Things

Inside Laragh Stuart’s Kitchen

21st May 2015

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Yousef Eldin

The food entrepreneur on an energy-giving bacteria, a beautiful Tuscan plate and the cookbooks she pulls out whenever she’s stuck

INGREDIENTS

Blue-green algae »
Also known as cyanobacteria, a phylum of bacteria that obtain their energy through photosynthesis. “I’ve started taking this recently – it’s like spirulina but much stronger. It gives you lots of energy, fights depression, curbs your appetite and is good for you skin. I mix it with yoghurt, kelp powder, vitamin D, vitamin C powder – it makes my whole mouth green. I’ve put the kids on it and I find their moods much better.” – Laragh

Honey from Jane’s Bees »
“I’m mad about honey – I collect it – and I bought some really nice jars before Christmas from a woman who lives up the road in Dunlavin. The flavours are chestnut, lime and ivy, all really delicious. Lime-tree honey has health properties – it’s good for your mood. Ivy is poisonous, so it’s a bit strange to have it in honey, but this is delicious.”

Delice de Cremier cheese »
“I had some of this yesterday – it’s like brie but without that heaviness that brie has.”

Angostura bitters »
“I love making cocktails and these are great for a Manhattan.” Angostura comes in X different flavours; Laragh has the orange one.

Sea salad by Wild Irish Sea Veg »
“I think we’re all very deficient in iodine and this is full of it. You can get it in most good food shops around Ireland.”

Dates
“I’m mad into dates. I buy a big packet and have them instead of chocolate at night.”

Cortas pomegranate molasses »
“I’ve been using a lot of pomegranate molasses in the last couple of months. It’s good in Persian food but I add it into so many other things. It gives a bit of sweetness and a bit of tartness.”

Fennel seeds »
“I grind these up and use them in everything.”

Tamarind paste by Garden Queen »
“Whole tamarinds are quite tricky to deal with so I tend to get them in liquid form.”

OBJECTS

Spice grinder »
“This is one of my favourite gadgets. It’s actually for coffee but I use it to grind all my spices. I love making spice mixes like ras el-hanout.” – Laragh

Tuscan plate
A beautiful plate on Laragh’s dining table catches our eye. “I got it in Tuscany a few years ago. I spent days haggling for it.” This is something she enjoys doing. “Once I spent three days haggling over a pair of slippers in Morocco… eventually I got about two euro off.”

Meat mallet »
For bashing steaks.

Microplane grater »
“I use my Microplane a lot for zesting lemons.”

Magimix food processor »
“I love my Magimix. Couldn’t live without it.”

BOOKS

A Year in My Kitchen, Skye Gyngell
My Favourite Ingredients, Skye Gyngell
“I’ve had these books for years. She’s great – her food is really simple – and I pull out her books whenever I’m stuck. Open one and you have a meal: it’s food you really want to eat.” – Laragh

Salt, Sugar, Smoke, Diana Henry
“I love Diana Henry. This book is really nice, it’s all about preserving. I’ve done a few of her salmon dishes – the treacle-smoked one was particularly good. I marinated the salmon in treacle overnight, then added a bit of vodka to it, sliced it really thin and had it on toast with mirin-pickled cucumbers, crème fraiche, capers and dill.”

Arabesque, Greg and Lucy Malouf
“I admire Greg Malouf – he fuses traditional Middle Eastern recipes with modern techniques and presentation. And he was greatly inspired by another favourite of mine, Claudia Roden, an authority on Middle Eastern food history.

Roly’s Bistro, Colin O’Daly
“I worked with Colin recently on the Bewley’s food panel (a brainstorming session to come up with a new menu for Bewley’s, opening in September). His recipes were simple and traditional but sublime. He had magic in his hands and amazing hands too. I really wanted to take photos of them: long, gnarled and bony like fairytale trees. He set up Roly’s Bistro in Dublin back in the early 90s and has won lots of awards over the years.”

Laragh09

Posted 21st May 2015

In Things

 

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Yousef Eldin

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