In this volume of FEAST: A Dinner Journal, we see summer slip away but we celebrate the last of the season’s finest produce. Summer for me is when food truly comes alive, long light- filled evenings spent outdoors with friends and family celebrating life with memorable meals, it’s the best way to savour the season. For our end- of-summer feast we scoured the Irish countryside for the best seasonal ingredients and producers to include in our menu. The journey began with Anna Lévêque, her daughter Lucie and the small herd of goats who produce milk for one the Ireland’s finest cheeses, Triskel Goats Cheese. In that same vein we continued across the country meeting artisan producers, whose passion and dedication help create the very best quality ingredients.
A few bee stings were worth the trouble to extract some of the sweetest Irish honey from Aisling Kennedy and her bees for our sweet summer cocktail and for drizzling over Kate Packwood’s epic griddled stone fruit cake. Some of summer’s finest herbs were gathered from Denise Dunne to make and garnish a simple sorrel soup by the great Irish food writer Theodora Fitzgibbon. Dervla James and Marion Kilcoyne, the bright and bubbly duo from Dublin’s Pepperpot Café, created mini loaves to serve at our table. We also made a visit to a group of Irish farmers who’ve come together to promote quality Irish free range chicken. The result was the ideal main course ingredient for dining outdoors, spatchcocked chicken with roast tomatoes. We served this with griddled pea pods, a shaved summer salad and herbed couscous with edible flowers.
Alongside a cake from The Wild Flour Bakery we couldn’t resist adding ice cream to our end-of- summer menu with a visit to Irish ice cream makers Bernie and John Burke. They provided us with an intriguing list of flavour combinations like raspberry and panacotta and strawberry with clotted cream. Addictive stuff! With our stellar line up of food producers and an exciting menu, a visit to Jennifer Slattery’s design studio provided us with her unique Irish linens for our table. The grounds of Howth’s historic castle and cookery school was the scene for our summer feast and we served it up outside the castle walls under the shade of ancient oak trees. While the darker days approach join with us and celebrate the last of the season’s offerings with this, our second issue of FEAST.