Food My Life on a plate Katy McGuinness The Waterford-based chef tells about her passion for tripe and smokey bacon crisps Jumoke Akintola, 34 I don’t think it’s particularly strange, but tripe is one of my favourite things to eat. In Nigerian cuisine, we eat it in a tomato-based stew. I love the tripe dish they serve in Terre Madre in Dublin. What’s your guilty ( food) pleasure? Crisps, preferably smokey bacon flavour. It used to be Walker’s but since I moved to Ireland I’ve converted to Tayto. I did my research. What kitchen gadget could you not live without and what’s the most overrated? My Birkenstock kitchen clogs are essential. I think a large collection of knives is unnecessary; you need three — a cook’s knife that fits your hand, a serrated knife and a paring knife. When we were moving to Tramore, the staff in Fish Shop Benburb Street bought me two beautiful knives from Sam Gleeson at This is What I Do. What current cooking trend do you dislike the most? I don’t like too many things on a plate. If you’re going to serve a sauce, have it in a jug. What’s your desert island cookbook? Roast Chicken & Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson. It’s one of the few cookbooks that I can read in bed and enjoy for the words rather than feel I have to cook from. What three things do you always keep in your fridge? Our fridge is always embarrassingly bare. We usually have leftovers from the restaurant, white wine and olives. What’s your go-to store-cupboard meal? Spaghetti pomodoro. What was the last great meal that you ate? We brought the staff from Benburb St to Alicante in March for their Christmas party. At Populi, we had a dish of sliced potatoes with a fried egg and fresh truffles that was amazing. The pan con tomate was the best I’ve ever had — in March! What’s your favourite restaurant in the world? St John in Smithfield, London. We had our wedding reception there and return each year for our anniversary in August. I don’t know if we’ll make it this year. What chef do you admire the most? Mariya Russell in Chicago, who was the first black woman chef in America to gain a Michelin star. I also really admire Edna Lewis, another black female chef, who refined the American view of Southern cooking — she was very glamorous. And Margot Henderson of Rochelle Canteen in London — I remember reading about her cooking in the restaurant with her child on her hip. I love that attitude. What do you think the impact of Covid-19 is going to be on restaurants? It’s going to be very tough, but if we make it through in both places, I think there will be an opportunity to step back and make changes for good. Yes, we have to be profitable, but we also need to enjoy our day-to-day work. Do you eat breakfast? I eat yoghurt with fruit in season or, if I know I’ll miss lunch, I have scrambled eggs. What are you going to have for dinner tonight? Leftover roast chicken and salad. And what will you drink with that? Someone gave us a bottle of Tempier Bandol Rose — the weather is lovely, so we’ll have that. Chef and co-owner of The Beach House, Tramore ‘In Blackrock, I was front of house and Peter was cooking. In the middle of a shift one day we swapped and it’s been that way ever since. We never spoke of it again’ 27 4 July 2020 IRISH INDEPENDENT Weekend Magazine
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