4 top celeb chefs on their favourite summer recipes

From Paul Flynn to Martin Shanahan, our top chefs reveal their go-to summer recipes to Joe McNamee.

Paul Flynn

The Tannery, Dungarvan, Co Waterford 

Paul Flynn with his Baked Hake recipe.
Paul Flynn with his Baked Hake recipe.

What was the first dish you ever cooked?

My mates and I used to have two Honda 50s and we’d go to the disco in Kill, hunting women, always unsuccessfully, and then we’d come back to my house and I’d cook a fryup with poached eggs and the lads were always mesmerised.

My first pro dish was gratin dauphinoise.

What was your most memorable meal?

It happened quite recently, for my 50th birthday. In Lake Garda.

We had [wife] Máire’s sister and her husband and their kids who live in Dubai and our kids as well. It was a total family afternoon boozy lunch.

Chicken — cheap or free-range or organic?

Free range when possible.

Does the global food crisis concern you. Why. Is there anything we can do about it?

I’m afraid I have my head in my own particular oven when it comes that.

I admire people who can think larger but I’m always just trying to stop my own onions from burning. That’s a metaphor by the way.

How do you eat well on a low income?

Easily, and I don’t say that flippantly. Cooking at home is the most important thing and the thing I’m most passionate about.

You’re in control, you know exactly what’s going into your own food, it doesn’t have to be a chore and you can always do it cheaper and I feel very, very strongly about that.

Is there such a thing as an Irish cuisine?

It’s an evolving thing. Because of our historical circumstances, maybe food was about necessary sustenance rather than something we enthused about.

There is now a pride in our food, a lot of people embrace it more, whereas before it was just ‘eating dinner’.

What is your favourite Irish dish?

It has to be bacon and cabbage. I know it’s a cliché. I rarely cook it at home as there’s so many pots and pans involved.

At home, I try to cook simply. I sneak into a great restaurant in Dungarvan called The Shamrock for my fix of bacon and cabbage.

It’s the busiest restaurant in Dungarvan, always packed, doing mixed grills, steaks, jelly and ice cream, all that kind of thing.

What is your favourite Irish ingredient?

A big toss up, either turnip or cabbage. You’re catching me at time when I’m sick of turnip after a winter of cooking them — at end of summer, I embrace the turnip like a demon. Seasonality has a big part to play in preferences.

What is your favourite Irish restaurant (or world restaurant, if you like)?

It’s really hard to do that, so many places blow me away. Campagne [in Kilkenny]. What Garrett is doing there shows his dedication. It’s classical cooking.

I despair sometimes at fads in food. What’s wrong with making beautiful simple food?

When I taste Garrett’s food — well, it’s like what Jack Nicholson says to Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets: “You make me want to be a better man”. Well, Garret’s food makes me want to be a better chef.

There’s lots of people doing lovely things and it’s invigorating. Ross [Lewis, Chapter One] is there and Mickael Viljanen [The Greenhouse] is remarkable.

About three months ago, I ducked in for lunch. Holy shit!

I was like a Roman emperor. He’s nuclear-powered!

What’s your favourite comfort food?

Pasta, without a doubt. Quite often we might have nothing in the fridge, only for we have two small children — we should be reported! — and I’d make a big bowl of pasta with oil or butter, chilli, Parmesan.

It’s probably about a euro a head, not even that — the most expensive thing is the Parmesan.

Which five guests would you invite to your ideal dinner party, excluding family or friends?

One man I have an enduring love affair with is Rick Stein. He’s the main reason I moved back to Dungarvan. I had visions of sand between my toes, a little dog.

He’s the man I most enjoy on TV.

David Attenborough. [Chef] April Bloomfield what mostly impressed me about her was her humility.

And there’s a lesson in that for every big-balled chefs out there!

David Bowie — I was heartbroken when he died. Robert Fisk — I really admire him though maybe he could drag the whole thing down with the realism.

Amy Schumer, she’d stop it all getting too serious. She’d start to talk filthy and the Irishman inside me would be getting all coy.

What would you choose as your final meal?

Battered sausage and coleslaw, from Genoa’s [Dungarvan].

Hot and crispy paired with cool coleslaw from the fridge, funnily enough, that ticks all the boxes for everything we were taught in college about pairing textures in dishes.

Baked hake with vine tomatoes, rocket and fennel salad

This is the simplest way of cooking fish I know.

The creme fraiche keeps the fish moist and gives the dish a lovely creamy finish, that works really well with the roasted tomatoes.

The rocket and fennel salad provides a delicious healthy crunch.

I like to serve this dish with some simple boiled new potatoes.

Serves 2

  • 1 packet of hake fillets (250g)
  • 8 cherry vine tomatoes (240g), snipped on the vine and left into 2 bunches
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of creme fraiche (75g)
  • A little olive oil, salt and pepper

Set your oven to 200D. Drizzle a little olive oil onto a roasting tray.

Put your fish on the oil and brush the creme fraiche thickly and evenly over the top of the fish, then put your tomatoes beside the hake.

Drizzle a little more oil over the fish and the tomatoes.

Season then bake in the hot oven for 12 minutes. Serve with the rocket and fennel salad.

Rocket, fennel and lemon salad

Fresh, crisp and sensational, perfect on its own or with some smoked salmon or Parma ham with a little torn mozzarella or grated Parmesan on top.

(A little fresh red chilli works fantastically if you like a bit of delicious heat.)

  • 1 packet of rocket washed (85g)
  • 1 bulb of fennel (260g)
  • quartered lengthways and finely sliced
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Bring the sugar and lemon juice up to the boil, set to one side then whisk in the olive oil.

When cool, use to dress the fennel and rocket just before you serve it with a little seasoning.

Ali Honour

Ali’s Kitchen, Cork

Ali at her new restaurant on Paul St, Cork.
Ali at her new restaurant on Paul St, Cork.

What was the first dish you ever cooked?

I was about 10! It was a one-pot wonder from a Keith Floyd book of Moroccan chicken with rice, chickpeas, preserved lemon, peppers and spices.

I’d always been big on flavours from an early age.

What was your most memorable meal?

A very simple BBQ fish platter on a beach in Indonesia! With cold beers and Del boy cocktails in coconut shells, listening to the sea and watching the waves.

Chicken — cheap or free-range or organic?

Free range and Irish – it’s important to know traceability and environment.

Does the global food crisis concern you. Why. Is there anything we can do about it?

Yes. Of course it does. We can support our country by buying Irish and local where possible.

We can cut down food wastage and support small independent producers.

How do you eat well on a low income?

Plan your meals and shop for what you need. Cook simple wholesome dishes at home, plenty of fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses.

Get cheaper cuts of meat from butcher. Start home baking.

Is there such a thing as an Irish cuisine?

There’s a solid tradition of wonderful dishes that are part of our history, bacon and cabbage, brack, champ and brown bread to name but a few.

Irish cuisine is changing and emerging through the high quality of local and nationwide produce and producers we have to hand.

What is your favourite Irish dish?

An all-year-round Irish cheeseboard. We have so many amazing cheese producers to be proud of right now.

What is your favourite Irish ingredient?

At the moment Wexford strawberries. Strawberries have been a favourite all my life. I have memories of picking and eating them all in one go.

What is your favourite Irish restaurant (or world restaurant, if you like)?

One of most memorable meals to date in recent years has been Forest Avenue [in Dublin] but there really are so many and still so many to try.

What’s your favourite comfort food?

I love eggs. Poached and served on hot buttered real bread is always a winner.

Which five guests would you invite to a dinner party, excluding family or friends?

Stephen Fry for laughs and wisdom. Keith Floyd to talk with about wine, food, travel and bow ties.

John McEnroe to give me pointers on my backhand and to hear his Wimbledon stories.

Frank Sinatra to sing and talk about the Rat pack. Sean Connery from the 60s for obvious reasons and he’s my favourite 007.

What would you choose as your final meal?

I’d keep it simple. Really good wine, really good bread, cheese, pickles and charcuterie. Plenty of bubbles and a large stiff G&T before I nodded off.

Cinnabun french toast, strawberries & vanilla mascarpone

This is a great indulgent brekkie.

  • 4 cinnamon buns (cut in half) or 8 slices of brioche
  • 3 eggs
  • 125ml cream
  • 2oz butter
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 1 vanilla pod (scrap bean and keep pod for sugar or custard)
  • 2tbs icing sugar
  • Strawberries (As many as you like!!! In my case lots and from Wexford),
  • Elderflower or maple syrup to serve, toasted almonds or hazelnuts.

METHOD

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and cream.

Melt half the butter in a frying pan on medium heat.

Dip bun/brioche into mix and fry half the slices for 1-2 mins on each side.

Set aside on baking tray and repeat with second batch. Place tray in oven at 180C cook for six minutes till golden and slightly souffléd.

While baking, place mascarpone, sugar and scrapped vanilla bean into bowl and beat together.

To assemble, place one slice of bun/brioche onto plate, add a spoonful of mascarpone mix and then as many gorgeous strawbs as you like.

Top with other half of bun/brioche, more cream and more strawberries.

Drizzle with syrup and sprinkle with your choice of nuts.

Pour cup of coffee, put the tunes on, go sit in the sunshine and enjoy your taste of summer.

Martin Shanahan

Fishy Fishy

Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy restaurant, Kinsale, Cork, with his favourite summer dish.
Martin Shanahan of Fishy Fishy restaurant, Kinsale, Cork, with his favourite summer dish.

What was the first dish you ever cooked?

Scrambled eggs and I burnt ‘em! I was about nine years old.

What was your most memorable meal?

Too many to say just one but, last year, on my way to Mayo, I stayed the night at the Wild Honey Inn and the next morning for breakfast I had Omelette Arnold Bennett.

Chicken — cheap or free-range or organic?

Free-range, and again I think the difference in price between free-range and organic doesn’t justify organic.

Does the global food crisis concern you — why and is there anything we can do about it?

Where I am in my industry and with my love of fish, the quotas getting cut all the time.

We seem to have a hell of lot fish in the ocean but the concern with the Irish fishermen is their quotas are filled very fast.

A lot of boats now are turning to fishing prawns and freezing at sea.

Are we going to end up an island only of prawn boats and no white fish boats?

Our neighbours in Europe have no problem with quotas but we’re tied up more often than we’re going out.

How do you eat well on a low income?

Lots of little ways all added together. You have to forage, you have to grow your own. You have to talk to your parents and grandparents because they all did.

Growing up in a family of 12, including my father, mum, grandfather and grandmother and eight kids, funnily enough, my mum and gran could always give us three courses, every day, soup, main course, rice pudding and my mum would have far less to spend in a week than what I’d have in a day.

People need to go back growing, foraging in season and purchasing wiser, not turning our nose up at the simpler things in life, mackerel, herring, slow cooking cheaper meat cuts.

Is there such a thing as an Irish cuisine?

Big time, yeah, in the last 10 or 15 years, there’s been a huge resurgence, thanks to restaurateurs — and the general public realising, as great a night can be had in a restaurant as in a pub.

Before that, it was going to the pub, getting langers, great night, can’t remember how I got home. Now, great night, lovely conversation, lovely food.

There’s some great chefs who realise they are educators, we all have to feed our knowledge on to the next generation.

And we have the best seafood in the world because we have the cleanest, unpolluted waters.

We probably have the best beef because the climate is perfect for it. Wonderful dairy, cream and butter.

To have a great cuisine, you have to a customer base that appreciates what’s been done, and who have developed their palate by travelling abroad.

What is your favourite Irish dish?

I love everything in season. At the moment I love fresh crab, gorgeous right now.

What is your favourite Irish ingredient?

Butter, real butter. We use Bandon butter. Any recipe from any Irish chef, if it doesn’t include butter, there’s something wrong!

What is your favourite Irish restaurant (or world restaurant, if you like)?

I’d put down far too many to pick one! I’m a coward [laughing].

What’s your favourite comfort food?

I love fish and chips, a nice bit of haddock in batter, no skin no bone, homemade chips. You know what, you can’t bate it.

Which five guests would you invite to your ideal dinner party, excluding family or friends?

Donald Trump, I’d love to sit down and figure him out, is he full of shite or is he genuine.

Rick Stein, not to cook but to sit down, I find him very interesting and with great stories to tell.

To keep us all polite I’d like to have Katherine Jenkins, she could sing every now and then, I met her last year and she’s a real lady, came to dinner in Fishy and sang in Musgrave Park the following evening.

She gave every one of our staff free tickets for the concert.

Aidan O’Brien, I love horses, and I’d like to find out how he gets inside their heads to win a race. And then he could do Donald as well, look inside his head and ask what he’s up to!

Mario Rosenstock, we’d definitely laugh and he could be a man or a woman so he could add Miriam O’Callaghan or Francis Brennan to the guestlist, he could end up being a table of 20 himself!

What would you choose as your final meal?

Very simple, pan fried John Dory, new potatoes, a bit of grilled asparagus, hollandaise sauce and a drizzle of truffle oil.

I’d probably drink as much Fishy Fishy sauvignon blanc as I could.

Christy Hurley’s Crab CrumbleServes 4

  • 1lb fresh white crab meat
  • 250ml cream
  • 80g butter
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • 100g white breadcrumbs
  • 50ml olive oil

For the lemon butter sauce you will need 250ml of cream, 80g of real butter, the juice of one lemon.

Salt and white pepper.

Heat the cream to just boiling point. Whisk in the butter in cubes. Add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer for 2 minutes.

Avoid boiling because the sauce may curdle.

Mix the chopped parsley, breadcrumbs and olive oil in a bowl. This will give us the crumble topping.

To assemble the dish, divide the crab meat into 4 bowls, cover with lemon butter sauce, top with parsley breadcrumbs.

Place in pre-heated oven for 8 - 10 minutes until the breadcrumb mix has browned and the crab meat is heated through.

A great dinner party starter.

Jess Murphy

Kai restaurant, Galway

Chef Jess Murphy with a whipped brandade with charred tomato jam.
Chef Jess Murphy with a whipped brandade with charred tomato jam.

What was the first dish you ever cooked?

Professionally, probably squid: salt and pepper squid, vodka and tomato type Bloody Mary dressing with pickled carrot.

It was in a restaurant in Hawke’s Bay, Al Fresco.

What was your most memorable meal?

There are so many but recent ones include eating Kobe burgers in downtown Kobe [Japan] .

Chicken — cheap or free-range or organic?

I get all my free range chickens from Ronan Byrne, The Friendly Farmer — who has €16 to buy an organic chicken in the real world?

How do you eat well on a low income?

I come from two divorced parents and I was brought up by my mum and she used to make things like sweetcorn fritters, crumb chicken.

She’d buy the cheapest meat and make spag bol or lasagne. Use the power of google to teach yourself.

Is there such a thing as an Irish cuisine?

I have no idea, what I do is Galway food in Kai. Kai is Irish food.

What is your favourite Irish dish?

Lamb chops, I’m easy, it could be lamb, hogget or mutton.

What is your favourite Irish ingredient?

Turnip tops and courgette flowers. I’d never come across turnip tops until I came to Kai.

What is your favourite Irish restaurant (or world restaurant, if you like)?

The Farmgate, in Cork. I had apple sponge and was blown away.

What’s your favourite comfort food?

Toasted cheese sandwiches —‘Jaffles’ in Australia.

Which five guests would you invite to your ideal dinner party, excluding family or friends?

Ru Paul would be hilarious. Grace Jones. I love her. Julia Childs.

No brainer Edward Lee, from Kentucky, he’s one of my fave chefs..

What would you choose as your final meal?

Toasted cheese sandwich of Smoked Gubbeen and Tropea Onion with homemade tomato ketchup.

Then probably a milk shake of Bertha’s Revenge gin, vanilla ice cream and coffee.

Salted gunner, cod or wrasse brandade with burnt tomato relish

  • Brandade
  • 300g salted fish, gunner, cod or wrasse
  • 400ml raw milk
  • 300g any old variety potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 200ml olive oil
  • 10g capers, rinsed and chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley and chives
  • ½ lemon

Burnt tomato relish

  • 6 tomatoes, halved
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped

handful of woody herbs, like thyme or rosemary

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 chilli, finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato purée

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50ml malt vinegar

First, the salted fish needs rehydrating, which can take up to two days, with water changes twice or so a day. Ask your fishmonger for instructions.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.

Put the tomatoes in a roasting tray, drizzle with half the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the 4 cloves of garlic for the brandade dish.

After 10 minutes remove the roasted garlic and set aside. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the tomatoes start to blacken.

In a saucepan, heat the remaining oil, add the onion, herbs, garlic and chilli. Cook gently until soft and the onion turns translucent.

Add the blackened tomatoes and tomato puree and cook for 10 minutes.

Finally add the sugar and malt vinegar, reduce the heat and gently simmer until the mixture has thickened, 40-50 minutes.

Remove from the heat and pass the mixture through a mouli or a colander and allow to cool.

To make the brandade, remove the salted fish from the fresh water, dry, and remove any fine bones.

Place in a saucepan and add the raw milk, potatoes and bay leaf. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked, approximately 20 minutes.

Strain the fish and potatoes into a mixing bowl and add the roasted garlic. Beat slowly with an electric beater, mixer or by hand.

Slowly add the oil and mix until combined. Add the capers, herbs and the lemon juice. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Serve with the burnt tomato relish, on sourdough, rye crackers, with salad or as part of a cold cuts board.


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