FOOD- FILE

The Irish Times Magazine - - FOOD- FILE -

Women chefs take the reins at Body­tonic’s new Co Clare venture The kitchen at Pot Dug­gan’s, the En­nisty­mon pub that will be one of the coolest places to eat and drink in the west of Ire­land this sum­mer, is be­ing headed by two women who met while do­ing the Bal­ly­maloe cook­ery course in 2015.

Since then, head chef Bri­anna Turn­er­worked at Dan Bar­ber’s Blue Hill Farm in up­state New York and at Chez Panisse in Cal­i­for­nia, be­fore re­turn­ing to Ire­land and join­ing the kitchen team at The Fum­bally.

She has been joined at Pot Dug­gan’s by Ashley Gribben, who has spent the past cou­ple of years work­ing at the Ot­tolenghi busi­nesses in Lon­don.

Pot Dug­gan’s, which is owned by Trev O’Shea of Body­tonic, the Dublin- based pub, fes­ti­val and en­ter­tain­ment group, had a soft open­ing last sum­mer and closed for the win­ter while ren­o­va­tions were un­der­taken.

The for­mer Ah­ern’s pub now has a sunny ter­race, two barn rooms which can ac­com­mo­date more than 100 peo­ple, and a river­side dining space for 30. There are also three bed­rooms on the up­per floors.

The kitchen is open from noon to 9pm, Wed­nes­day to Sun­day, and the lunchtime of­fer­ing of soups, sal­ads, toasties is fol­lowed at 5pm by a small plates menu. There will also be a daily Pot Dug­gan’s stew, and a week­end brunch menu.

“Our aim is to try to get as many lo­cal pro­duc­ers on the menu as pos­si­ble, in a way that still says pub food – hearty, tasty and sim­ple, with a touch of travel,” is how Turner de­scribes what she will be of­fer­ing.

The pub will have Brew­tonic beers on tap, as well as a ro­tat­ing se­lec­tion of Ir­ish craft beers and ciders. The cock­tail list uses only Ir­ish spir­its com­bined with lo­cal in­gre­di­ents, such as a mar­malade whiskey sour made with Ir­ish whiskey and Clare- made mar­malade.

Reg­u­lar events will keep the pub busy, and the Pot Dug­gan’s wine and cheese fes­ti­val takes place on July 7th and 8th. pot­dug­gans. com

Star stu­dent Cait Healy, a 21- year- old culi­nary arts stu­dent from Clon­akilty, is the first re­cip­i­ent of the Mar­ket Lane Group culi­nary schol­ar­ship. She plans to use the bur­sary to con­tinue her stud­ies by un­der­tak­ing a BA in culi­nary en­trepreneur­ship. The Cork restau­rant group de­vel­oped the schol­ar­ship in con­junc­tion with Cork In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy.

There were both writ­ten and prac­ti­cal ele­ments to the ap­pli­ca­tion process, with can­di­dates hav­ing to write and present a pa­per on the theme “Is the Fu­ture of Ir­ish Food Sus­tain­able”, be­fore pre­par­ing a three- course meal for a panel of judges. New chef at Kevin Dun­don’s Dun­brody Coun­try House Kevin and Cather­ine Dun­don’s Dun­brody Coun­try House has wel­comed a new head chef, Tom Spruce. He was pre­vi­ously of Cam­pagne and Res­i­dence and he has a var­ied pro­gramme of sum­mer food and drink spe­cial events lined up for the Wex­ford coun­try house ho­tel and restau­rant. “Tom joined our team just be­fore Easter and is re­spon­si­ble for look­ing af­ter the Har­vest Room Restau­rant, Dun­dons’ Seafood Bar and also the Lo­cal at Dun­brody, where he re­cently launched our new Sun­day jazz brunch menu,” says Cather­ine.

The kitchen’s new smoker will be the fo­cal point of a barbecue cook­ery demon­stra­tion on June 4th, a nice way to round- off a Bank Hol­i­day week­end. A sum­mer sup­per in the Lo­cal, the on- site pub, is in­cluded in the ¤ 45 fee.

“The smoker will bring a whole new di­men­sion to both the barbecue cook­ery courses which we run from June to Septem­ber, and also our pub menu. We’re think­ing ten­der brisket, pork ribs fall­ing from the bone, home- made smoked sausages ( va­ri­eties such as duck and cherry, lamb and apri­cot, which will ro­tate daily through­out the sum­mer) and, of course, smoked lo­cally- caught fish from the Hook Penin­sula.

A Gin Thing on Sun­day, July 1st will see par­tic­i­pants col­lect­ing botan­i­cals in the Dun­brody kitchen gar­den be­fore mak­ing their own gin. Gin tast­ings and cock­tails and a gin- themed din­ner com­plete the ¤ 95 pack­age. The Three Mus­ke­teers Chil­dren’s Fund, a char­ity close to the Dun­dons’ hearts ( it was set up in mem­ory of their neph­ews and niece, Søren, Con­nor and Saoirse, who died in a car crash in Den­mark in 2013), will ben­e­fit from a Mad Hat­ters Tea party at the ho­tel on Monday, August 6th. A gar­den party, a wood­land walk and af­ter­noon tea, for ¤ 50. dun­brody­house. com Cut- price M& S Marks & Spencer has dropped the price of 200 food prod­ucts in its stores in the Re­pub­lic by an aver­age of 24 per cent. Ken Scully, M& S man­ager for Ire­land, said: “This is our big­gest- ever price in­vest­ment in the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land. We’re do­ing it to sharpen our prices for cus­tomers who we know come to us for our trusted value and great qual­ity prod­ucts.”

As part of the ini­tia­tive, the price of some multi­buy deals has been re­duced, such as the three for ¤ 12 meat, fish and poul­try deal ( down from ¤ 14). Sev­eral salad in­gre­di­ents, in­clud­ing pep­pers, let­tuce, toma­toes, cu­cum­ber, salad onions and cel­ery, have been re­duced in price to 50 cent. Sav­ings on fresh meat in­clude 420g chicken drum­sticks ¤ 1.80 ( down from ¤ 3.10) and rib­eye and striploin steak ¤ 5 ( down from ¤ 7.30).

PHO­TO­GRAPH: AL­I­SON DER­HAM

Bri­anna Turner ( left) and Ashley Gribben who will be re­spon­si­ble for the food at the newly launched Pot Dug­gan’s in En­nisty­mon, Co Clare ( be­low). ■

MARIE- CLAIRE DIGBY

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