Snapshot: plain jane

I have to say, I’m not a fan of the food of the British Isles. In my opinion, it lacks the vitality, the piquant flavors, of my favorite cuisines (Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Mediterranean). I’m all for simple and rustic, authentic working class fare, but as someone who didn’t grow up on British food, it’s not homey; it’s boring. The cities, on the other hand, are a different story — I found Dublin to be an incredibly moving place. That goes to show you that food isn’t everything. We had a rough service today too, which deepened my dissatisfaction with the day’s menu. And the seafood in my team’s “Dublin style seafood pie” came out overcooked to the point of leather. As I feared, it’s hard to control how the seafood cooks when it’s bubbling away invisible under a layer of pastry, same as when the meat in a beef wellington turns out tough and gray. Grumpiness aside, I do feel like I’m gaining a grasp of regional European cuisines, specifically the factors like the climate and cultural norms that drive them. I find this knowledge exciting and powerful.

From L to R starting at noon: beef and stout pie, game hen with whiskey, Dublin style seafood pie, parsnip cake, colcannon, Irish soda bread, farmhouse lamb stew.

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