True Characters

Sat, Sep 22, 2012, 01:00

Martin Bealin, chef and restaurateur

My cooking inspiration comes from . . .what’s in the garden and what’s coming off the Dingle boats.

I’ve travelled widely in the course of my job . . .I trained in the Great Southern Hotel Rosslare, under John Savage and Michael Rosney, who sent me to Waterford RTC. Then I went to Ballymascanlon House. After that I took jobs in Jersey, Guernsey, Austria, Australia, New Zealand and Belize – more than 40 countries along the way.

We called our restaurant The Global Village . .. because of a conversation about a book called War and Peace in The Global Village. It made me think about how all our actions add up to the whole. Think global, act local.

We’re know for . . .seafood, fresh off the boats and our own chemical-free vegetables.

My favourite types of fish to cook with are . . .mackerel, red gurnard and megrim – the unsung heroes.

We need to look after our seas . .. so our children don’t only see fish in books.

Ours is a family business . . . My wife, Nuala, runs all of the front of house; she really understands hospitality and that is all about the customer. She pays amazing attention to detail.

We grow all our own vegetables . . .I am lucky enough to have a plot of land, and Sophie, our grower, produces incredible veg from two tunnels and a half an acre. She uses biodynamic methods, and the results are amazing.

This year we’ve had great success with peas, beans, butternut squash . .. but spinach was a challenge strangely; too much rain.

Dingle is a great food destination . . .People here have a natural friendliness, and lots of competition keeps everyone on their toes.

You can get some really excellent food products in the Dingle area . . .mountain lamb, lobster, prawns, oysters and mussels. Excellent local producers such as Ted Brown provide us with great crab and smoked salmon, we have Murphy’s ice cream, Wild Side foods for chorizo, salamis and seaweeds, Maja Binder’s cheese, Dingle Farmhouse milk and two artisan breweries – we are spoilt for choice.

As well as cooking, I really enjoy . .. spending time with my family, and travelling.

The best advice I’ve ever been given is . . .nobody owes you a living.

The hardest thing about running a restaurant is . .. people say it is anti-social – it’s not, but it is anti-family.

My dream dinner party guests would be . .. Escoffier and Heston Blumenthal.

And I’d cook them . . .a feast from the Dingle peninsula.

Five things I always have in my larder are . .. coffee, wine, spices, rice and pulses.

My ideal day off is spent . .. on the beach with the girls, a long lunch, a simple dinner, then story time for my daughter Nora.

I’m really good at . . .thinking laterally, and persisting.

I wish I was better at . . .the admin side.

Not many people know this about me, but . . .my first catering job was making candyfloss in Funderland, over 30 years ago.

My guilty pleasure is . .. pints of good beer.

Martin Bealin is chef/patron at The Global Village in Dingle, and founder of the Dingle Peninsula Food Festival, which takes place on October 4th-7th, see

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