Dine in Dublin, a food and restaurant festival, is taking place across the capital this week. All of the top restaurants are on board, hosting exciting culinary events and or offering special menus for the city's curious palettes. In order to up our foodie IQ we decided to ask some of Dublin's best chefs about the ingredients and utensils which help them do their jobs oh so well. Warning: this article includes evocative descriptions which may provoke a tummy rumble.
Lorraine Fitzmaurice, Blazing Salads, Drury Street
?My must have kitchen utensil is a paring knife. Apart from being useful in the kitchen I always bring one on picnics and on holidays for peeing my families favourite fruit, pears. My must have kitchen ingredient in an onion. It can give an extra lift to any dish even a piece of cheese. In our signature dish we add crisp fried onion for the extra lift.?
"I've got two essentials in the kitchen - one tool and one ingredient! First and foremost, a good quality sharp knife is the key to success in the kitchen. Whether it's slicing meats, cutting onions or portioning fish, a dull knife can ruin the entire process by bruising or tearing otherwise beautiful produce. Sharp knives are a sign of respect for the product and your craft,?and therefore mandatory in all kitchens! As for an essential ingredient, we always have a bottle of lemon gastrique on the line for balancing acidity and adding brightness to dishes. This comes into play with the spaghetti Genovese on the Dine in Dublin menu, giving the rocket pesto and confit artichokes a great, zingy lift."
Tao (Tweesak Trakoolwattana), Executive Head Chef, Saba, Clarendon Street
?My favourite ingredients to cook with has to be bird's eye chili, lemongrass, galangal, sweet basil. These are ingredients that you will nearly always see in Saba and Saba to Go's kitchen. My favourite dish to cook has to be the ?Hake in Banana Leaf?. It's such an appetising dish and it's one of our popular dishes on the menu at the moment. This dish also features on our Dine in Dublin lunch and dinner menus that will be available from the 22nd of February. so it is the perfect excuse to call into Saba and give it a try!"
Derek Borwne, Executive Head Chef at Le Bon Crubeen, Talbot Street
?The most essential piece of equipment in my kitchen is the sous vide circulator pump. It keeps a bath of water at a constant controllable temperature for cooking meat and vegetables in vacuum sealed plastic bags. This method of cooking seals the juices and flavour in food and produces a much better end product.?
Richie Wilson, Executive Head Chef at FIRE, Dawson Street
?I think my must have ingredient in a kitchen is THYME but could be TIME as well! This is the single most versatile herb of them all, as copious in flavour is it is in supply. It is such a simple herb to grow, I have it growing everywhere, I have too! I use so much of it, it never gets a chance to bloom. Thyme is the base in almost all of our sauces, soups, stocks and even sorbet with Lemon Thyme. The question ?Have you any thyme?? in the kitchen is asked many times a day and the response more often than not is ?not enough?. A chef can simply never has enough Thyme/Time. Our Hereford Prime Steaks for which Fire has become synonymous for is brought to new heights with the simple addition of both Time and Thyme I would be lost without both in my kitchen.?
For more details on participating restaurants, exciting culinary events and special offers, check out dineindublin.ie.