Name: Paul “baby elephant” Cotter
Place: eabhajoans listowel
I have been working in the kitchen for 4 years now. I suppose it was a chance opportunity for me in the kitchen being offered to go on a trainee management programme and being asked which department I wanted to go to first and saying kitchen. It was I admit the best decision I have ever made even though I wanted to leave the kitchen after a few bad services.
The highlight of my career thus far was working in preachers restaurant in doon Co.Limerick. Where the setting was an old converted church the atmosphere was magical. The food was 2nd to none. The flavours and textures unbelievable as well as the team in FOH
What I like about food is how it can bring people together over the table, from celebration dinners to the funeral lunch, whether it’s a happy or sad occasion it’s often the simple food that brings everyone together. The food that has had the biggest imprint is that of my mother and grandmother because as a child it was their food that inspires me to make my food better and push the amount of flavours I can squeeze out of everything I make and do in the kitchen.
My favourite ingredient is tarragon it’s smell it’s taste it’s versatility in fish dishes, meat dishes vegetable dishes and sauces.
Keep the pans hot and the knives sharp
NOEL “the don” KEANE
founder of the Tralee culinary gangsters, a group of chefs and front of house guys and gals that produce and serve your food, your dining experience , is our career
head chef restaurant Eabha joans listowel
I have been in kitchens for 24 years now, both here in Ireland and abroad working with some great chefs in my time. I kind of stumbled in to the job as I didn’t set out to be a chef but to me it was of the best jobs anybody can have. I mentor and have mentored many young chefs, and enjoy seen them progress in their career.
I have enjoyed many highlights in my career, from the many awards and credits, but for me its about the people, the ones I work beside and those who join us for dinner, I have meet some wonderful people, especially in my time in darcys restaurant because it is my home town.
I enjoy cooking with local food, I don’t think there is anything better than the food we produce here, I also love the wild food that grows here, and often forage for them. whether it is berries , wild garlic, or leek and of course wild mushroom and herbs .
1 baking with flour is all about gluten alot for bread not much for cakes
2 if using an American recipe you will need less liquid our flour has more moisture
3 white flour is easier to store the oils in whole wheat go rancid
4 canadian flour is considered the best in the world
5 mix flour with cold water before adding to hot liquid
6 store white flour in air tight containers
7 wheat flour shoukd be refrigerated or frozen
8 when using whole wheat flour let the batter before baking
9 if using coconut flour you need less flour(1/3) but much more liquid
one of the most popular starters this weekend at the restaurant
1.2 ltr hot vegetable stock, made with 1 vegetable stock cube
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 300 g beetroot dipped in malt vinegar, grated
- 7.5 g fresh thyme, leaves washed, picked and roughly chopped, reserving a few sprigs to garnish
- 250 g arborio risotto rice
- 100 g goats’ cheese, crumbled
- 70 g wild rocket
- Put the stock in a small saucepan over a low heat to keep it hot. In a large saucepan, heat the oil, then add the onion and fry for 5 minutes. Stir in half of the grated beetroot, along with the chopped thyme and risotto rice.
- Cook over a low to medium heat for a further 2 minutes, then start adding the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, making sure the liquid is absorbed before adding more – this will take about 20-25 minutes. Test a few grains of rice – it should be firm, but cooked through.
3 Whizz the remaining beetroot until you have a smooth purée, then stir into the risotto with the last ladleful of stock, cooking until the liquid is almost all absorbed and the risotto is a creamy consistency.
Stir in half the goats’ cheese until it melts into the risotto, then stir in most of the rocket. Spoon onto plates, scatter with the remaining goats’ cheese and garnish with the thyme sprigs and the remaining rocket leaves.
Cook’s tip: if you eat fish, you could stir through flakes of smoked mackerel or trout.
My top tips for ice cream
1 freeze your bowl for at least 24hrs before churn
2 put your ice cream batter in the fridge for 24hrs before churring
3 only fill hour your 3/4 ways leave room for it to aerate
4 when tempering your eggs add little and often hot milk
5 easy on the alcohol little goes a long way when freezing
6 add extracts when your batter is cold for better effect
7 add flavours like chocolate, nuts for the last minute or two of churring
8 shallow flat containers are best fir freezing in
9 to prevent ice crystals lay cling film on top 10 ice cream (homemade) starts to loose flavour after a week so eat it all
The humble egg 1 brown or white which is better?? There is no difference bar shell colour
2 Eggs should be stored in the carton they come in
3 always store eggs in the back of a fridge
4 eggs yolks should be covered in water to lrevent drying out
5 freeze eggs without shells for upto 3 weeks
6 if freezing only egg yolks whisk in some sugar 1/4 teaspoon 4 yolks
7 egg whites can be frozen for up to a year
8 when folding whipped egg whites a rubber spatula is best
9 let egg white stand for 30 minutes before whisking for maximum volume