Rachel Allen: My five top foodie spots in County Cork
Irish TV chef Rachel Allen is the restaurateur behind Rachel’s Kitchen in Cork, which opened last year. She has penned a total of 15 cookery books, including Rachel's Favourite Food at Home and Rachel's Food for Living (her most recent, Home Baking, came out in October - and she promises more to come).
The daughter-in-law of Darina Allen, co-founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School (also a TV personality and prolific food writer), she lives in Shanagarry near the seaside town of Ballycotton in East Cork, with her husband Isaac Allen and their children Scarlett, Joshua and Lucca.
Here's her guide to the area's best.
"“Ballycotton is a fishing village and we go to this family-run fishmonger for everything from mackerel to haddock, ling, turbot or brill. They do lovely langoustines. I love smoking mackerel at home and including it in an eggs Benedict-style dish with hollandaise sauce, or just frying it with herb butter.”"
46 Main Street, Midleton, County Cork, ballycottonseafood.ie
"We’ve got a few lovely pubs in Ballycotton, like McGrath’s, and The Blackbird, where there’s a little food truck out the back called The Field Kitchen serving great mussels and chips. But in summer, people tend to meet up to sit on the wall in the evening sun outside The Goalpost bar near our home in Shanagarry. The evening sun hits it beautifully. I might drink Guinness in winter, but in the summer I like campari with soda or freshly squeezed orange juice."
The Blackbird, Main Street, Ballycotton, County Cork, ; +353 86 850 2383; blackbirdballycotton.com
“One for a special occasion. Chef Takashi Miyazaki recently opened this new fine dining restaurant in Cork with a traditional kaiseki tasting menu. But his little Japanese takeaway, Miyazaki, came first. It’s just around the corner from Rachel’s, so if I’m leaving work and I fancy something completely different, I go there for ramen.”
5 Sheares Street, Cork, T12 RY7Y; ichigoichie.ie
“We’re lucky to have a great local butcher based near us. Frank Murphy is so knowledgeable: he rears his own meat, and has his own abattoir. He offers so much advice, and always remembers what people like. We go every week. Recently I butterflied a leg of lamb, spiced it and barbecued it. It’s still very mild and sweet at this time of year.”
Murphy's Butchers, 79 Main Street, Midleton, County Cork; murphybutchersmidleton.com
“It might sound like nepotism but I love going with the kids to the pizzeria here at the Ballymaloe Cookery School. It’s open every Saturday, 12.30pm until 4pm. It serves all the classics, but also specials like pulled pork from the farm with a saffron and garlic aioli.”
Ballymaloe Cookery School, Shanagarry, County Cork, P25 R274; cookingisfun.ie
Rachel Allen shares recipes in Sacla's new cookbook, La Famiglia: The Family Book of Pesto