Cauliflower bang bang

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David on first year in the kitchen

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So as a lot you of know I am back in college further progressing, learning new skills etc. It’s been a real juggle it you will between being a dad, student and a husband and then throw work in on top of that for fun. Some how I am getting threw it and passing my exams too so it ain’t too bad.

As I much as love learning in college, nearly every chef within TCG will vow for this, there’s a college way of doing things and proper way of doing things. Now I ain’t saying the college way is not right it’s just not practical in industry sometimes.

And even like that life ain’t practical sometimes, you move just to better your situation and you end up stuck again. Ie I moved to tralee originally to do game design.

I uprooted my whole family and then dropped out of the college. That there was a key point where my depression kicked in I felt I ruined my family’s future and there was no hope for me.

With the love and support of a great woman and wife I got through another course and graduated recently for the time in my life.

It a bit of a weird balance now if i being honest as much as being in a dark place helped me fight the light of the kitchen. I’m finding it hard on personal note being away from my kids so long

As much as I love the kitchen and the creative freedom my job let’s me have, I find myself longing for my days off sometimes; only to be in the kitchen with my daughter baking cookies or decorating cupcakes.

I came into the kitchen later in life (I’m nearly 30) but weirdly enough even though I grew up around it ( my dad is a master baker) I feel the kitchen somehow choose me. I didn’t choose it.

Looking back a year on since I started my first culinary course, that day there was 50 other courses on that page somehow I picked culinary arts, never in my wildest dreams had I thought to be a chef. Now my dream / goal is have my own restaurant. It might not happen but it’s fuel to a fire that’s recently been ignited and that’s what it is keeping me going.

Paul on strawberry

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Summer

As the year goes on the foraging and preserving take a massive swing into operation. June and July signals else flower and strawberries, roses and most importantly samphire for all your seafood needs. Add for salt and a crunch, melt with butter and serve with fish. Here I am Irish with Irish food cooking French style, just add butter.

10 days ago I made elderflower cordial overshoy slightly by like 4 litres and still have more to go for the rest of the season.

Dehydration is working as a hit and miss that I expected it would, happier with more results than I’m unhappy with.
Nettles provided more fun and excitement than expected, oh what’s that or what are you making, enter smart-ass Paul here try it and I’ll tell you, most of the people now know that it tasted good or different somethings for some people have been hit and miss, despite this they will try anyway. Nettle paper, powder, sorbet. Wild garlic powder and dried. All had mixed results some liked some disliked. Result the same so what is it?? Nettles. What!! Ensuing laughter and open minded entusasiam, that’s brilliant. Not for some people, I get it more than most, thanks to all our suppliers, random visitors and staff for being unwitting Guinea pigs.

At the moment I have home grown strawberries which produce amazing coulis, ice, gel and fresh juicy sweet OMG, flavour.

Tips on making gelato

buy organic milk and cream andĀ free-range eggs

making sure that everything is as fresh as can be.

If you’re adding flavorings or ingredients, such as chocolate, vanilla or fruit, spring for high-quality products

real vanilla, or even actual vanilla beans, makes far better vanilla ice cream than imitation vanilla.

Flavorings, especially extracts or alcohol, should be added when cooked custard has cooled

After you’ve made the custard, it’s important to chill it in the refrigerator

aging” the mixture overnight in the fridge is best

Aging will enable the mixture to be aerated as much as possible