Books, blooms and awards… and thinking of a true gentelman

It has been such a busy time over the past month or so. We had the release of my Baby and Toddler Cookbook and I was delighted and over the moon when it went to No 1 in the hard back non fiction category.

It is always fantastic when the public trust you and your recipes and as I have said before I never take your support for granted. It means everything to me. 

BABY AND TODDLER .. A Book I hope will stay on shelves for a long time to come

BABY AND TODDLER .. A Book I hope will stay on shelves for a long time to come

The book was launched in association with Danone and the first 1000 days campaign. It is a great campaign which aims to provide help and support from conception to the first two years of the child’s life. Both myself and Amelda are proud to be involved with this campaign and while our twins are now growing up so quickly we recognise the need for a healthy balanced diet when children are young. 

I am absolutely thrilled with the book. It is a great family cook book and I am very proud of it and hopefully it is the type of book that will stay around on shelves for a long time. 

I have to thank all at Gill and Macmillan. They were fantastic to work with again and really understand my philosophy and what I want to get across with my books. 

I also want to thank Orla Broderick, Sharon Hearn-Smith and Joanne Murphy. These three ladies do so much brilliant work and I know how important they are to the finished product. Thank you ladies. And of course to my own brilliant team especially Olivia Raffery and Claire Beasley. I could not have done it without you both. 

So, here are a few recipes from the book that are delicious for all the family. 

Fruit Yogurt

Beef Sliders

We also had the hugely successful ‘Bloom in the Park’. What a five days this is turning out to be. Each year it seems to get better. I am so honoured to have been involved right from day one and I so look forward to this event every year. It combines a lot of the things that I think are very important such as fantastic local produce and a passion for all things Irish and of course a passion for all things food. 

ANOTHER GREAT BLOOM... A sunflower selfie.. great fun again at bloom

ANOTHER GREAT BLOOM… A sunflower selfie.. great fun again at bloom

I love to see all the generations of faces at the cookery demonstrations as it shows that we are passing that passion on to our children. 

And speaking of generations we had a competition for a place for two at my cookery school. Over the duration of Bloom we asked you to name your favourite course and the eventual winner of the competition was Brian Conway who revealed that his dad bakes the best Apple Tart! His dad is in his 80’s and only really started baking in his 70’s. Mr Conway certainly shows age is no limit to producing great food in the kitchen. I can’t wait to meet Brian and his dad at the cookery school. 

The restaurant of the year awards were also on recently and I was privileged and honoured to pick up Best Chef in Ulster. I always accept these awards on behalf of the team though as without them nothing would be possible. The awards showed what quality we have in Ireland we should all be proud of our food industry.


It was great sadness that we learned of the passing of a true gentleman, Paolo Tullio. He was a huge support to both myself and the restaurant over the years and of course he was a huge supporter of Irish food in general. But more importantly he was a lovely man and my thoughts are with his family at this time.

A TRUE GENT... Myself and Brian McDermott with Paolo Tullio. Paolo was a great supporter of Irish food.

A TRUE GENT… Myself and Brian McDermott with Paolo Tullio. Paolo was a great supporter of Irish food.

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