It’s that time of year again. So I’m in the UK and Ireland checking out restaurants, farmers’ markets and local produce.
This week I’ve been in Drogheda, half an hour up the motorway from Dublin Airport on the historic River Boyne. Here I met Justin Stubbs, a young hard-working Aussie who has made a real success story out of his café right on the river. Called The Salthouse, it’s the talk of the town. This is when rivals are feeling the pinch and shedding staff due to the recession. Justin and his Latvian wife are busy every day, rain or shine.
Their success is due to fresh local produce, uncomplicated preparation, generous portions and proper cooking methods. Irish beef is particularly good due to the rich pasture. Justin doesn’t over cook it, preserving full flavour. Now locals have grown to appreciate steak medium rare or rare.
Irish folk love their food, but have been very conservative until now. Justin explained how he persevered with ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes and red onions. Now locals love him, his friendly atmosphere, good food and competitive prices. These are helped on by low overheads.
There are many Australians in Drogheda. Justin makes sure that they all celebrate Australia Day and Anzac Days together with a barbecue. Be sure to check him out if you travel this way.
This month I’d like to share just one recipe with you: a European fish dish.
The recipe is from travelling surgeon, Dr Bertil Philipson, who lives both in Bunbury, WA and near Stockholm, Sweden. He was star guest at a wedding I attended and was easily the best MC ever, a doctor with a sense of food and fun.