“You mean to say I went all the way to Waterford and missed the potato spaghetti? Sheesh.”
That’s pretty much what I was thinking when I heard (courtesy of Alex Meehan) about the potato spaghetti machine – a contraption for turning an unsuspecting four inch spud into eight or nine inch lengths of ‘spaghetti’. Yes, I missed said spaghetti and the monkfish around which it was wrapped at Martijn Kajuiter’s Michelin-starred restaurant at the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore. Oh well.
Still, never mind. I found much else to delight in west Waterford last weekend while on a flying visit to the Waterford Festival of Food. Though whirlwind in nature – and the absence of potato spaghetti notwithstanding – the trip served up a well seasoned taste of a region less travelled by, with a Friday bookended by a killer breakfast at Nude Food in Dungarvan and a joyous dinner at O’Brien’s Chop House in Lismore, and a Saturday that included a fine lunch back in Dungarvan at the Tannery. There’s no denying that you can eat very well in this neck of the woods and, better still, you don’t need to wait for the next food festival to enjoy it.
Dinner at O'Briens Chop House in Lismore, which included the
wonderfully animated Norman waxing lyrical on the art of salmon fishing
Lunch at The Tannery:
Crab crème brûlée
Sea bass with mussel broth (and, yes, potatoes as well)
There I was, waiting patiently throughout the
spring extended winter for my rhubarb plants to make their entrance proper and bring forth stalks enough for me to cook with.
I had very particular plans for the first rhubarb of the season, in the shape of a recipe that may possibly explain why Martijn Kajuiter of the fabulous Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, Co. Waterford, has a Michelin star and I do not.
My somewhat over-enthusiastic rhubarb
I was a little perturbed however, when, with a dry spell and a little bit of heat, my rhubarb plants got ahead of themselves and started producing seed heads – a thing I have not seen rhubarb do before. Pretty though the seed heads may have been, they weren’t going to do rhubarb production any favours. They consequently met a swift end and the plants were left to get on with their normal stalk-producing business. Thankfully, there was enough of that happening to meet my stewy dessert purposes.