Food Is Life... With Katy Gaffney

Katy adores wine, wine & more wine. She is also overflowing with recommendations of amazing places to dine in Ireland. 

What’s your favourite dish?

Absolutely anything with truffle; I adore a good risotto with a cheeky drizzle of truffle oil.

What’s your favourite cuisine?

That’s a hard one, because there are so many Irish restaurants that are doing really great fusion food at the moment. We have incredible ingredients in this country, from foraged herbs & sea vegetables to small-farm cheeses and fresh fish; I love when locally sourced Irish ingredients are used to create Mediterranean or Asian-inspired dishes.

Best place to grab breakfast in Ireland?

I’m going to have to go with the crowd on this one; it’s always those Fumbally eggs! Whenever any friend or family comes to visit from abroad I always find myself bringing them there. Amazing coffee, wonderful staff and eggs that’ll have you in raptures.

Best place to grab lunch in Ireland?

Well, Industry of course! Where else? Forgetting for a moment that I spend half my life there, I can honestly say it’s the freshest and most beautiful lunch offering I’ve come across. There’s very little else that comes close; the ingredients are top quality and the chef, Thiago Acauã, never ceases to amaze me with his ingenuity.

Best place to have dinner in Ireland?

I think Fish Shop in Smithfield are doing really interesting things at the moment. The ingredients are so fresh, and they pay such great attention to their wines! It’s also a casual enough atmosphere that it avoids pretension, allowing the food to speak for itself. Outside of Dublin, I’d suggest ShaRoe in Clonegal.

Best place to get coffee in Ireland?

Proper Order Coffee Co., without a doubt. The friendliest and most passionate guys in the business.

Best place to get a cocktail in Ireland?

Again, I’m sticking to a Dublin favourite; maybe I should expand my horizons a bit! But whenever I think of cocktails, it’s always Drury Buildings that springs to mind. Their Lychee & Chilli Martini could put hairs on anyone’s chest.

Best shop/ supermarket to grab bits for a home-cooked dinner?

I always pop to Fallon & Byrne for my fruits & veggies as it’s the only place I’ve found that stocks rare varieties, and they sell everything loosely. Their cheese counter is a real treat too, not least because of Pete the chuckling cheesemonger! I also love the Asian Supermarket on Drury St, both for basics like good seasonings and bulk herbs, and for those obscurities you wouldn’t find in your local Tesco.

What’s your favourite meal to make at home?

There’s something really special about a fresh piece of white fish on a bed of sharp, well-seasoned greens. It may be simple, but it makes you feel very glam & upmarket, especially when you’re whipping up your beurre blanc with one hand while periodically swigging from a large glass of chardonnay.

Who’s your favourite cook/ chef?

It would probably be a close tie between Chef Daniel Boulud and my mother.

Do you have a favourite recipe book?

Feast by Sarah Copeland is full of wonderful, inventive vegetarian food that looks great, and it’s got a prep section at the back that provides basic information on things like bread-making, measurements and vegetable and grain preparation. I return to it constantly.

Favourite restaurant you’ve ever been to & why…

My family and I are obsessed with Chez Janou in Le Marais, Paris, and have been for years. It’s a gorgeous little place with yellow walls and ivy-covered trellises outside, and it serves some of the most delicious Savoie cuisine you’ll find in the whole city. I have many fond memories of long evenings and late lunches spent with my family, tucked away from the busy streets on their lazy terrace, absolute heaven!

What city, from your travels, has the best food?

San Francisco has some amazing vegetarian & whole-food offerings, as well as famously authentic Mexican food that we can only dream of this side of the Atlantic.

What’s your favourite ingredient to use in cooking?

Garlic, copious amounts, in everything. My family are all garlic-mad, my mum literally chews on a raw clove while cooking. For me you can’t beat the big purple bulbs you find in Fallon & Byrne.

Best place (or website) to get gorge bits for the kitchen?

Merci on Boulevard Beaumarchais in Paris has the most incredible homewares floor, it’s chock full of tools that are just as beautiful as they are functional.

Favourite dessert?

A good pistachio gelato, you really can’t beat it! If you can’t make it to Italy anytime soon Dunne & Crescenzi on South Frederick St is the perfect Dublin spot to indulge a craving.

Favourite tipple?

Wine, wine & more wine! From drinking it, to reading about it, to listening to people talk about it; it’s more than just a beverage, it’s an obsession.

What six people would make up your dream dinner party?

Daniel Boulud (he’d also be in charge of the catering), Lauryn Hill, Truman Capote, Agatha Christie, Joni Mitchell, and Justin Trudeau.

What food/ ingredient do you detest?

I absolutely can’t STAND endives. Simply don’t understand the trend! Radicchio too, I find them both far too bitter.

Katy Gaffney works and eats in Industry, Drury Street.