Black Pudding, Chocolate Guinness Cake, red wine and cheese puffs… Chef Colm Keane of DADDY’s talks favourite ingredients, recipes and unlikely food pairings with us in this month’s edition of Behind The Pass.
“Avocados. Goodbye. Goodnight. God bless. Get out.”
Black pudding! I eat it all the time! More specifically, black pudding made with fresh blood. The flavour can’t be beaten and the nutritional value is real, compared to the pasteurised powdered blood in most puddings. At Daddy’s, we’re so lucky to have made connections with Eileen Ashe from Annascaul and Jane Russell from Kildare, who both make pudding to long-standing traditional family recipes. Both are completely different flavours and textures.
That, to me, is a real Irish ingredient. People often say Ireland doesn’t have much of a food heritage, but I think it is in these smaller traditional foods that we find it most.
Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Guinness Cake. If you’ve ever met me, it’s most likely I’ve offered you a slice. It’s as naughty and teasing as Lady Lawson herself.
Trick of the trade
Always use the best quality olive oil you can afford. It will really take the simplest cooking to the next level. My favourites are Capezanna (extravagant) or Iliada (glam).
My food hero would be one of my best pals, Joe Macken. His brain is like Larousse Gastronomique on steroids and his passion for food is infectious. I was working in TV production when I started working as a waiter for him years ago for extra cash. I very quickly quit the TV stuff and followed him round like a blue-arsed fly, learning as much as I could.
Making sandwiches with my sister, Sinéad, in the kitchen as children – I would have been about five, her six. We used to pretend we were presenting a sandwich cooking show (!?) and put so much attention into placing and arranging the ingredients and then would serve them to our parents for tea.
God knows what was in them, but I would highly recommend training your kids early to be independent with food in that way and become confidently curious. They let us at the fridge and cupboards and taste at our own pace. By the time we were all seven or eight we were cooking the dinner!
Scene from a movie and/or book
In Mean Girls when Regina George asks, “Is butter a carb?” Butter is EVERYTHING.
Avocados. Goodbye. Goodnight. God bless. Get out.
Trend worth noting
I don’t think it’s ever been untrendy, but provenance. Knowing where your vegetables and meat came from. Most of our meat comes from Derek in Ennis Butchers – he can practically tell you how to get to the field the animals were raised in and he cures a lot of stuff himself. I love knowing that we are feeding our customers, and ourselves, nutritious food.
2 x 6 1/2 min soft boiled eggs, mashed with butter, spread over heavily buttered toast, sprinkled with salt, pepper and chives.
Morning, afternoon, night. Every time. We serve a version of this in the café.
Chef’s Table at Chapter One with a few pals. Ross Lewis and the team there are incredible.
The Ballymaloe Cookery School Cookbook. Darina, Rory and Rachel and all the teachers from the school where I learned A LOT are a continued support in this book. If I could choose a second, it would be Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton. She wrote it from the kitchen chef’s perspective, so it taught me a lot about organising myself and scalability.
Wish I’d known…
You can’t please everyone. And that’s OK! I’ve spent many times getting stressed over not being able to suit very particular requests. It’s just not always possible. Do your best and enjoy it!
Fav. instagram account
@telltalefood – Julius Roberts who is on a journey to self sufficiency. He farms his own veg, forages like a maniac, keeps bees, goats, sheep, pigs, hens. His simple cooking inspires me a lot. And he’s a babe to boot.
Red wine and cheese puffs. Don’t question it. Submit.
Utensil of choice
A spatula. Helps get every last bit out of a pot or pan. I hate wasting anything, so I always have a spatula for the job – varied sizes and flexibilities. God that sounds a bit filthy, does it?
Table for two
Outside Piglet on Cow’s Lane. Drinking stunning wine. Eating stunning food (particularly the confit duck gizzard w/ garlic butter and toasts). Chatting to the staff. Meeting dogs. Pack of smokes. Delighted!
Daddy’s Cafe, 538 S Circular Rd, Rialto, Dublin 8