Stéphane Robin smiled enthusiastically: “You must let us know if you try any of the recipes.”
I was sitting in a reception room at Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud at an early hour perusing a copy of “Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud: The First Thirty Years” while around me, preparations were getting underway for the official launch of the book later that day. Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud is Ireland’s only two star Michelin establishment, an honour that it has held for almost 16 years, and Stéphane, the longtime manager of the restaurant, and founder Patrick Guilbaud had paused to chat informally about the book in between attending to the various tasks that comprised the business of, what was for them, a very special day.
And so, for those of you who have been following along, my Project Food Blog
odyssey has come to an end. The world, it seems, was not ready for boiled boxty
. That, in my humble opinion, is their loss. Now, though, it’s high time I returned you to your regularly scheduled Spud programming where, this week, Spud goes Indian…
People who follow the recipe to the last word are the most boring people. Use your instincts. Chefs may have created combinations which (they think) are fantastic but you, you create your own fantastic.
I scribbled furiously. Those words just uttered by Atul Kochhar were words to cook by.
I had been waiting a long time for my date with the Michelin-starred Indian chef, but last weekend’s one day course with Atul at the Dublin Cookery School was worth every minute of that wait.
In truth, the menu for the day, which included naan bread, pulao rice, dal, lamb rogan josh, homestyle chicken curry and mango chutney, sounded like bog-standard Indian restaurant fare. And that may have seemed, to some at least, to be at odds with the chef’s Michelin stardom. But to think that was to miss the point. Absorb what the man had to say about spices and oils, about onions, garlic, ginger and lentils, and you could begin to make that Indian menu your own.
Clockwise from top left:
assorted spices; homestyle chicken curry; bombay aloo; fresh mango chutney;
Centre: the chef himself
Frankly, I blame the fish pie.
For the delay, I mean.
It’s been almost 2 months since I met Natasha, she of 5 Star Foodie, and her daughter Hannah for lunch.
It’s been so long, in fact, that Bentley’s, where we ate, is no more, having morphed into the Cliff Town House. And while I am more than happy to see an outpost of the Cliff House Hotel come to Dublin, this does mean that the Bentley’s menu is gone from our shores.
Which brings me back to the fish pie.
Bentley’s creamy, mashed potatoey fish pie.
The restaurant’s signature dish and the one that I had to have when I met Natasha, despite the fact that it was the middle of (an admittedly Irish) summer.
And it was good. Heavy and rich but very good.
The fish pie in question