Culinary journey in the North East
Local restaurants and food producers are featured in a lavish new book by chef, author and food photographer Dermot Seberry.
'Ireland: A Culinary Journey in the North East' was launched at the Taste of Louth festival in Dundalk recently and looks set to put this part of the country firmly on the foodie map.
Dermot, who hails from Monasterboice and lectures in the School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology at Dublin Institute of Technology, says he was inspired to produce the book by the quality of food producers and restaurants in the area.
'I'd been away from Louth for 16 years and when I came back, I was really impressed by what was one offer,' says Dermot, who worked for a number of years in Ballymascanlon Hotel.
'Like many people, when I'm travelling, I tend to stay on the motorway, so I thought that something was needed to tempt people to leave the M1 and discover all this region has to offer.'
Rather than sticking to county boundaries, Dermot has divided the book into three sections, stretching from Kilkeel and the Cooley peninsula to Dundalk and mid-Louth, and from Drogheda to the Boyne Valley.
There are profiles from a range of local food producers including Morgans Fine Fish, Des Savage Butchers, The Carlingford Oyster Company, Cooley Distillery, Bia Blasta Sauces, Bellingham Blue Cheese, Cecilie's Truffles, Aruna Sauces, Ferdia Chocolates, LannLeire Honey Lynch's Bacon and Callaghan's Butchers among others.
Featured recipes come from the region's leading restaurants with chefs contributing their signature dishes including The Bay Tree, Ghan House, Fitzpatrick's, The Four Seasons, Ballymascanlon House Hotel, Strandfield Flower Market, Number 32, the Crowne Plaza, Belles Tea Rooms, and The Glyde Inn. Culinary students from DIT also contributed a recipe.
The well-illustrated book features food and portrait photography by Dermot along with landscape photography by Vadim Lee of the award winning Drogheda Camera Club, and images from local photographers Sahy Larkin, Paul Carroll and Conor Woods.
A unique feature of the book is the inclusion of VR codes which allows smart phone users to access videos of a number of the restaurants and food producers.
The book also includes information which would be of interest to visitors or indeed anyone wanting to get to know the area better, with details of festivals and historic sites worth visiting.
The 'coffee table'-sized book was designed by Michelle McMahon of Vision Design and printed by Dundalk Bookbinders.
'As I was writing about local food producers, I wanted to keep the creative process local as well,' says Dermot.
The book is available from the Tourist Office, the County Museum, several of the featured restaurants, and Easons, and would make an ideal Christmas present for anyone interested in good food.