We chat to head chef Bryan McCarthy of Greenes Restaurant in Cork about his passions and pet peeves
What’s your earliest food memory?
Shelling peas on the front step of our family home with my dad and grandparents – and eating more than I actually picked, of course. Home grown peas are so sweet.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned on your career path?
Keep it simple (expletive removed), a wise old chef once told me.
What is the best thing you ever cooked?
A 100 per cent Wagyu striploin steak, the fat marbling melted from the heat of your hands. The more fat, the better the flavour.
What is your pet peeve in the kitchen?
I hate waste. Try and use every part of an animal, fish or vegetable. Do it justice.
Which kitchen tool could you not live without?
My Fingal Ferguson knife. It’s like an extension of my arm.
What is your current ingredient obsession?
Seaweed in everything.
Who/what are your biggest influences?
In Ireland, Ross Lewis in Chapter One. It is an incredible restaurant. Also Enda McEvoy of Loam. I have eaten in Loam twice and for me it is modern Irish gastronomy. It still has Nordic, French and Mediterranean influences but less pronounced.
What was your most memorable meal?
A full Irish breakfast at Electric Picnic with friends this year, cooked on a camping stove with great ingredients and bread, prosecco and, most importantly, great company.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Dream dinner party guest?
After seeing him at Food On The Edge in Galway, it would have to be Pierre Koffmann. What a character.
What/who inspires you?
My wife and my kids. Amazing people.
Let us in on your top foodie tip…
Dehydrate celeriac skins and blend to a powder with a little salt. Tastes like bacon.