‘I’ve made the same meal many times, but can never emulate that perfect day’

My most treasured food memory: Michelin star chef John Kelly

John Kelly's most evocative food memory involves a gorgeous view over the Mediterranean and the company of his family.

John Kelly's most evocative food memory involves a gorgeous view over the Mediterranean and the company of his family.

 

My most evocative food memory brings me back to a small village in the south of France called Fréjus - a sleepy seaside village west of Cannes on the cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean, a view that only nature could create.

It was during time spent while I was working in Mougins for the summer season. My family was over to visit and I suggested we go visit this small beach I had been shown by my colleagues, more secluded and away from the mainstream tourist areas.

We were coming back from the beach that day and came upon a small roadside restaurant just on the outskirts of Fréjus. Quiet and quaint, nothing overly fancy about it, but it had an identifiable authenticity to it.

The meal’s main highlight was soupe de poisons, that classic French fish soup, with crusty bread and rouille, the mayonnaise-like sauce with garlic. The experience resonates with me to this day for a number of reasons - the gorgeous view over the Mediterranean, the company of my family, the simplicity of the restaurant and the great flavours of the soup.

It encapsulated everything about France and Mediterranean flavours - the rascasse, the garlic, the white wine. I have made the same meal at home many times, but can never emulate that one perfect summer’s day in Fréjus. I was once told what is seldom is wonderful and this truly was that wonderful moment.

John Kelly is head chef at Michelin-starred Lady Helen restaurant at Mount Juliet Estate

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.