Irish cuisine

Joined Jan 13, 2011
Today I received a phone call about an opportunity I may consider interviewing for. It's for an Irish pub that wants to raise the bar of their food, create a more upscale approach and still keep the Irish feel with the food. Let me tell you, I'm not the least bit Irish, My ex-wife is but she is definetaly "American Irish", in other words, she celebrates her Irishness throughout March. I, however, am Swedish but nonetheless, I am still a chef.

The first thing that comes to mind is potatoes, cabbage, potato pancakes, parsnips, carrots and of course corned beef. I'll first say, I HATE corned beef but I do know the difference between good and bad tasting corned beef. But aside from that, what are some other 'Irish" foods that would be distinctive yet well known as Irish to help create an upscale food experience?
Joined Sep 2, 2009
I just finished a Scottish ( very similar) themed party here at the club, and let me tell you, you have your work cut out for you. It's tuff to upscale cabbage, root vegetables, Goat, bad cuts of beef and potatoes. The internet is probably your best bet and the just give it bit of your flair to it. I did a Scotch Broth to start, Baked Salmon with a Watercress Sauce, Fingerling Potatoes, Broccolini and Cauliflower and a Tipsy Cake for dessert ( kind of like a triffle with lots of liquor). Irish, Scottish and Brittish foods are tuff.
Joined Mar 18, 2011
My husband is VERY into his irish culture, and has worked at several Irish Restaurants. When he wakes up, i will have him post for you. He'd love to help.
Joined Sep 12, 2007
Proper bacon and cabbage, being Irish, when I was away travelling it was one of ther things that I craved. That and a pint of Guiness! :) As Obama said it just doesnt taste as good anywhere else. For ideas you should check out Darina Allen, shes kind of the Grandmother of Irish cuisine. A friend of mine is over in the States at the minute working and was surprised to see a few of her books. One in particular which I find fantastic is Forgotten Skills of Cooking. This will not only give you a better insight into traditional Irish food beyond the plastic paddy stuff you see everywhere, it will also give you an idea about the seasonality of ingredients here and what true peasant food was like in Ireland before microwaves and conveniece food.

Best of luck with the new venture if you take it on...

Oh and on corned beef, had it in the states and its awful. But good Cork spiced beef, think Darina has a recipe can be amazing...

As for upscale?? If you think French is a bistro upscale? I think you can still do nice well presented tasty dishes but keep it bistro equivalent style, earthy, warming, sustaining, it is a pub concept after all.

For fine dining, Kevin Thornton well respected Michelin chef based in Dublin has always done French twists on mostly local traditional ingredients, albeit truffles and exotic fruit are hardly local!

Heres a sample lunch menu to give you an idea

Obviously not a pub concept but pretty cool in my opinion. Especially like the idea of

Bacon and Cabbage Terrine with Pea Sorbet and Poitin Sauce.

Lately in recession Ireland restaurants have began the reign themselves in, and taken a more rustic approach to their food. McAllisters The Pigs Ear is a prime example, menus here might better suit an upscale pub concept.

Hope that helps!
Joined Dec 16, 2010
braise braise braise

a lot can be done in terms of doing dishes "en croute".  as opposed to the normal pastie or meat pie, try just wrapping in puff pastry. 

we have an irish/scottish gastropub.  we have some of the regular staples (fish n chips, etc.)  but we have gotten our name by modern twists on old favorites, and just making really good simple dishes out of traditional ingredients as opposed to the dishes themselves.
Top Bottom