Name: David Culleton
Nickname : Dave / Dáithi
Position : commi
Place of work: Croi
I started in a culinary arts course 8 weeks ago, firstly to get the social welfare off of my back.
But after been in the kitchen few a weeks in college and in croi one day a week, the love and passion, not just for cooking but food in general has grown, as student I find myself wanting to learn more, but also as a father of two children I find I am trying to pass on what I know to my eldest children, as much as this is about food and cooking I find that these skills as very good life skills to have at any age
Forage by the sea
As the spring and summer greens by the shore begin to come to life where I forage anyway. Samphire is in full swing and will remain so until the mid to late autumn.
We will be using these constant in the restaurant over the coming months, in a variety of different ways with different ingredients so stay tuned to the Facebook page for more info on that.
While out foraging on the beach, there are several edibles that have as many different flavours and effects of the palette as there are edibles to choose from. Some of the samphire can be soft and fresh salty while others have a lemony hit. Sea lavender I spotted recently poking through while it is edible its a ronseal ingredient in that it tastes like soap if eaten on its own, this however will be used, to infuse an oil or pickling liquid to add a floral tone to a dish, so be careful which one you pick as it resembles some samphires.
As it’s still early in the season bring a sharp scissors and ensure you keep as many plants rooted in the ground so they can grow and spread.
We will keep you updated on Croí restaurants Facebook page and as usual behind the scenes pics on my own Instagram and Twitter @chefpaulc.
Stay tuned for some exciting news in the coming weeks.
Forage and grow 2017
As many of you know by now wild garlic is coming to the end of its season, so grab it while it’s there to keep it for the rest of the year preserve it by pickling it or making a pesto.
Don’t worry there are many herbs coming through in its place so there is no shortage of wild greens, wild chervil, wood sorrel, Dandelion, hawthorn, nasturtium to name but a few.
Alongside these however are early summer berries, wild strawberries also known as pine berries, and berberries or firethorn, one of these is new to me but the other I’ve known about for years only ever picking once while on a stroll as a child, I’ve never forgottenwhere they were, the picture of them this year on my Instagram @chefpaulc is from the spot I first are them.
The berberries likewise ripening over the next week or 2, can’t wait to get holt of them to be used in the kitchen. Meanwhile at home my strawberries are continuing to grow and ripen into beautiful fruit that I’m proud to use in the restaurant. Along with everything else that’s growing in the tunnel which is proving to be a hit with staff and customers alike. I must say my foraging though it has taken a back seat still rears its face every week for herbs and seagreens, with one other item flowers, they serve a dual purpose to me, a little flavour pocket and a little pip of colour to each dish in which they feature.
Stay tuned to the restaurant @croitralee on Facebook Twitter Instagram.
Or myself @chefpaulc on Twitter and Instagram.
You can follow me on twitter & i stagram @croitralee & all the goungs on at facebook tralee culinarygangsters
You can follow the going ons in the restaurant @croitralee on twitter & instagram and @Croi on facebook and of course tralee culinary gangsters on facebook
We are now open 2 weeks, I have a few minutes to myself away from everyone I am contemplating my position here, if I wasn’t I suppose I wouldn’t be doing this right. I am of the belief that if you are not questioning your actions your not making progress. To myself it’s a realisation of a dream which in itself is bittersweet. On the one hand I’m pushing forward with my life, that part i can deal with, the part that gets me as I write this is the sadness from the loss of my mother last year, as I use her tunnel to grow the strawberries, rhubarb and salad leaves that go out on the starters and desserts. Each time I pick from the tunnel, I can’t help the feeling that should by mom still be here I might not be growing as much as I am.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride so far seeing what we walked into and with the help of friends and family alike, cleaning tidying, organising. I must say a huge thank you to all, the people who have came in and dines with us over the last two weeks. I am glad that I have made this decision as I further my career and make progress down a road less traveled, with 2 of my friends Noel and Kevin, I couldn’t ask for 2 better business partners so thanks lads.
Each of us have a different viewpoints on this restaurant and different reasons as to why we walk this path.
The journey is just beginning, it’s emotionally and physically draining, but it’s worth it at the end of the day we are doing it for ourselves.
Follow the restaurant on Facebook Twitter and Instagram @croitralee
Or myself for behind food pics @chefpaulc on Instagram and Twitter with the occasional food pic thrown in for good measure.
Hope to see ye in the restaurant soon.