Cookery Feature - Celebrating the 2024 Irish Food Writers' Guild Food Awards in Style

Now in their 31st year, the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Awards are very special. The Guild advocates for ethical practices in Ireland’s food and drink sector and the awards are a unique independent celebration of sustainable excellence, promoting ‘distinguishable quality in Irish produce and its committed creators’.

The 2024 awards were celebrated recently at Dublin’s Suesey Street. Of the eight awards presented, five were for food and drink products - Carlingford Oysters, Co Louth; Regan Organic Chicken, Co Wexford; Roll It All Butter Pastry, Co Meath, Rare Ruminare beef, Co Sligo (Environmental Award) and Valentia Island Vermouth, Co Kerry – and they featured stylishly in a celebration lunch menu specially devised by Suesey Street Head Chef, Matt Fuller, to showcase them.

Very much a special occasion menu, Matt Fuller has kindly shared the recipes (see below). Some of the ingredients may come into the sphere of 'molecular gastronomy' (and it's far from that most of us were reared) but they will delight chefs and adventurous cooks who enjoy experimenting with modern cooking techniques, while home cooks with a preference for simpler dishes can adapt the theme to use more familiar methods. And, while each recipe is composed of several elements, they can be simplified by selecting sections of the recipes rather than completing the complex dish. The key point is the sheer quality of the showcased ingredients, any of which can be enjoyed equally for special occasions or everyday cooking.

Award Menu devised by Suesey Street Head Chef, Matt Fuller
• Carlingford Oyster Tempura, Preserved Red Onion, Oyster Emulsion, Wakame Salad
• Pomme Soufflé of Rare Ruminare Braised Ossobuco, Black Pepper Crème
• Regan Organic Farm Chicken, Mousseline Potato, Morel & Shallot Stew, Irish Baby Leeks, Soubise
• Valentia Island Vermouth Poached Pear, Roll It All Butter Pastry Feuilletine, Coffee Crème, Oat, Muscovado Ice Cream, Burnt Apple Purée paired with Valentia Island Vermouth


with Preserved Red Onion, Oyster Emulsion, Wakame Salad
These delicious oysters are coated in a tempura batter that includes trisol, a wheat-based ingredient that is popular with chefs because batters including it remain crunchy for longer than traditional recipes. It is available online but is not necessary for making small quantities that are to be served immediately, so you can use your favourite tempura recipe instead at home. For the emulsion, Ultratex is a tapioca starch thickening agent ‘perfect for Molecular Gastronomy and Modernist Cooking applications’. It is also available online.  
Tempura Batter
350g rice flour
100g gluten free flour
10g Trisol
10g salt
630ml sparkling water
In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together gently.
Preserved Red Onions
100ml white wine vinegar
80g sugar
100ml water
5g salt
2 star anise
5 juniper berries
2 sprigs tarragon
2 small red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
Bring the vinegar, sugar, water, salt and spices to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat.
Add the tarragon and red onion.
Pour into a sterilised jar. Cover with a lid and allow to cool before refrigerating.  
Oyster Emulsion
6 Carlingford oysters
20ml Chardonnay vinegar
5g Ultratex
250ml sunflower oil
Zest and juice of a lemon
Shuck the oysters, taking care to reserve the juices.
Put the oysters into a food processor with the vinegar and Ultratex.
Blend on medium speed, drizzling the oil very slowly into the food processor.
Season with the lemon zest, juice and salt.
Finishing the Carlingford Oyster Tempura
1 dozen Carlingford oysters
Wakame salad
Tempura batter
Oyster emulsion
Preserved Red Onions
Preheat fryer to 180C.
Shuck the oysters, making sure to polish the oyster shell. Put some of the wakame salad into the shell.
Whisk the tempura batter and dip the oysters, one at a time, into the batter. Gently lay the oysters in the fryer and fry for about 45 seconds.
Place the fried oyster in the shell with the wakame salad. Spoon on a little emulsion and sprinkle on a few preserved onions.


 Braised Ossobuco
2 tbsp olive oil
1kg Rare Ruminare veal shin, sliced into 4cm slices
500ml brown chicken stock
500ml veal stock
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into 2cm chunks
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped into 2cm chunks
½ head celeriac, peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks
2 leeks, sliced into 2cm pieces
½ bottle red wine
250ml Madeira
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
Bunch of thyme
10 shallots, peeled and finely diced
Preheat the oven to 140C.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the ossobuco until golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and reserve.
Sweat the vegetables in the same pan, allowing them to colour.
Add the wine and Madeira. Allow to bubble and cook until the pan is almost dry. Return the ossobuco, vegetables, chicken stock and veal stock to the pan with the herbs and spices.
Bring to a simmer on the stove top and then finish in the oven, covered with parchment paper and a lid.
Cook for approximately 2 hours until tender. The meat should be falling off the bone.
Separate the meat, bone, stock and sinew, reserving all three.
Reduce the stock by half.
Pass the sinew through a mincer and fry in a heavy bottomed pot with the shallots.
Add the meat and reduced stock and cook until the mixture resembles a sticky stew.
Brown Chicken Stock
This makes more chicken stock than you'll need but it's worth keeping any extra in the freezer for soups and gravies.
5kg chicken wings
2 onions
1 head of fennel
2 green top carrots
1/8 head celeriac
3 sticks celery
1 leek
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
5 fennel seeds
1 star anise
250ml red wine
7.5 litres white chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 220C. Spread the chicken wings on a large baking tray and roast for approximately 45 minutes, until dark brown.
Clean and slice the vegetables into 4cm pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over a medium-high heat. Cook the vegetables until golden.
Add the spices, wine and chicken stock.
Simmer at a low heat for 24 hours. Strain through a fine chinois.
Refrigerate overnight. Take the fat off the top.
Bag and freeze
Veal Stock
Again, this makes more stock than you'll need. Freeze any extra for future use.
5kg veal bones
2 onions
1 head of fennel
2 green top carrots
1/8 head celeriac
3 sticks celery
1 leek
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
5 fennel seeds
1 star anise
375ml red wine
Preheat the oven to 175C.
Spread the veal bones on a large baking tray and roast for 1 hour, or until they reach a deep golden brown.
Clean and slice the vegetables into 4cm pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a stock pot over a medium-high heat. Cook the vegetables until golden.
Add the veal bones, fennel, star anise, wine and enough water to cover.
Simmer at a low heat for 24 hours. Strain through a fine chinois.
Refrigerate overnight. Take the fat off the top.
Bag and freeze.
Pomme Soufflé
1kg Maris piper potatoes, peeled
100g potato starch
3-4 egg whites
Maldon salt
Oil for frying
Preheat fryer to 180C.
Thinly slice the potato. It should be fine, transparent and even.
Dust half of the potato slices with the potato starch.
Brush the other half of the potato slices with egg white.
Pair one potato starch-dusted slice with one egg white-brushed slice and cut to the desired size. Repeat for the whole batch. Fry until they puff up into hollow little pillows
Black Pepper Crème
9g black peppercorns
12g salt
1 litre cream
9 egg yolks
2 leaves gelatine
Extra cream, as necessary
Preheat the oven to 100C.
Toast the whole black peppercorns in a dry pan until the aroma develops and there is a hint of smoke.
Blend the peppercorns in a spice grinder.
Boil the peppercorns, salt and cream in a pot and pour over the egg yolks. Add the gelatine, whisking constantly.
Cook in the oven in a bain-marie (as per a crème brulee) for approximately 90 minutes.
Allow to cool and blend with a touch of extra cream until you reach the desired texture.
Allow to set in the fridge.
Finishing the Pomme Soufflé of Rare Ruminare Braised Ossobuco
Pomme Soufflé 
Braised Ossobuco
Black pepper crème brúlée
Potato mousseline
Fennel cress 
Fry the pomme soufflé.
Warm the ossobuco.
When the pomme is fried, stuff it with the ossobuco braise and some potato mousseline.
Put a small dot of mousseline onto a plate, place the soufflé on top and finish with a quenelle of black pepper crème.
Decorate with fennel cress.

3. Main Course:

with Morel & Shallot Stew, Irish Baby Leeks, Soubise
Regan Organic Chicken
Brine for chicken
5 lemons
6 bay leaves
100g flat leaf parsley
30g fresh thyme
85g honey
1 head of garlic
14g black peppercorns
275g salt
2 litres water
2kg ice
Put all the ingredients except the ice in a large pot.
Bring to the boil, then take off the heat. Add the ice and allow to cool.
Reserve in the fridge for 24 hours. After that it must be discarded.
Chicken Mousseline
500g chicken skins
500g unsalted butter
Maldon sea salt 
500g ratte potatoes
125ml milk
125ml cream
Maldon salt
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Fry chicken skins in the butter over a low heat to render their fat. Drain the butter and reserve.
Put the skins on a baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes until golden and crispy. Chop and season with a little Maldon sea salt.
Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of salted water until tender enough to be easily pierced with a fork, about 20-25 minutes. Drain and peel. Return to the hot pan.
In a small saucepan, bring the milk, cream and reserved butter to the boil.
Mash the potatoes and whip with the hot dairy mixture. Season.
Butter Poached Leeks
12 baby leeks
A knob of butter
A couple of sprigs of thyme
Thoroughly clean the leeks and put into a vac pack bag with butter, salt, and thyme.
Put the bag into a simmering pot of water for approximately 1 minute or until the leeks are tender.
Put the bag into iced water to cool.
Morel and Shallot Stew
200g large morel mushrooms, cleaned
1-2 tbsp olive oil 
4 shallots, peeled and finely diced
100ml Madeira
250ml brown chicken stock
A dash of cream
Cut the stalks and tips from the morels.
Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add the morel stalks and shallots to the skillet and fry until fully cooked.
Tip in the Madeira and bubble off until well reduced.
Add the chicken stock and cream. Reduce until the sauce darkens.
Blend in a food processor and pass through a fine chinois.
Slice the rest of the mushrooms into 5mm slices.
Lightly fry the mushroom slices in a little more oil.
Pour the sauce onto the mushroom slices and simmer for 2 minutes.
Finishing the Regan Organic Chicken
Regan Organic Chicken crown
Brine for chicken
Chicken mousseline
Butter pached leeks
Morel and shallot stew
Onion soubise
Oil for cooking
Cold diced butter
Garlic cloves, peeled
Remove the skin from the crown and reserve for the mousseline. Remove the breasts from the carcass.
Put the breasts into the brine and refrigerate for 12 –18 hours.
Roll the breasts in the reserved skin and roll in cling film to create a sausage-type shape.
Vac pack the chickens without removing the cling film and poach at 59C for 55 minutes. Chill in ice water.
Heat the mousseline, leeks, morel stew and onion soubise.
Cook the chicken in a hot pan, making sure to turn it regularly and get a good golden colour all over. Add cold diced butter to get a good foam in the pan. Add the garlic and thyme towards the end of cooking time.
Slice the chicken into 4 pieces.
Cut the leeks into 2cm pieces and warm in a little butter emulsion.
Sauce the plate with morel stew and put some of the soubise around the plate
Plate the leeks on the soup and place the chicken on the plate.

with Coffee Crème, Oat, Muscovado Ice Cream, Burnt Apple Purée

Agar Agar is available from speciality food shops such as Kates Kitchen in Sligo and online from 
Valentia Island Vermouth Poached Pear
4 Comice pears, peeled, cored and halved.
200ml Valentia Island Vermouth
15g lemon juice
25g sugar
½ vanilla pod
Put all of the ingredients into a vac pack bag.
Heat the water bath to 80C and poach for 20-30 minutes. 
Coffee Custard
10g agar agar
100g demerara sugar
150g muscovado sugar
300ml oat milk
750ml cream
30g coffee extract
10g vanilla extract
200g egg yolks
Mix the agar agar with the demerara sugar.
Put the agar agar / demerara sugar mixture and all of the ingredients, except the egg yolks, into a deep saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Pour over the simmering liquid while still hot and whisk until incorporated
Cool in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Blend in a high speed blender and reserve in bottles.
Burnt Apple Purée
5 Granny Smith apples, quartered and cored
50g sugar
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 170C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Slice apples thinly and lay on an oven tray. Sprinkle with the sugar and salt.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Stir the apples and bake for another 20 minutes.
Blend in a high speed blender and pass through a sieve.
Oat Crumble
200g cold butter
75g muscovado sugar
60g caster sugar
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod
250g rolled organic oats
200g almond nibs
Preheat the oven to 170C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Put the butter, sugars and vanilla seeds into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low speed until just combined.
Add the oats and almonds and mix until incorporated.
Spread on the lined baking tray and cook for 12 minutes.
Roll It All Butter Pastry Feuilletine
100g water
150g caster sugar
400g Roll It All Butter Puff Pastry
Icing sugar to dust
Preheat the oven to 170C and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Place the water and caster sugar into a small saucepan and warm over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Roll the pastry out to 4mm.
Brush with the syrup and dust with icing sugar.
Cut into strips, 2cm wide and 15cm long. Holding one end gently, roll the other until the strip is loosely twisted.
Cook for 10 minutes until golden brown and crunchy.
Allow to cool on a wire tray.
Muscovado Ice Cream
300ml cream
400ml milk
20g glucose
Seeds of ½ vanilla pod
180g egg yolk
150g muscovado sugar
50g caster sugar
Pour the cream, milk , glucose and vanilla into a deep saucepan and bring to the boil.
Mix the egg yolks and the sugars together in a large bowl.
Pour the boiling cream mixture onto the yolks, whisking constantly.
Pour back into the saucepan and return to the heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 82C.
Cool and churn in an ice cream machine as per the manufacturer's instructions.
Finishing the Valentia Island Vermouth Poached Pear
Poached pear
Lime, juice and zest
Coffee Custard
Burnt Apple Purée
Oat Crumble
Roll It All Butter Pastry Feuilletine
Red sorrel cress
Muscovado Ice Cream
Cut the pear into wedges and cut in half across the length.
Place the pear in a steel bowl and dress with a few drops of lime juice and some zest.
Pipe small amounts of the coffee custard and apple pureé in small piques creating a crescent moon shape on the plate.
Break up the oat crumble into thumb sized pieces and place at intervals on-top of your crescent moon design.
Put your poached pears at intervals between the oat crumbles and decorate with the pastry feuilletine and red sorrel cress.
Serve with an elegant rocher (one-handed quenelle) of the muscovado ice cream



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