Cherries, like any fruit, need heat and warmth to produce sugars

Fresh or pickled, cherries go wonderfully with goats’ cheese

Langoustines or what most of us call Dublin Bay Prawns. Photograph: JP McMahon

While langoustines are a little more work than their soft shell equivalent, they are very rewarding

Since the asparagus season has ended, you can supplement them as a side dish for your fish or beef

Seasonal Supper: garlic scapes have taken the food world by a slow storm

Trout - simple and delicious

Seasonal Suppers: Lured by the mayfly, this most traditional of Irish meals is perfect right now

'Every May and June, we pick enough garlic to keep us going for the year.'

It is one of our native herbs and we should all experience its beauty

Elderflowers work wonderfully with poached white fish such as halibut or turbot

Seasonal Supper: Pickle this flower, or use for seasoning roast chicken or fish

Raw wild salmon is a beautiful treat, dressed with a little extra virgin rapeseed oil and some apple cider vinegar. Photograph: Tegra Stone Nuess/Getty Images

Seasonal suppers: with wild salmon, keep it simple, and don't ruin it in the frying pan

Seasonal Suppers: The humble mushroom is perfect for simple early summer dishes

Irish peas should be popping up soon

A great starter for this time of year is pea and potato soup with goats curd

Asparagus needs only a minute or two at most to cook so be careful not to leave it too long on the heat.

It has a short life on the menu so enjoy asparagus while you can

Minted mackerel and mushroom escabeche. Photograph:  Getty Images

Seasonal suppers: Between now and the end of autumn, preserve a few items of nature’s bounty

Hello, hipsters: the Reuben sandwich. Photograph: iStock

It’s been quite a journey for the meat staple – just as well it is able to withstand long journeys

April is a great time for brown crabs

Seasonal Suppers: now is the best time to try Ireland's delicious brown crab

Wild ramsons, also known as wild garlic, near Port Eynon on the Gower Peninsula in Wales.

Wild leek, wild pea, little cabbage flowers: Ireland’s early spring bounty is truly wonderful

The potato is part of our modern heritage

One of my favourite spuds at the moment is a variety called Pink Fir Apple

See beyond tarts and crumbles and use rhubarb in a savoury way

Braised oxtail will reward patience: cook it low and slow, even overnight

Oxtail has a lovely flavour and great meaty texture

Mackerel is back by the barrel load, flowing  down from Donegal to our fishmongers in Galway. Photograph: Getty Images

At this time of year I like to grill this fish and serve it with a potato salad with spring herbs

Do we really need  asparagus to be available all year round? Photograph:  Bryan O’Brien

A wonderful alternative to asparagus this time of year is purple sprouting broccoli

Most ham we eat now is “reformed”. It has all the odd cuts of pork glued together with gels, gums, additives and preservatives.

Industrial sliced bread can have at least 20 ingredients, but they are not confined to bread

Venison pairs beautifully with mashed potato and a rich, onion gravy

Venison has grown in popularity in recent years and can be cooked in many tasty ways

Once considered  a health scourge, butter has bounced back and is now what some would call a superfood.

And it’s back on the healthy food list – so why not have a go at making your own

For this dish, you can use either chicken or a leg of lamb, though keep in mind the latter will take longer to roast. Photograph: Getty Images

Everything goes into the oven at once, providing a stress-free delicious dish for the family

I like to use a scandalously high amount of butter in mash. Simmer  potatoes until soft. Strain them and  pass through a drum sieve and add sea salt

No need to make extra work for yourself with vegetables and think about ditching the turkey

Béarnaise sauce: a mix of butter, eggs, cider vinegar, lemon, shallots and tarragon

Most people associate this sauce with steak but it works well with poached white fish

Pheasant, left, and partridge can also be cooked by the same method

Sear your bird and then oven-roast, but don’t forget to let it rest before carving

Jerusalem artichoke soup

Jerusalem artichoke soup is easy to make and will offer comfort on a winter’s night

When we opened Cava in 2008, I knew fried squid with lemon and garlic would be on our menu

Fried squid might be associated with foreign climes, but it can be line caught in Donegal

When steaming mussels, clams or oysters, do so for the briefest time and take them off when they are just open. In this way, they’ll be juicy and plump

We should eat more shellfish which is easy to cook and a wonderfully tactile dish to share

Mussels on a beach in west Ireland: “We have some of the world’s best produce.” Photograph: iStock

We steamed oysters in Cong, cooked mussels over Killary harbour and ate seaweed in Mayo

Pick a pumpkin: they are seasonal and they are at their best now. Photograph: Imagefile

These vegetables have a lovely flavour and are not as tricky to cook as you might think

Pumpkin soup is another heavenly delight

A pumpkin purée is a nice simple accompaniment to a piece of grilled fish

Blue elderberries: collect any berries and pickle them in apple cider vinegar and some honey. They’ll  keep all winter.

Juniper and elderberries come into their own in this season of mellow fruitfulness

By October, the lambs have matured and grown from eating our beautiful grass, gorse and heather of Connemara. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ireland only has two seasons, both of which involve rain: a season of cold rain and a season of not so cold rain

As well as mallard, there is also plenty of partridge, pigeon and pheasant around this time of year

It’s game season and the weather has turned to wet and windy – we want food to comfort us

As well as making a beautiful silky smooth puree, celeriac can also hold its own as a bowl of heart- warming soup.

This celery offshoot is great for making puree, soup, roast chips and fancy coleslaw

The toppings of the traditional pizza: tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil are all available in Ireland at the moment and making pizza with the kids is a great way to show them how to turn raw materials into food

Making pizza at home is a great way to show children how raw ingredients become dinner

"As the temperature drops, my head turns to my stomach for comfort... Salads turn to stews and light sauces become laden with the beautiful fat we call butter."

It’s amazing how our countryside provides autumn food that sings when cooked together, such as pigeon, mushrooms and pumpkin

A delicious vegetarian dish that’s bursting with Spanish flavours

Whatever your own attempts at making an Irish dessert, there’s plenty of fruit around in September. Blackberries in particular abound this month. Photogaph: Getty Images

Forget sugar and flour, but look to berries, honey, herbs and cream

Avocados – and prawns too – can come from sustainable and ethical places

When it comes to avocados and prawns, go with your gut and vote with your basket

Samphire, the beautiful wild green vegetable that grows by the sea, is best picked in July and August

It’s the right time of year to pick wild samphire

Whether it’s baking bread, poaching a piece of fish, or cooking a piece of pork shoulder outside on an open grill, cooking grounds us, feeding both out body and our mind.

Creating a meal on a wood-burning stove connects us with our ancestors and ourselves

Labneh is a simple and easy fresh cheese originating from the Middle East

How to turn yoghurt into a cheese with its roots in the Middle East

The first Irish tomatoes and courgettes have found their way into our kitchen in the last few weeks

Here’s how to make a simple pickle, and a mayonnaise dressing with nasturtiums

I find seaweed immensely more interesting than croissants – it is an absolute super food

Seaweed from Japan, croissants from France - marketing has a lot to answer for

Sometimes the shiny ones taste of nothing, while the rough-looking ones have an incredibly sweet taste. Photograph: iStock

Other than making a jam or a pie filling with them, cherries also pair nicely with pork dishes

Every year around this time, our kitchen is full of green gooseberries. I can’t help ordering them because they’re a challenge for every chef and cook

A sweet and savoury approach to a seasonal challenge

Whether it’s a lamb or a lobster, everything must cease living to ensure our continued survival as a species

Food is always a matter of life and death. For most of our lives we don’t have to think about this

Pick a letter - M - Mackerel, mangetout, mushroom – who knew they could taste so good together

When was the last time you didn’t like the “look” of a dish and so didn’t taste it? Our eyes are our safety nets

Over 70m food pictures are Instagrammed each day showing how we eat with our eyes

Just as strawberries appear the elderflower sheds its aromatic flowers. Strawberry and elderflowers work together on many levels: in a fizzy cordial or as part of an assemblage of smashed meringues and cream.

The fruit and flowers are stalwarts of an Irish summer and they work so well together

Vegetables are always a negotiation. “If you eat this piece of cauliflower, I’ll let you watch YouTube for half an hour.”

We eat simply on our days off, following the rules of local, free-range and organic

A plate of sea vegetables and herbs for JP McMahon

You know my thoughts on using a flamethrower in the kitchen. If in doubt, set it on fire. I love the taste of charred vegetables.

Pickling in summer is important. We have so many vegetables and flowers that we need to preserve for winter.

A chargrill or small bbq is also a nice way of giving a pleasing aroma to a whole host of baby vegetables.

Are you ready for Japanese-grilled fresh new-season baby veg?

The most beautiful months to forage sorrel are between May and September. Photograph: Getty Images

From breakfast to dinner, sorrel combines well with poached egg, fish and lamb

Picked from their thorny green stems, the flowers have a distinct smell of coconut.  Photograph: Getty Images

Use it to infuse alcohol, to flavour vinegar, or turn it into a wine, if you can wait nine months

The springtime mushroom can be used in a barley risotto or served with a fried duck egg and asparagus

Crab and mackerel are plentiful in April and so is wild garlic. It grows in abundance in ancient Irish woodlands. Brill is also a good one for April.

In the case of ‘catch of the day’, JP McMahon came across two British definitions that seem to be acceptable

For a nice watercress purée: pick a handful of watercress and blanch it in boiling water with a handful of organic baby spinach. Refresh in ice water and blend until super smooth

The bitter quality of these leaves is very good for our digestive system

Blanch purple sprouting briefly in boiling water, for about a minute, with a little butter

Purple broccoli takes relatively little cooking. It’s beautiful raw in a salad.

A creel is a light basket that is dropped into the sea. It functions a little like a lobster basket: once in, the shellfish cannot get out.

Catching these local creatures in creels is a sustainable way to obtain this easy-cook shellfish

We don’t appreciate the quality of fish we get in Ireland, particularly in its raw state

Over the winter months, from December to March, forced rhubarb is in season.

Unlike outdoor grown stalks, forced rhubarb has a gentle sourness and needs very little cooking.

Many people have these leeks in their garden but mistake them for the white flowered bluebell family.

The leaves of this plant can be used in a similar way to chives, though be careful with their flavour as they are more robust

Does the phrase signify quality or it is just an empty marketing slogan?

Cooking with hay is an ancient process.

Although many restaurants have it on the menu, cooking with hay is an ancient process

Cavolo nero gives great taste and texture to many simple dishes

There are many different types of kale

Photograph: Tim Graham/Getty Images
Culinaria: Lamb and seaweed

JP McMahon experiments with the flavours of Connemara

While there seems to be an absolute craze for bone broths at the moment, my idea of a hearty soup has to include two essential ingredients: dairy and chicken stock.

This wholesome soup is the perfect meal to have during the chilly months

To be sure, always talk to your fishmonger when purchasing shellfish – whatever the time of the year

There are good health reasons not to eat shellfish in summer

JP McMahon: “We have a strong history of blue cheese in Ireland and I really think this is where we shine best.”
Culinaria: Blue cheese, please

Keep the Christmas cheese board simple

Freshly grown brussel sprouts on display at a farmer's market.

JP McMahon cooks sprouts the proper way, or not at all

Put the turkey in the oven on Christmas eve at a low temperature and then you can chill

Pick up some hay in a pet shop and smoke your ham using that

Smoking and baking with hay is beautiful way of injecting the countryside into your kitchen

Using vegetables for dessert is not a new thing. Take carrot cake for example. We all know that one. But we seem to stop too soon, to not let our imaginations run away.

Root vegetables seem to be perpetually in season in Ireland. It’s what we all grew up on.

As well as being good eaten raw in a salad of different leaves, yarrow makes a wonderfully refreshing tea. Ipink milfoil flowers

JP McMahon extolls the virtues of this wild herb

To cook the ray wing, pan fry it on both sides until nicely browned and then pop it in the oven for three to five minutes Photograph: Getty Images

Ray wing cannot be deboned easily, but it is a beautiful fish served on the bone

Juniper is a great ingredient to combine with many autumn ingredients such as wild mushrooms, pumpkins, squash and plums.

The dark aromatic berry goes well with many autumn ingredients

Culinaria: Partridge pie

Most older partridge recipes suggest either roasting the bird whole or using it to make a game pie

Most of us would flinch at the sight of a cup of blood, but many cultures, including the Inuit people, drink raw blood for its health properties.

Most black pudding in Ireland is made with dried blood. Though it is often difficult to find black pudding made with real blood, t(...)

Venison is an extremely lean meat. A common way to cook it in the past involved larding it (sewing pork fat through the meat with a larding needle). This would keep the meat nice and moist

For me, venison loin or fillet should always be cooked rare and well rested in a warm place

Culinaria: Delicious duck

‘You want to make sure to get the fat nice and brown and crispy’

I am certainly not advocating chips to be eaten daily, but the calorie content of a portion of chips or a baked potato is so negli(...)

From cultivated to wild and pungent to, yes, sweet, Alliums work well in many dishes

Inexpensive, versatile and delicious, ham hock makes a great stew

Culinaria: Tasty trout

Undercook your trout – believe me, not only does it taste better, it also is extremely safe

Not all mushrooms are edible, and not all edible mushrooms are palatable . . .

The hamburger has taken an unjust assault in the past 50 or so years, but it is no more junk than anything else in the culinary wo(...)

Aromas of aniseed and lemon: dill has a sweet and sour quality

Potatoes and white fish are perfect matches for this punchy herb

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