menu by noel

menu writing is a strange thing to be honest , you have to balance what way and what dishes the customer wants and want you would like to cook which i can assure yo are very different things , to give an example steak the usual trio sirloin fillet and ribeye wouldn’t make the cut , for me the filet is tender yes but lacks any flavour sirloin has more flavour but is well blaa just yea blaa the ribeye is the best of the three and sells the least , where as the feather blade or bavette steak has oodles of flavour yes not tender but for me it is always about flavour, what else matters really just flavour in all senses really isn’t it a flavour packed meal , relationship, life , you don’t want any to be blaa , a night out a great conversation life is all about flavour isn’t,

oh yes menus it is the same on starts , a lot of the best sellers are there for the customer not the chef , and you might think well yes that’s why i go there they have so and so on the menu, but shouldn’t you be going to a restaurant to try something different something you wouldn’t normally have , something by the chef his dish his way , what are you afraid of …….. worst thing ever is someone saying they wouldn’t like that and then saying they have never had it but wouldn’t like it , sweet baby Jesus , if you always took that you would never eat or drink anything ever what a waste of a life , one of life’s greatest joys is eating.

it is one of the purest things really , so go to restaurant that are chef lead , how do youo know if they are…. look at the menu it will tell you everything you need to know , same old stuff on it as everywhere else or things on it you dont know combinations you never heard of then thats chef lead.

paul keeps active

Keep active 

As we come out from our 2nd lockdown, my lockdown has taken me back to school, yes I did a few courses during the 1st lockdown but they were ones I needed to update and refresh. To further to my jogging/running I’ve gone back to the basics of cooking at home, making bread, stock and sauce, I’ve always bought whole chickens, just decided to make use of the carcass instead of being lazy about it. I bought a duck to break and render for stock and taken the fat for roast potatoes for myself and my wife. Its a “healthier” fat than vegatble oil. 
I plan on making spring rolls from the legs wings and breast. Making them is very easy, all you need is the pastry, filo will do the technical one is filo de brick, the method is very simple, make your filling of vegatables, sweat them together till they are tender allow to cool and mix in cooled duck meat, season to your liking with salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, whatever you like. 
The pastry if you are using filo you will need to cut it in 2 as it is too long, if you get the spring roll pastry just place a damp towel or cloth over it so it won’t loose moisture, 
Place 1 sheet of pastry on top of the other rotating the top piece to make a star shape on the table. 
Place your duck and vegetables in the middle of the star and fold over the 2 sides (left and right) Then roll the bottom point over the top of where the left and right are and tuck it in on the far side. Once tucked in roll over to the end to make it into your spring roll. 
Bake at 180 for approx. 15 mins or deep fry until golden brown. Serve and enjoy. 
As always stay safe and follow my journey @chefpaulc on all social media 

Paul talks lockdown

As we are now in the middle of level 5 restrictions I find myself once again at a loss, though I’ve maintained a day or 2 a week work I feel more at a loss now than I did at the height of the last 1. Shortly after moving house while walking my 2 dogs, I walked a path alongside a river and decided instead of turning back on myself I’d continue on and walk home the rest of the way roughly the same distance as the walk, and that I’d jog a part of the leg home. Running was a vent for me as a teenager to clear my head focus and keep fit. Alas I was sadly mistaken as to how far I could run, I struggled with around 200 meters, shocking wake up call I assure you. In my teens I thought nothing of 5k or 10k runs.
I averaged approx 20, 000 steps on a day that I was working I figured a mile of a run may not have been out of my range, my legs, lungs and heart however had other ideas, “good idea kid, but no not doing that”. A week later now I’ve just completed a mile and a half jogging, my legs now feeling it. 
I suppose the moral of my story, excercise in increments, not on a whim. I now plan to continue until I can successfully run 10k who knows maybe a marathon. All help and advice is appreciated. 
As always stay safe, support local. follow my journey @chefpaulc on all social media.

Parsnip & apple soup

  1. 25g/1oz butter
  2. 1 tbsp oip
  3. 2 medium onion, chopped
  4. 600g/1lb 5oz parsnip cut into 2cm/1in pieces
  5. 2 cloves cloves, crushed
  6. 600g/1lb 5oz Bramley apples, peeled, quartered and cut into chunks
  7. 1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable stock
  8. 150ml/5fl oz milk
  9. flaked sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

  1. Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onions and parsnips for 15 minutes, or until the onions are softened. Add the garlic and apples and cook for a further two minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Pour over the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are very soft. Remove from the heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend the mixture in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Stir in the milk, adding a little extra if required. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

gangstar profile

Name: Luke Gethin

Position: Kitchen assistant

Place of Work: Croí Restaurant and cocktail heist tapas bar

When I Started: February 2020, I went to Croí looking for work experience for school and I started that weekend. My first night working was Valentine’s Day, so I got a good idea of what a busy kitchen was like. My week of work experience went well and I learned a lot, I was really enjoying it but it was coming to an end until, on the last night of work experience Chef Noel came into the kitchen just before service and asked if I would like to come in on the coming Friday and start working properly. The offer caught me off guard but I instantly said yes, I saw it as a chance to learn a lot more about this trade and I’m always learning something new in the best place to learn it, a kitchen. I Worked all summer, after the Covid-19 lockdown was lifted of course and I plan to keep working here for a while and keep contributing to Tralee Culinary Gangsters as well.

Dale’s starter

A couple of pictures from my dish I created tonight in the Rose Hotel, Tomato TarTar with smoked Salmon.
Beetroot peure, mint powder , rose petals and edible flowers and hearbs from my garden.
Created this dish from experience I picked up threw the years of chefing by learning my art on a plate. Flavour, foraging and gardening.

Gary on starting out

Was 16 when I was offered my first job, wasn’t chefing it was actually meant to be a kitchen porter, but my head chef and mentor for the past almost 8 years looked at me and said get a uniform you start Monday, I didn’t want to chef at the start, just wanted money cause I was Young, never liked the job as a chef until I was shown how to cook and found out you can never stop learning, fell in love with it and my trade and wanted to learn all the time, still to this day I google and research recipes and cooking skills, love what I do and I am always excited to learn more and will never get enough knowledge because it’s endless

Lockdown life

Lockdown ramblings 

Since all this started, I like many of my colleagues across the industry and in general the public have been afforded an opportunity to evaluate life, and the work life balance. Many people will have experienced this differently to what I did. 

I’m fortunate in a sense that I live in the countryside, far from town and near to forestry walkways. 

My wife has adapted to her new learning from the college i.e online classes and exams quite well with a nice set up in the kitchen. 

All exams passed with flying colours. 

For me I need to get out to and into a kitchen as they seem to be the only place my life makes sense I don’t know why it just does for me. I get to kill 2 birds with one stone I get to give back to the community and get out of the house and build a network for myself for the future. I’ve known my kitchen comerades Paul and Karl for a while but never really got to know them. 

By providing meals on wheels for SVP I have learned that we are still a community at heart something that many believed myself included non existent previous to lockdown. The community approach to this has been fantastic across the country and the rural community ramped up production on their existing efforts in the rural centres for Irish life. Yes, I’m referring to villages and small towns with senior groups or aid groups for the community prime example my own village Knocknagoshel already providing meals laundry etc from the community centre added extra delivery and shopping from the village and they deserve a massive thank you. 

Now as it eases and “normality” resumes now I hope that this community sprirt and local support continues. I now myself have had time to think and contemplate what aspects of what I want the new normal to be. I now have rearranged my priorities and I needed a kick up the backside to see what everyone has always said to me and others no doubt in my shoes since the dawn of time, choosing family over my career is now to the forefront of what I want and desire. Honestly I always believed it myself and was going my own way about it by putting in the work for my life to enable an ease of life later. Seems logical to me, not any more thankfully.

Karl’s Sunday roast

Chef Karl gave us a delicious roast pork recipe ideal for your Sunday Roast!
Ingredients:
🌹1kg of Lion of Pork
🌹200g almond flakes
🌹200g almond flakes
🌹10g paprika
🌹10g garlic salt
🌹1 teaspoon fennel seeds
🌹1 teaspoon salt
🌹2 slices bread
Blend all together to a fine bread crumb. Cut the eye of the pork open to make one long sheet of pork. Score the meat and pack the filling on top and roll the meat tight. Tie the meat up as best you can. Run plenty of salt on the skin.
Roast for 1 1/2 hour 170oc and turn the heat up to 200oc to create a crisp skin. PLEASE LEAVE THE MEAT REST FOR 10 MINS ONCE IT IS COOKED. Adjust the cooking time according to the weight of the meat.