I feel so official now! I spent the day with some fellow foodies at The Tannery in Dungarvan, courtesy of the lovely people at Glanbia and McGovern PR. The occasion was the launch of the http://www.cookwithavonmore.ie/ online video channel, and the disgustingly talented Paul Flynn was the first chef to be featured.
The Tannery has been on my "list" for quite some time now, so it was great to finally get down there. On arrival, we were invited to have a mosey around Paul's kitchen garden, which sparked some serious green-eyed monster-ism. The garden is actually a fairly new initiative - it used to be a piece of wasteground beside the cookery school, and they were having problems with some of the local "characters" using it as a drinking station, so Glanbia stepped in and offered to sponsor a garden on the site. I can think of a few spots around Dublin that could do with the same treatment...
Back in the cookery school, Eithne O'Hara of Avonmore and Paul explained that the idea of the channel is to get people back into the habit of cooking good, simple food at home using local, seasonal ingredients, which is a pretty laudable aim, if you ask me. After that, it was time to eat, so off we trotted to The Tannery itself, where we ate:
Bacon & Butterbean Chowder
This was absolutely amazing - creamy, with a salty tang from the bacon and the perfect amount of texture from the butterbeans. The recipe for this is on the Cook with Avonmore site and I can't bloody wait to give it a go at home.
Pollock with a Chorizo, Pine Nut and Parmesan Crust
Having only blogged recently about how I wished I was more fond of seafood, I decided to go out on a limb yesterday and order the fish (the other main course option was corn-fed chicken). Boy, did my "gamble" pay off - it was frickin GORGEOUS. Flaky, succulent flesh in the most delicious, cheesy crust ever. I ate every scrap of it, and could happily have had more. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for pollock on menus in future.
Chocolate Truffle Cake with Caramel Sauce and Crumbled Pistachio
I don't have a sweet tooth, but ordered this for research purposes - never let it be said I don't put myself out for you guys. It was a lot lighter than it looked, with just the right balance between sweet and bitterness in the chocolate, and the caramel sauce had a lovely burnt-sugar aspect to it. I only ate a bite, and thought how Emmet would howl if he saw the almost-full plate going back to the kitchen...
The bus back to Dublin was unsurprisingly quiet, as we all succumbed pretty much immediately to our food comas. Personally, I can think of way worse ways to spend a Thursday.
So, to bed now, perchance to sleep. We've to be up with the milkman tomorrow for our world cup quarter final (against Wales, told ya!) at the unGodly hour of 6am. Emmet seems to be under the impression that I'm going to go to the local to watch it with him. I shall gently disabuse him of this notion shortly. Nobody needs to see my phiz sans make-up at that hour of the morning, and I certainly won't be getting up any earlier than I need to just to put some on. I will be rolling out of bed at approximately 5.58 and will be watching the match at home, on the couch, in my dressing gown.
COME ON IRELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!