Kevin Thornton has reinvented the Irish breakfast - but will it tempt you to Tipperary?
'Time to take it all in'
Forget bog standard sausages, bacon and eggs. A brand new 'Tipperary Breakfast' cooked up by chef Kevin Thornton aims to reboot the Full Irish.
Thornton's take (below) doesn't tear up the rulebook entirely - nodding to traditional staples like grilled bacon and black and white pudding, for example.
But it's lighter and healthier than the Full Irish, providing "a great energy start for the day" with the pick of Premier County produce.
Think Tipperary toast served with warm apple and blackberry compote, natural yoghurt with the grilled bacon, and pudding served with local apple juice.
"I wanted to do something that represented our old Irish breakfast, using some of those ingredients, but turn it upside down and make it really fresh," says Thornton, a Tipperary native and the first Irish chef to receive two Michelin Stars.
The idea, developed with the Tipperary Food Producers (tipperaryfoodproducers.com), is to highlight the county's flourishing food scene in a dish that is easy to reproduce - and to which local chefs, restaurants and B&Bs can add their own touches.
Featuring ingredients from the likes of James Whelan Butchers, Inch House and The Apple Farm, the idea is to recreate it on breakfast menus all over the county.
There's more to Tipperary than the Rock of Cashel, you see.
In recent weeks, another initiative - 'Tipperary: Time to take it all in' - has mounted a similar effort to put longer Tipperary stays on the tourism menu.
The €35,000 brand reboot, orchestrated by marketing and industry development group Tipperary Tourism with the support of Tipperary County Council, includes a new website (tipperary.com) and magazine ('Take Time').
Both focus on immersive experiences highlighting the centrality, easy access and unspoilt landscape of Ireland's sixth-largest county.
Many visitors already know about big hits like Cahir Castle and Holy Cross Abbey, but the campaign also aims to showcase authentic, "yet-to-be-discovered experiences" such as Lorrha, the Butler Trail and the River Suir Blueway in its efforts.
In 2015, Tipperary welcomed 184,000 international and 217,000 domestic visitors, according to Fáilte Ireland, accounting for a spend of over €100 million.
The county is one of the key destinations in Ireland's Ancient East, and Tipperary County Council is also investing in the ongoing development of Lough Derg and the 'Munster Vales' as tourist attractions.
"In Tipperary we have amazing producers and produce, but as a country as a whole, there's no stopping us once we get our act together," as Thornton says.
2017 is looking tasty, indeed.
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