I felt so honoured to be able to drop in with her,” says Rachel. “Knowing the difference in seaweeds was a revelation.” While the Ballymaloe cookery school always uses a “little bit” of seaweed like Carrageen, Rachel reveals that since being out with Prainne, she now uses it more, looking out for seaweed on her runs along the beach in the morning. “Now I didn’t run this morning,” she laughs, “but I would get seaweed from the beach, bring it home, wash it and put it into my juices. “It makes me feel good... and it’s really good for me.” She adds that as an island nation, Irish people should be as accustomed to eating seaweed as they are fish. “All seaweed in Ireland is edible, there is not one poisonous one but it can be a trial and error process to find ones you like as some are more palatable that others,” she explains.


F E AT U R E   “It’s just getting the confidence to do things like picking seaweed off the beach, when the tide has just gone out, so it’s nice and clean and dogs aren’t walking around on it. We are an island nation, with thousands of kilometres of coastline, and seaweed is definitely not something we are utilising as much as we should be. “You can buy lots of great seaweed as well, as lots of people are harvesting it, packing it and putting it into great things, whether that’s sauce or brown bread mix.” Of course with culinary highlights come the ultimate lowlights in the series… albeit not for Rachel but for the crew. “I probably shouldn’t say,” she smiles, “but when we were down for the filming at the Skelligs, the night before the crew were saying we need to go to bed early as we were going out on a boat early the next morning. However, the director Emma and myself ended sitting up and having a few glasses of wine, and hilariously, the next morning, we were the only ones not seasick! And the rest of crew were saying the night before ‘you are going to regret this!’.” It’s a story that sums up this culinary coastal road trip, one where Rachel’s natural curiosity, verbosity, culinary prowess and evident sense of fun is showcased, all whilst revealing the best of Ireland’s produce and the very people behind it.

Coast: Recipes from Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way is available from all good bookstores, while Rachel’s Coastal Cooking is currently on RTÉ One on Wednesdays at 7.30pm. Exploring the landscape in Rachel’s Coastal Cooking. Image courtesy of RTÉ

English Market, Grand Parade, Cork. 021 4276380


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From her new book, Coast, Rachel Allen suggests a superfast, super-delicious pasta dish that gets its inspiration from the Italian spaghetti alle vongole. Tip - Use lots of chives in place of the wild garlic when not in season. INGREDIENTS: •  1 generous teaspoon of salt •  325g of dried spaghetti or 400g of fresh spaghetti •  1kg of clams in their shells, well washed and scrubbed – discard any that are not tightly shut or don’t close when tapped •  60ml of gin •  3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced very thinly •  160ml of double or regular cream •  4 tablespoons of chopped wild garlic, plus 2 tablespoons to serve


3  Place the clams, gin and sliced garlic in a large wide saucepan on a medium–high heat, cover with a lid and cook for 3–4 minutes until the clams have opened. Discard any clams that remain closed. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, pick out the clams and drop them into the spaghetti. 4  Add the cream to the sliced garlic and gin and boil for 1–2 minutes until slightly thickened (not too thick or you’ll need to add a splash of water), then add the wild garlic and lemon juice. 5  Tip the spaghetti and clams into the sauce, stir over the heat for a few seconds, then serve with extra wild garlic sprinkled over the top.

•  Juice of half a lemon

METHOD: 1  Place a medium–large saucepan of water on to boil and add the salt. When it comes up to the boil, add the spaghetti, stir and cook for 8 minutes (for dried pasta) or until al dente. Fresh pasta will cook much faster. 2  Strain the pasta, leaving 50ml of the cooking water in the saucepan to prevent the pasta from getting sticky, then return the spaghetti to the pan. Set aside while you cook the clams (or you can cook the clams while the spaghetti is cooking).

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F E AT U R E Whether it was Milky Moos at GAA matches or donkey’s gudge over a cup of Barry’s, there’s no denying the Irish have a sweet tooth. We talk to craftspeople making chocolate, sweets and pastries locally, and carving out some sweet success.



rom a chocolate river, to everlasting gobstoppers, Roald Dahl gave us a fantastical glimpse into the world of confectionary in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but in pockets of Cork you can find similar worlds of pure imagination, as hand–crafted delights that would enchant Mr Wonka himself are conceived and produced.

Dan Linehan of Shandon Sweets


Photos: Fiona Casey

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F E AT U R E “Working with sweets is very satisfying,” says Dan Linehan of the iconic Shandon Sweets, the only remaining handmade sweet manufacturer in Cork. “You can make any colour you like, any shape.” The air around the quaint John Redmond Street building, in the shadow of Shandon clock, is filled with the aroma of bulls–eyes, apple drops and clove rocks, and inside the factory and shop, other senses are tantalised with the visual impact of bright gem–like sweets and the taste of tart apple drops, buttery toffee and tongue– tingling acid drops. It’s a Cork institution, and one that’s stood the test of time, with sweets being made at the building since the 1920s, when Dan’s father began the craft. Having met “by chance or by design” a man brought over by Musgraves to help staff at the sweet factory on Patrick’s Quay, Dan’s father learnt the trade and established the Shandon–based sweet factory. Surviving WWII and rationing — “he’d trade a pound of tea for a pound of sugar,” says Dan — the factory continued to thrive, and when Dan was laid off from Metal Products in 1969, he too became part of the family legacy. “I was 16 at the time and my father said ‘come down below and give me a hand for a couple of weeks until you find something else’. “My two sisters, two aunts and uncle were working there, and I was the gofer — go for that, and go for this. But I got used to making the sweets, and when my father got sick and wasn’t able to do the batch, which is fairly heavy, I got handy at it. That’s how it progressed,” recalls Dan, before adding with a laugh. “I was always going to leave, but now I’m 70 odd and I still don’t know whether to leave or not.” Dan and his son Tony run the business, making fresh stock every day. It begins with water, sugar and glucose being boiled to an average 300°F and the mixture being poured onto a steel table. It’s turned a

The art of making sweets. Dan Linehan and his son, Tony.

Working with sweets is very satisfying. You can make any colour you like, any shape. few times, making it more pliable, before colours and flavours — like strawberry, peppermint, and aniseed — are added. As the mixture cools, it’s split into segments, and colour combinations are kneaded together, and put through a hand–driven drop roller machine. “You’re working against the clock,” says Dan. “From the time you put the batch on the table to finishing, you’ve just 20 minutes. In winter it’s less and summer it’s more.” To make clove rocks — the factory’s most popular sweet— the batch is

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put through a machine to create “long skipping ropes”, which are cut once hardened. Those damaged in the process are bagged as the famous ‘bruss’. “My uncle Paddy used to sell the bag of broken sweets,” smiles Dan. “Hence he was known as Paddy Bruss. He passed away 30 years ago, but kids as young as five still come to the door, saying their nanny told them to come up and get sweets from Paddy Bruss!” Dan adds that both Tony and himself take “great pride” in their work. “People say the sweets are perfect, but I like to keep working on them, perfecting them even more,” he states with a smile. For Clonakilty Chocolate’s Allison Roberts, there’s equal pride in her work, and last year the chocolatier went “bean to bar”, meaning she now imports Fairtrade Ghanaian cocoa beans directly, and roasts, winnows, refines and tempers them at the converted back half of her home, where she lives with her husband Justin and their young son, Ari.


F E AT U R E Long–haul deliveries go by carpool or courier. “It’s the perk of working for yourself,” says Allison. “Keeping a flexible lifestyle and doing what you want to do.” She adds she’s “living the dream” with her chocolate factory. “Sometimes I forget just how amazing it is,” she exclaims. “I’ve a chocolate factory in the back of my house!” From sweets and chocolate, to cakes and biscuits, the man responsible for most of Leeside’s velvety cheesecakes, glorious cream–filled roulades and alluring fruit tartlets is Michael Hassett, an artisan master baker who established his first bakery in Donnybrook in 1984. “I started my career as a chef at 16, and worked for eight years before starting the bakery,” he explains. The Hassett name grew, from that small bakery in Donnybrook, to their first shop in Douglas Village Shopping Centre, before a new bakery and retail shop opened in Carrigaline. In 2007, production was moved to a purpose–built bakery in the town, the retail shop on Main Street was revamped, and what was the old bakery now hosts a café and a retail bakery. A shop in the English Market and Washington Street followed suit. “There are certain favourites people still look for,” explains Michael. “With breads, people love the white skull and sourdough. With the pastries, it’s changed, as before cakes were large and family–style, whereas now it’s much more about individual cakes, like cheesecake and eclairs.” Michael adds Chester cake — or donkey’s gudge as it’s affectionately known in Cork — is no longer as popular as it once was. “Growing up, we’d go to the swimming baths on Eglinton Street and afterwards to a shop called The Dainty on Albert Street to buy a penny slice of donkey’s gudge. That’d keep you going all the way home to Ballinlough,” laughs Michael. “Tastes have changed now and you have to change with the trends.” He adds: “Customers are looking for value for money. Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s necessarily value for money, nor is something that’s expensive. People are looking for something that tastes good, is fresh and made by people who are passionate about what they are doing.”

People are looking for something that tastes good, is fresh and made by people who are passionate about what they are doing

Artisan master baker, Michael Hassett

For Canadian–born Allison, her passion for chocolate began at 12, when, after taking part in a chocolate–making course, she began making and selling treats. “I was making sleighs, Santas and Easter bunnies,” she recalls. “It was great. When you’re that age, there are no overheads. I was working out of my parents’ basement.” Fast forward a number of years, and after studying Marketing and Global Ethics in university, along with stints living in Taiwan and Australia, Allison and Justin landed in Clonakilty for what was supposed to be six months. “That was eight years ago and we’ve a house and a little Irish baby now,” she smiles. Allison’s chocolate business was originally called Exploding Tree, then Inchydoney Chocolate, and after seeking out local blessings, it became Clonakilty Chocolate. With the picturesque west Cork town being Ireland’s first to go Fairtrade, it was a match made in heaven, and in 2013, Allison, along with Cindy Kingston, represented Clonakilty Fairtrade on a trip to Ghana. Visiting the Kuapa Kokoo Fairtrade Farming Co-operative was the main catalyst for her decision to go bean–to–bar. Once her beans arrive in Clonakilty, they’re sorted, roasted, cracked and winnowed. They’re then refined and cinched using two large granite wheels before natural sweeteners and dairy products are added. The mix is aged for three weeks, flavoured, tempered and poured into moulds. Included in the range is Wild West Salty, a bar filled with tastes of the Atlantic with Achill island sea salt and Irish seaweeds. “In the old range I had a Pink Himalayan Salt bar. When I went to bean–to–bar, I picked six favourites to be developed and decided on savoury again but with seaweed.” Most of the bars are at least 70% cacao and have alternative sweeteners and dairy products like coconut sugar — named by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation as one of the most sustainable sweeteners in the world— and goats’ milk. Clonakilty Chocolate also uses 100% bio–degradable packaging, and makes most deliveries by bicycle.

Claudia Edelmann and Allison Roberts of Clonakilty Chocolate


Eye–catching displays: The array of beautiful cakes at Hassett’s bakery

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The Sweetest Thing Chocolate. Rich, creamy, and irresistible - something that Niall and Rosemary Daly, the couple behind the Chocolate Shop at the English Market, know all too well.


or many, chocolate has the ability to captivate their senses. First it’s visual, then there’s the aroma, and finally the taste. Biting into gorgeous high–quality chocolatey creations fills the body with pleasure. It’s an undeniable passion for most, and none more so than Niall and Rosemary Daly, who run The Chocolate Shop in the English Market. Fifteen years ago the couple opened the stall, sourcing only the best quality chocolate from the best artisan chocolatiers throughout the world. Their move into Cork’s ultimate foodie destination came after Niall, who was originally wholesaling chocolate, was in the English Market with his daughter on a Saturday morning queuing for olives. “This was 16 years ago, and I was queuing for olives at 11am!” he laughs. “I knew there was something special about the place.” It was then that the Dalys set about securing their iconic corner counter stall.

What sets The Chocolate Shop apart is its independence from any single manufacturer or franchise, leaving the couple free to source the finest high– end chocolate treats. Along with rows of beautiful jewel– like Belgian chocolates, there are exceptional bean–to–bar offerings like Midleton’s Wilkies; west Cork’s Clonakilty Chocolate; premium French chocolate Valrhona; Willie’s Cacao from the UK — by Willie Harcourt–Couze who was reared in Cork — Italian chocolate house Amedei; Menakao from Madagascar; and Vietnamese Marou. Hadji Bey’s Turkish Delight is also available, along with organic, gluten–free and diabetic chocolate. Niall enthuses that the bean–to–bar Wilkies Chocolate, created by Shana Wilkie in Midleton and made from single origin organic Criollo cocoa beans from Peru, is “up there with any of the best”. “What Shana has done is incredible,” he says. “There’s so much passion there.” The surge in popularity of high– quality bean–to–bar — meaning that every step of the process is done by the chocolate maker — means The Chocolate Shop have entered a new era, with discerning customers seeking out the finest chocolate bars. As Rosemary explains, Irish people are particular about their “Ballycotton potatoes, Beamish and Murphys”, and now more people are thinking that

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way about chocolate — with the origin and the producer making a difference to the taste. The popularity is, in part, due to the ways in which quality chocolate — with a cocoa percentage of around 70% — can actually be good for us when eaten in moderation, with research indicating it helps thin the blood, has high levels of antioxidants and can be good for the heart. “People can have a misconception of what dark chocolate is, thinking it’s going to be quite bitter,” explains Niall. “However, we have some high cocoa content that’s as mild as any milk chocolate and without any bitterness. Having said that, one of our biggest selling bars is 100% cacao! That, along with the good press that dark chocolate gets, means more and more people are coming into us. “ Niall adds: “To get the best bottle of wine, you’d have to pay hundreds, but for chocolate it’ll only cost you €5. However, the chocolate makers treat cocoa beans in the same way that a wine maker treats a vine, so it’s an affordable luxury.” Now, with the approaching festive season marked by the aroma of delicious hot chocolate wafting from the stall and the relaunch of their website, the incredibly successful business is only gaining momentum. “The past 15 years have been great,” smiles Niall. “The lovely aspect of the job is being able to sell something to someone — either for themselves or for someone else — that gives such joy.” For more on The Chocolate Shop, pop into their stall in the English Market or see



Christmas Crackers Let these treats put some sweetness in your festive season, whether it’s a decadent dessert, a mouthwatering tart, a showstopping way to use that leftover pudding, or homemade biscuits to make unexpected visitors think you’re a domestic goddess!

BLACK FORREST SOUFFLÉS from Flemings restaurant Ingredients: •  11 oz of dark chocolate, with 60- 70% cocoa solids •  Sugar for dusting •  4 ozs of drained amarena cherries •  4 egg yolks •  9 fl oz of egg whites •  4 ozs of golden castor sugar

Method: 1.  Preheat the oven to 220°C / gas mark 7. 2.  Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water, being sure not overheat the chocolate. 3.  Lightly grease 6 large ramekins and dust with sugar. Divide the drained cherries between the ramekins. 4.  Beat the egg yolks into the chocolate with a wooden spoon until thick and stiff. 5.  Using an electric whisk, whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until they form soft peaks. 6.  Add the sugar to the egg whites a little at a time and continue whisking for a further 3 minutes. 7.  Whisk a large tablespoon of egg whites into the chocolate mixture and fold in the remaining egg whites with a metal spoon, making sure not to over fold and knock out the air. 8.  Divide the mixture between the ramekins; tap each on the work surface to level the top; place on a baking sheet, and bake for 13-15 mins. Serve immediately with whipped cream, white chocolate sauce, or a scoop of cherry ice cream. For a contemporary French dining experience, visit Flemings restaurant. To book call 021 4821621, or see


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2.  Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan.

•  300g of butter •  500g of digestive biscuits, crushed •  250g of soft brown sugar •  600g of crunchy peanut butter, softened •  2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

4.  Remove from the heat and mix in the softened crunchy peanut butter and vanilla extract.

3.  Once melted, stir in the digestive crumbs and soft brown sugar into the melted butter.

5.  Melt the dark chocolate with the 2oz of butter over a gentle heat until smooth.

For the chocolate topping:

6.  Press the biscuit mix into the brownie tray and cover it with the melted chocolate.

•  400g of dark chocolate •  2 ozs of butter

7.  Leave to set in the fridge for 1 - 2 hours until set.

Method: 1.  Grease a brownie tray with butter and line it with baking parchment.

For an outstanding selection of home baked goods, from breads to occasion cakes, plus an award winning deli and catering service, visit The Cinnamon Cottage, Rochestown. For more see

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WITH MULLED WINE JELLY AND NUTMEG CRÈME FRAÎCHE from the kitchens of Fota Island Resort

Ingredients: For the Christmas pudding spring roll •  200g of Christmas pudding •  4 Sheets of spring roll pastry •  50g of roasted pine nuts •  2 egg yolks •  20g of caster sugar •  Ground ginger

For the nutmeg crème fraîche •  50g of crème fraîche •  1 fresh nutmeg

For the mulled wine jelly •  Half a bottle of red wine •  2 star anises •  2 cloves •  2 cinnamon sticks •  200g of caster sugar •  5 leaves of gelatine •  25g of gelatine powder

For the flambé •  50ml of whiskey

Method: For the spring roll Egg-wash the four sides of the spring roll pastry, mix the pine nuts with the Christmas pudding and add some whiskey. Place the mixture in the centre and start rolling, fold both sides of the pastry to cover the edges and roll until the end. Egg-wash again all over the roll and sprinkle with some caster sugar. Place in a preheated oven at 180°C for 6-8 minutes.

For the mulled wine jelly Pour the red wine into a saucepan. Add cloves, cinnamon, star anise, ground ginger, lemons, limes, grapefruit and caster sugar altogether. Bring to the boil, add the gelatine and pour into martini glasses. Leave to set in the fridge for approximately 6 hours.

For the nutmeg crème fraîche Grate the nutmeg over the crème fraîche and scoop with a warm spoon.

For the flambé Warm the whiskey in a pan then pour into a jug. Light it, and pour over dish. Serve up this spectacular festive dessert and enjoy straight away.

Serves 2 48

For more dazzling desserts from Executive Pastry Chef Rachid Zaouia, dine at Fota Island Resort or pick up a copy of his book, Simply Pastry. For menus and booking information for Fota Island Resort see

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DESSERTS PEAR AND ALMOND TART Fitzpatrick’s Foodstore Ingredients: •  7” pastry base (Plain flour, egg and milk).

For the filling: •  7½ oz of self raising flour •  1lb of ground almonds •  7½ oz of semolina •  1lb of butter •  1lb of castor sugar •  8 whole eggs •  Almond essence •  1 small tin of pears

Method: 1.  Mix the butter and sugar. 2.  Add the flour, semolina and ground almonds. 3.  Slowly add the liquids into mixture. 4.  Cut the pears into the base, then add the mixture over the top. Keep a few slices of pears for the top of the tart. 5.  Place into a preheated oven at 150 degrees for 35 minutes, then check and turn in the oven. Bake for further 15 minutes. For daily fresh baked and a huge selection of cakes and confectionary, visit Fitzpatricks Foodstore, Glounthaune. See for more.

Coffee Shops at: The Plaza Carey’s Lane City Gate Mahon 021-4905877 021-4350139 Like Magazine




All across Ireland’s culinary capital, Cork’s top restaurants and artisan food and drink producers have been enjoying an awardwinning year. As 2015 draws to a close we look at the businesses who made this a golden year for Cork food. Declan Ryan of Arbutus Bread, with his brother, Michael Ryan of Isaacs restaurant, McCurtain Street

GEORGINA SAYS When the Georgina Campbell Awards were announced at the end of September, there were celebrations for Cork brothers Declan and Michael Ryan, as Declan – well known face of Arbutus breads – and Michael – proprietor of Isaacs restaurant scooped the Natural Food prize and the title of Casual Dining Establishment of the Year 2016 respectively. The Ryan family have been at the cutting edge of the culinary arts since achieving Ireland’s first Michelin stars at the family run Arbutus Lodge and Cashel Palace, while Georgina Campbell’s Ireland is long established as one of the country’s most respected food and hospitality guides. Each year they announce the best places to eat, drink and stay for the year ahead, and also featuring in their selections for 2016 was MacCarthy's Bar in Castletownbere, who won Pub of the Year. Michael, who runs Isaacs with wife Catherine, said “It’s great to be told people like what you are doing. You put your heart and soul into each dish and to be recognised by a respected guide like Georgina Campbell’s is the icing on the cake!”

GREAT TASTE Cork’s winning year got off to a stellar start in March when the Irish Food Writer’s Guild - placing food provenance and authenticity at the top of their agenda - honoured seven food producers for the impeccable quality of their products. Two of those winners hailed from Cork - Skeaghanore Farm Fresh Ducks, produced by Eugene and Helena Hickey on their family farm in west Cork, and On the Pig’s Back, the pates and terrines produced by Frenchborn Isabelle Sheridan, a stalwart of the English Market since 1992.


Coqbull’s gold medal winning Chicken Rub

And there was further cause for celebration in October when each of these artisans took gold in Blas na hÉireann’s Irish Food Awards, with Skeaghanore’s Confit Duck Leg winning best duck product and Isabelle’s spiced pork terrine with apricot and fig coming up tops in terrines and pates. At the same awards, best in county prizes went to De Roiste puddings and Joe’s Farm Crisps, and a host of gold medals went home with the likes of McCarthys of Kanturk, Coqbull, Novohal and Cotton Ball Brewing Companies for their cider and their ale respectively, and Longueville House for their famed apple brandy. Special recognition went to Ardrahan Farm, whose Lullaby Milk won Best Artisan Food; Kinsale Gourmet, whose Hake in a Mild Yellow Curry won the BIM Seafood Innovation award; and Macroom Mozzarella who took the prestigious Udaras na Gaeltachta award.

FINE DINING 2015 was a fine year for Cork’s restaurants, beginning with the Irish Restaurant Awards in May, where the city’s Idaho Café took the prize for Best Café in Ireland, while Martin Shanahan’s renowned Fishy Fishy was crowned the country’s Best Seafood

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Gold for On The Pig’s Back’s Spiced Pork Terrine with Apricot & Figs

Experience. The Ocean restaurant at the Maritime Hotel is Ireland’s Best Eco-Friendly restaurant, and in the Munster category three Cork institutions reigned supreme - Toddies at the Bulman won Best Gastro Pub and Liberty Grill Best Casual Dining, while Munster’s Best Wine Experience is to be had at The Black Pig in Kinsale. Kinsale continued its run as Cork’s gourmet hotspot by welcoming a second Michelin Bib Gourmand for excellent food at affordable prices. The prize was bestowed upon Bastion restaurant, while Fishy Fishy retained their Bib Gourmand for another year. And the latest food award to land Leeside is no less a title than Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award for best-rated fine dining establishment in Ireland, with that honour going to none other than Café Paradiso, who claimed the top spot ahead of the Michelin starred Chapter One. Whether dining out or eating in, we are a county truly spoilt for choice!


SUNDAY DRIVERS On a fresh autumn day, there’s nothing nicer than taking a spin, finding a cosy pub, and settling in by the fire for a comforting feed. If you’re after a traditional carvery or a delicious Sunday lunch, head for these scenic spots.




Since reopening in June - tastefully refurbished but still with its famous bank bar - the Overdraught has been drawing crowds to its rustic setting outside Carrigaline. The Sunday ribeye roast with giant Yorkshire puds can’t be beat, and they’ve a fine beer and wine selection to unwind by the fire with. Sunday lunch served 12.30 till 4, bar food from 4pm. Minane Bridge, Cork. Ph: 021 488 7696 for bookings.

Where the Shaurnach meets the Lee stands the Angler’s Rest, and a warm welcome, a picturesque beer garden, or an open fire await. They pull an excellent Murphys to go with the traditional carvery lunch, and if you’re visiting after a walk with a canine companion, rest assured he’ll be welcome and safe in the enclosed garden. Food served 11 to 9, everyday. Leemount Cross, Carrigrohane. Ph: 021 4871167 for bookings.

Steeped in tradition, history and character, the Bulman is a Kinsale institution, standing across the harbour from the town, just down the hill from scenic Charles Fort. Reward yourself for a coastal walk with a log fire and a crabmeat sandwich or a steaming bowl of chowder from the award winning Toddies Restaurant, where food is served till 6 on Sundays. Summercove, Kinsale. Ph: 021 477 2131 for bookings.


Pub grub has come a long way, but you don’t have to go a long way to get your mouth around some tasty bar food. With more and more bars evolving into stylish gastro pubs, here’s our pick of the gastro delights on your doorstep.




In the historic Jewish quarter, off Albert Quay in Cork city, Goldbergs’ electic interior is where classic Irish pub décor meets New York’s trendy meatpacking district. Enjoy a craft beer with a lazy late lunch of hearty good food with a distinctly modern twist – think ham hock with smoked Gubeen, fresh crusty rolls with pulled lamb, or the hot pot of the day. Victoria Road, Cork.

Just 20 minutes from the city, The Brook Inn has undergone a stylish makeover that has transformed it into an elegant bistro-style restaurant. With set and a la carte menus, a new salad bar, a Monday through Saturday tapas option with tasty morsels like soft shell crab and black pudding croquettes, and a Sunday carvery, this family friendly spot has something for everyone. Sallybrook, Glanmire.

The historic building that houses Barry’s of Douglas has been serving food and drink to Corkonians for over 200 years. A 2012 refurbishment saw it thoroughly modernised without losing any of its character, and menu updates have made it a stalwart of Douglas dining. With bar food on a par with the restaurant fare, the wide variety of options includes salads, burgers and steaks. Douglas East,

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GLASS Part confessional booth, part psychiatrist couch, family–run pubs across the country offer something more than just a place to drink. We propped up the bar at three well–known Cork pubs and discovered why the institutions are so integral to their local communities and what their hopes for their future are.

Michael O’Donovan, publican of The Castle Inn


Photos: Fiona Casey

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ubs. They’re an Irish institution — along with their colourful publicans. Family–run bars, passed down through generations, have long been integral to life in villages, towns and cities across the country. Filled with banter, gossip, and craic, it’s no surprise the iconic Irish pub is considered the country’s number one attraction. “I always say when you work behind a family–run bar, you’re like the priest, accountant and solicitor all rolled into one… and possibly a psychiatrist too,” laughs Michael O’Donovan, publican of The Castle Inn and secretary of Cork City VFI. “You’ve to listen to it all but that’s the fun part of it, meeting people.” The iconic blue–fronted landmark on North Main Street has been in Michael’s family since his grandparents, Louise and ‘Micko’, bought it in 1939. It was then handed down to Michael’s parents, Denis and Mary, who are still actively involved in the business. Seven nights a week, you’ll find at least two members of the family behind the popular bar. “I grew up upstairs, in the middle of a concrete jungle,” chuckles Michael. “The guys at school used to slag me that when I went out and played football, I’d get a slap of a car! But I was lucky, there was a car–park on Grattan Street — a great place to play football.” He adds the bar trade has “changed totally” since those years of playing football as a child. “When I was small, coming in from school, you’d have the dockers in, the workers from Beamish and guys from the printers on Cornmarket Street. They’d all be there, and you’d hear the singsong the moment you’d turn the corner on Liberty Street. There were some great characters over the years.

Behind the bar at The Castle Inn

Humphrey Lynch with his father Jack of The Cotton Ball pub

“The bar was also very associated with west Cork and we’d have parcels handed in here as a sort of drop–off point. My mother’s mother and father were from west Cork, and my mother grew up here. This was the family base for anyone who came to the city. When I was small there were always people upstairs with my granny and mum, and my grandfather would be down here.” The bar itself has remained relatively untouched in decades, although after the November 2009 floods, it was extended slightly. And that’s what sets The Castle Inn apart, it’s a perfect haven for those seeking a bit of “country” in the hustle and bustle of the city, with Mary even renowned for bringing her apple tarts downstairs for regulars to have a slice. “We had someone from Mayo come in and he said ‘it’s a home from home’,” explains Michael proudly. However, as much as The Castle Inn is an institution, Michael knows a city cannot survive solely with pubs like theirs. “You need a mix of everything. The super–pubs, the sport bars, the family–run bars, and the small upmarket bars… you need a mix in any city,” he says. “In Cork, we’re lucky there’s a total cross section.” He adds Cork has “weathered the storm” following a spate of years that saw a vast number of pubs shutting their doors. “In the last two years, with the number of bars opening and closing, just one bar, net, has closed,” he says. However, Michael states that if things don’t change in the future, more family bars, especially in rural towns and villages, will fold when the current generation goes. “I’ve three small kids and if the pub changes as much from my grandparents’ time to my parents’ time to my generation’s time, I don’t know if it’ll be viable for

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I always say when you work behind a family–run bar, you’re like the priest, accountant and solicitor all rolled into one… and possibly a psychiatrist too them to go into this trade,” admits Michael. “With my Vintners’ hat on, there has to be some government initiative to tackle the cheap drink in supermarkets — they sell it cheaper than we can buy it because of their colossal purchasing power. We can’t do anything about it, and that’s the biggest killer.” It’s the changing times that spurred Mayfield publican Jack Lynch to take his pub, The Cotton Ball, in a new direction. In late 2013, they launched the Cotton Ball Brewing Company, and they now serve breakfast and lunch on a daily basis too. The bar was established by Jack’s grandfather, Humphrey J Lynch, a decorated war hero who left Ireland for America at 15, and worked in the shipyard at Newburyport until the American Civil War broke out. One of the first to enlist in the 4th US regiment light artillery battery, he came out a sergeant before being discharged in 1865. After the war, he worked as a foreman at Newburyport cotton mill, which would later inspire the name


F E AT U R E   for the public house he would purchase upon his return to Ireland in 1870s. Humphrey’s third wife — his first two wives died in childbirth — was Jack’s grandmother, and in 1955, at the age of 16, Jack started working behind the bar himself. “I remember seeing the Queen’s coronation in 1953, as we got a loan of a television set. It was the first TV any of us in Mayfield had ever seen.” Jack adds with a laugh that he remembers a neighbour saying at the time: “You can’t leave that into your house, that’s an evil thing”. Now Jack’s two sons, Eoin, an analytical chemist, and Humphrey, both work with their father in the business. One of their biggest undertakings was opening the brewing company, which now makes Lynch’s Handcrafted Stout, Kerry Lane Pale Ale, Mayfield 5 Lager and Indian Summer Beer. “Eoin is a chemist and he gave up a job to come here to make beer,” says Jack. “I’ve learned a lot from the young people coming into the business, that you do need change and that you can’t stay as you are.” That’s something the family behind Cronin’s, in the picturesque village of Crosshaven, also recognise - a need for diversity whilst maintaining the local pub ethos of being a focal point of the community. “A lot of pubs need another side of things, and food would be a very big part of our business,” says Joleen Cronin, whose grandparents Jo and Denny bought the building where the pub is now. “We’d also push the boundaries of what a pub is, with the likes of regular film screenings and art exhibitions. We’re always trying to find new ways to bring the pub back to what it used to be, a social community centre. “It’s nice having a space your community can enjoy. We’ve a loyal regular customer base. Crosshaven has changed so much in the last number of years. It used to be very much a

Jack Lynch of The Cotton Ball


Old world charm at Cronin’s

Denis Cronin with his parents, Thecla and Sean behind the bar at Cronin’s Pub

seasonal place, with people coming down for their holidays, but nowadays people live here all year round.” Cronin’s Pub was originally Kennefick’s Hotel, opened by the Kennefick family in 1892. Bought by Jo and Denny, it was then passed onto their son, Sean and his wife, Thecla. Both of their children, Joleen and Denis effectively grew up in the pub. “Whatever environment you grow up in, you know no other,” smiles Joleen. “It was just normality in a way. There were always people around, so it was very sociable. “There was also always noise and when I had sleepovers in other people’s houses, I’d be thinking ‘Jaysus, it’s very quiet… why isn’t there a pool–table underneath the bedroom!’. It was a fantastic place to

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grow up and it shaped my personality, without a doubt.” It was Joleen’s mother Thecla, with her enthusiasm and love of cooking, who turned Cronin’s into a lunchtime destination with local seafood dishes like chowder and oysters. Joleen’s brother, Denis has inherited this culinary flair and he opened the Mad Fish Restaurant, a dining room tucked into the back of the pub, which has picked up numerous Irish food awards. “We definitely put a huge focus into the food side of things, but also want to keep the traditional side of the bar, as that’s such a huge feature of Cronin’s,” explains Joleen. “It has this old world charm with the bric-abrac and in the future I hope to God Cronin’s will never change. It’s just like stepping back in time.”


Warming up to cocktails

There’s nothing more soothing in this weather than sinking into a cosy chair and wrapping your mitts around a hot, boozy drink. As Andy Ferreira of Raise the Bar points out, bartenders might love to moan as they make your hot whiskeys and ports, but really… they're just jealous! Raise the Bar specialise in thinking outside the box when it comes to creating seasonal cocktails, and they’ve shared with us two comforting drinks you can bubble up at home as those cold winter months kick in.

Just whack the ingredients on a hob, simmer gently, serve up, and enjoy! - Andy.

Back to Black

Winter is Coming

Brewed in Ballyvourney, Black Lightning is one of the most complex beers on the market. Dark, rich and malty, with an ABV of 6.5%, it packs a punch. If one magic ingredient can accentuate its vast flavour profile, it’s whisky, and Raise the Bar loves Glendalough single grain double barrel, with its hints of chocolate, caramel and dark fruits. Heat everything up, strain into a cup or glass, and serve with a big chunk of dark chocolate for a taste of heaven!

For a lighter alternative, combine Stonewell Cider from Kinsale with St. Patrick’s Sloe and Honey Gin, which is distilled from potatoes in Douglas, and add rosehip and ginger for an autumnal twist. Millhouse Farm Rosehip Syrup is available from the English Market, and ginger syrup can be made by blending equal parts fresh ginger, sugar and water and straining it through a sieve. Winter spices add a rich depth and make this a smashing alternative to a classic hot toddy.

In a saucepan, gently heat:

In a saucepan, gently heat:

•  35 mls of good Irish whiskey •  100 mls of black IPA •  A teaspoon of muscavado sugar •  1 cinnamon stick •  1 star anise •  Some grated nutmeg •  A few cloves

•  35 mls of St. Patrick’s Distillery Sloe and Honey Gin •  120 mls of Stonewell cider •  3 or 4 cardamom pods •  Ginger syrup •  Rosehip syrup •  Lemon zest •  1 cinnamon stick •  1 star anise •  Grated nutmeg

Raise the Bar is a cocktail consultancy company specialising in craft cocktails. The creative force behind Bar Pigalle, Cork’s best cocktail bar, they are available for events and pop-ups. Ph: 021 4652336 or see

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Curiouser Curiouser & Expanding to a larger premises is not the only big move on the cards for Mike and Matt Kane. The brothers behind Curious Wines are also set to venture into a world beyond wine.

GLASS ACT The gift of a great bottle of wine is always gratefully received. New to Ireland, these recommendations from Paul Kiernan of Curious Wines are sure to impress the wine buff in your life. JULES TAYLOR SAUVIGNON BLANC Marlborough Sauvie is one of the great success stories of the modern wine era and this beautifully-packaged stunner shows all the hallmarks of the style: vibrant tropical aromas, zesty freshness and dazzling flavours of passionfruit, lime and lemongrass. Gold medal winner at the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition! Promotional price for Christmas €15.99 (RRP €19.99) CHÂTEAU DE CHEMILLY CHABLIS PREMIER CRU

Photo: Gerard McCarthy


fter five years in the Kinsale Road Commercial Centre, Curious Wines are on the move. The company have just opened their brand, spanking new refurbished premises, right around the corner on the Tramore Road, but as founder and managing director Mike Kane explains, the move represents more than just the relocation of the Cork branch of their bricks and mortar operations – the company also has a retail premises in Naas, Co. Kildare – it marks the start of whole new culinary adventure. “We’re expanding the Curious concept into more than just wine”, explained Mike. “The growth in our online wine gifts business last year showed us that Curious consumers wanted more than just good wine, and the interesting thing is that our customer base is not just local, or even national, but international.” With this in mind, the Curious team have decided to expand into what Kane calls “all things good taste”, by offering their customers not just an extensive selection of some of the world’s best wines, but an accompanying range of artisan foods from local and international producers, as well as designer glass


and homewares. Building on the success of their award-winning website, curiouswines. ie, the company now plans to launch a brand new site, curiousemporium. ie, that will make the best of Irish produce available to the Irish diaspora and their existing international customer base. “We’ve noticed a strong trend developing for Irish people abroad to order wine online to be sent to family in Ireland, particularly around holiday periods,” notes Mike. “So we thought why not switch it around and offer friends and family in Ireland the ability to send the best Irish produce abroad. Curious Emporium will do that.” And with a company policy built around their core value of bringing the “wow factor” to everything they do, it’s no surprise to learn that this curious new venture already has some seriously impressive suppliers lined up, with the likes of Badger & Dodo coffee, Suki teas, chocolate from Brix and Skelligs, and Mondovino crackers arriving in store and on over the coming weeks before the Curious Emporium site officially launches in the New Year.

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Exquisite gold hue with a gorgeous bouquet of yellow plum and citrus. Lovely texture and richness on the palate, with textbook fine acidity, cool minerality and complex characters of grapefruit, mandarin, ginger and honeycomb. ‘Premier Cru’ Chablis, made from 100% Chardonnay, is a step up in quality from normal Chablis. Promotional price for Christmas €26 (RRP €30) CHÂTEAU MAUCOIL CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE CdP, from France’s baking southern Rhône valley, is the world’s most illustrious Grenache-based wine, although, famously, up to 13 different grapes can appear in the blend. Always full bodied, dark and potent, the wine shows best after being sloshed around the decanter for a bit and served with hearty, meaty fare. Promotional price for Christmas €30 (RRP €35)

All wines available from Curious Wines, Tramore Road Commercial Park, Cork, and through with nationwide delivery.

HOME Wooden measuring spoon set, €11.50, Next

Country charm. Keep it cute with the At Home With Ashley Thomas range from Debenhams. Mixing bowl, €30, pie dish, €27, glass storage jar, €9, ceramic bunny jar, €30, flour shaker, €12, measuring spoon set, €18, measuring cups, €21, all from Debenhams.

Cake dome by Heart of House, €30.49, Argos

7 piece cooker cuter set, €16.50,

Brennan & Co. Cookshop, Oliver Plunkett St.

Retractable whisk by Normann Copenhagen, €18,

The Old Mill Stores, Leap


Bake On As another captivating season of the Great British Bake Off draws to a close and the Great Irish Bake Off kicks off on TV3, the nation has baking on the brain like never before! So kit out your kitchen, it’s time to get your bake on!

Flour shaker,

€8.95, Pavilion Garden Centre, Myrtle Hill

“Bake My Day” scales by Mason Cash, €50,

Cake server by Butterfly by Matthew Williamson, €18, Butterfly Bloom tiered cake stand by Waterford Wedgewood, €95, Kilkenny


Artisan food mixer by Kitchen Aid, €585,

Silicon utensils and oven glove, €2 each,

Harvey Norman


Vintage style citrus reamer,

€17, Marks and Spencer

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With the festive season approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what to give the foodie in your life – all the better for them to feed you with, my dear!

Retro styled Nespresso coffee maker by Kitchen Aid, €449, Debenhams

Enamel mussel dish with herbs by The Fabulous Foodie, €21,


Ora teapot with built-in loose leaf strainer, €45,

Millennium Falcon chopping board, €29,

Soirée wine aerator with stand, €25, The Old Mill

Stores, Leap

Oyster shucking kit, €55, The Old Mill

Stores, Leap

Pasta maker by Imperia, €79,

Brennan & Co. Cookshop, Oliver Plunkett St.

Rubbing salt gift set, €11.50, Next

Brennan & Co Cookshop

Wooden mice cheese knives, €17.50,

The World Atlas of Coffee, €27, Marks

and Spencer

Cheese baker, €20, Next


Easy press garlic crusher by Joseph Joseph, €30.74,

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Christmas Parties Saturday 5th Entertainment by Kieran Kramer ~

Friday 18th & Saturday 19th Entertainment Nightshift & Disco 2000

Private Dining

~ Price €69 per person to include Prosecco Reception on arrival, 5 Course Meal, 1/2 Bottle of Wine, Late Night Buffet, Amazing Spot Prizes (Spa Vouchers, Meal Vouchers & Annual Gym Membership) & Bar Extension.

For Corporate Functions, Client Entertaining or Staff Christmas Parties, Maryborough Hotel & Spa offers the finest private dining rooms to ensure your best Christmas yet!

Special accommodation rate: €55 per person sharing B&B. Non refundable deposit of €20 per person on booking, full payment on or before December 1st. Complimentary Dinner x 2 Voucher or Spa Voucher for Booker when deposit is paid for a minimum party of 20 before Friday 6th November 2015.


Chicken Ballotine with Pancetta, Cranberry & Apple, Calvados Cream ~ Roasted Parsnip Soup with Honey Yoghurt, served with Warm Breads & Seasonal Dips ~ Pan Seared Irish Medallion of Fillet Beef, Caramelised Shallots, Thyme Rosti, Madeira Jus Or Pan Fried Fillet of Seabass, Courgette Ribbons, Champagne Herb Sauce ~ Maryborough Festive Dessert (Iced Redberry Parfait, Christmas Pudding & Brandy Mousse, Terry’s Chocolate Orange Cheesecake) ~ Tea/Coffee & Mince Pies

FANTASTIC AMBIENCE, WITH AWARD WINNING FOOD & SERVICE. Join us for an impromptu drink & lite bite in the bar, or book your Christmas celebration in Bellini’s restaurant, offering an eclectic mix of European & Traditional flavours. Sample our cocktails, soak up the atmosphere in elegant surroundings.

A range of private banqueting suites are available, all finished to a luxurious standard, have inbuilt bars and dance floors. These rooms are perfect for intimate Dinners from 30 people to lavish parties for 300. Special accommodation rate of €55 per person sharing B&B. Complimentary Drinks Reception, 4 Course Gourmet Meal and Complimentary Bar Extension €55 per person.

Menu @ €35 midweek and €45 weekends for groups of 10 or more.

To book contact the Sales Office on 021 4918309/021 4918310 or email Like Magazine


Authentic Italian Cuisine for the discerning Cork palate

Il Padrino, 21 Cook Street, Cork. Ph: 021 4271544

021 4272160

or see

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