Things

Inside Paul Flynn’s Kitchen

25th August 2016

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Emile Dinneen

The renowned Irish chef picks out a gorgeous Wicklow cider, the one useful gadget in his kitchen and some books by “the greatest cook in the world”

INGREDIENTS

Craigie’s cider »
“Have you come across Craigie’s cider?” Paul asks. “Oh it’s nice stuff. Made by a guy up in Wicklow. He’s got this green bottle, I can’t remember the name [it’s called Dalliance] but it’s really gorgeous. It was a dry cider, quite low in alcohol so it wouldn’t blow the head off you.”

Chateau des Eyssards, Bergerac 2015 »
We ask Paul if he drinks a particular type of wine at home. “I’m a terrible cheap date with wine,” he says. “I’m a volume guy – not that I’d be carrying one of those wine boxes around that you’d just squirt into your mouth.” He fishes out a bottle of Bergerac from the cupboard. “That’s the good stuff. We use this instead of water. That or a picpoul [he opens a bottle of Chateau de la Mirande for lunch].”

Crinnaghtaun apple juice »
Paul mentions this “lovely” apple juice cold pressed nearby on the Cappoquin estate, a local country house with a 90-acre orchard.

OBJECTS

Le Creuset casserole pot »
Paul cooks our chowder in a big blue Le Creuset casserole pot. Is it a nice pot to work with? “It is yeah. Although if you have a full Le Creuset down the bottom of the Aga, you’ll break your back taking it out. That must be an age thing. I get my butler to do it instead.”

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Giant chopping board
We nod appreciatively at the huge wooden chopping board occupying half of Paul’s kitchen counter. “It’s covering a hole actually,” he says. “There used to be a sink there but we never used it, so we put this chopping board there to cover it.” Did he get the board made for him? “Yeah,” he says. “Sure you can always find a fella to make you something.”

Microplane grater »
“I’m not great on gadgets,” says Paul, “but this is definitely one I use a lot. For parmesan usually – we go through a lot of parmesan in this house.”

Tongs »
“A good set of tongs is invaluable too,” he says, “but that’s about it. We don’t really have a hell of a lot here. All the good stuff gets brought into the restaurant. It drives Máire crazy.”

Peeler »
“If you have a bad peeler, it’ll drive you nuts,” he says. “The question is, do I have a good peeler in the house? Not really – that one’s rubbish. The V-shaped ones are the best – the ones that look like a catapult. They’re called speed peelers.”

Peugeot pepper mill »
“What’s really annoying is that we keep buying or getting presents of bad pepper mills. You’ll get a pepper mill that costs a fortune and looks like it’s been made by Greek gods or something, but it’s rubbish and you chuck it in the bin two days later. Peugeot mills, they’re meant to be good – the Formula 1 of pepper mills – but obviously I don’t have one.”

BOOKS

The Kitchen Diaries, Nigel Slater »
“I think Nigel Slater is the greatest cook in the world. You could pick out any of his books, but I probably like the early ones best (Appetite is another good one). What I love about him is, he’s not cheffy. He reaches into the fridge, pulls out three things and comes up with something magical. And he puts out these big tomes every 18 months with 300 recipes – how the hell does he do it?”

Rick Stein’s Seafood Odyssey, Rick Stein »
“Rick Stein has had the biggest influence on me. Having done a bit of TV myself, I admire his ease with the camera. To be honest with you, I don’t learn anything from Rick’s books, because I just don’t. It’s his business acumen, his manner, his delivery – the way he drops in quotes from novels in a way I could never do – and his geniality that I like.”

Ballymaloe Cookery Course, Darina Allen »
“Darina runs the most amazing cookery school ever, and the precision and dedication and hard work and passion that she puts in to whatever she does is just amazing. This book has every precise recipe that they do in the cookery course.”

Eat Good Things Every Day, Carmel Somers »
“This lady is responsible for my favourite food memory. She used to have a place called the Good Things café down in Durrus in Cork (she moved premises into Skibbereen just this year but I haven’t been to the new place yet). We went for lunch with our two girls and met a couple of mates by chance. The girls had their lunch and then Carmel got her au pair to take them away. We stayed talking through the afternoon and stayed on for dinner. It was debauchery-slash-gluttony, but we ate everything on the menu, a series of beautiful things. She just has a lightness of touch and gets sheer pleasure out of everything that she cooks.”

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Posted 25th August 2016

In Things

 

Interview: Killian Fox
Photographs: Emile Dinneen

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