Five's The Charm

In an exclusive series for IMAGEdaily, food stylist Jette Virdi looks at five female chefs who are making their mark in Ireland. First up is Kate Lawlor of the Fenn's Quay in Cork, who let's us in on one of her recipes

Working as a food stylist I am surrounded by food and foodies constantly. I'm inspired everyday by the talent, hard work and dedication that people in the food industry have whether they are a local producer, a michelin star chef or work in a cafe. And while food now surrounds us in photo form, tweets, cookbooks and more, sometimes the people who actually make the food get overlooked.

Approaching five top ladies in the food industry was nerve racking: would they want to be involved a foodie project with me, an unknown and newbie to Ireland. But, I've got to know these talented women, I've become friends with them and been utterly inspired. Food doesn't have to be difficult and hard, it's fun and easy, should be made with love and care and bring people together, and that's what these women do so well.

Our first recipe comes from Kate Lawlor, head chef and owner of Fenn's Quay down in Cork. I've worked in her kitchen and she is an brilliant boss. Relaxed, inspiring and always striving for the best dish made from local ingredients. March has been a great month for her, as Fenns Quay was included in the Mckenna's Top 100 Best Restaurants of Ireland, and she's also Justask's Restaurant of the Month. If you are ever in Cork, make sure to pop in.

Recipe:?Forest mushrooms with wild garlic & seaweed with soda bread

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Serves 4

Bread
450g plain flour
1tsp sea salt
1 tsp bread soda
400 ml buttermilk

Method
?Pre hear oven to 220c
?Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and make a well
?Slowly add the buttermilk mixing as you go until you form a dough
? Place dough on a floured surface and shape into a round
?Cross the top of the bread and place in hot oven
? After 15 minutes reduce heat to 180c for a further 30 to 40 minutes
? Tap the base when you get a hollow sound your bread is cooked then leave to cool on a wire tray

Whilst the bread is cooling prepare mushrooms
Serves 4
500g Irish Forrest mushrooms chopped
10g dulse/Dillisk sea weed
1 table spoon washed chopped wild garlic
250g? baby spinach
50g creamery butter
Pepper

Method
?Bring a pot of water to the boil and add the Dillisk to the pot for 1/2 minute and strain and refresh in cold water .
?Gently warm a pan add the butter when the butter begins to foam add the mushrooms & wild garlic saut? until the mushrooms begin to soften
? Add the spinach & Dillisk and cook until the spinach wilts and season with pepper
Sea weed has a natural saltiness so be careful adding salt

To serve
Cut a slice of your fresh bread and pour over your mixture
Alternatively if the loaf was made the day before it's great on toast too

Kate Lawlor @fqchefess

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Photography by Yolene Dabreteau

Food styling by Jette Virdi @WoodandC

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