Tasty recipes that are an amalgamation of French and Irish influences

The chiefs, for the most part, are magpies. We appeal to tradition to acquire our knowledge, then to observation for the rest. Travel, books, television and social media influence us all. We come back from our getaways inspired by what we ate. We note who among our peers is doing something special and the news spreads like Chinese whispers through the culinary community, which makes its way to their doorstep.

I had a sublime experience at Chapter One in Dublin recently, although the word was long. This restaurant is a Mecca for those who love food cooked to the highest standard. I have skin in the game because Mickael Viljanen came to work for me at the Tannery when he arrived here. I didn’t teach him anything. He is his own protege as he is entirely self-taught, driven by unwavering ambition, backbreaking work and a desire to realize his own remarkable talent.

We were invited by Ross Lewis, longtime owner and gifted potter himself, to a lads lunch at the Chef’s Table. We drank wines well above my salary and ate dishes created with technique beyond my comprehension. Mickael’s cuisine is rooted in classic French style but delivered with a precision that would make Escoffier blush. The “boys” were men of my profession, former soldiers of the furnace. We settled in to absorb it all and marvel. We were all happy that it was not us who cooked, life is too hard at this level, always pushing. All we would do is get in the way of the kitchen.

My recipes this week are a mix of French and Irish. It’s rustic, hearty, and infinitely easier to make than restaurant food, but it’s definitely flavorful. I have William Orbison to thank for Poulangère, a clever take on Boulangère potatoes. I saw him do it on Twitter and stole it.

Young Buck cheese is an incredible Irish blue cheese. I’ve paired it here with Highbank Orchard Apple Syrup, which is the nectar of the gods. Maple syrup or honey would be nice too.

Poulangère (baked potato with chicken and horseradish cream). Photo: Patrick Browne

Recipe: Poulanger

Bacon chop with Irish peas.  Photo: Patrick Browne

Bacon chop with Irish peas. Photo: Patrick Browne

Recipe: Bacon chop with Irish peas

Young Buck Donuts, Highbank Orchard Syrup Drizzle.  Photo: Patrick Browne

Young Buck Donuts, Highbank Orchard Syrup Drizzle. Photo: Patrick Browne

Recipe: Young Buck Donuts, Highbank Orchard Syrup Drizzle

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