Clodagh McKenna: A feast of Irish flavours

In her new book, Clodagh McKenna presents a modern take on Irish cuisine

‘Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen’ (Kyle Books, £19.99) is a beautifully shot, modern and sophisticated look at contemporary Irish cuisine

‘Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen’ (Kyle Books, £19.99) is a beautifully shot, modern and sophisticated look at contemporary Irish cuisine

 

‘The images make you try the recipe, and the recipes make you make them again and again.” Clodagh McKenna knows the power of a good food snap, which is why she sought out an expert whose work she admires, Londoner Tara Fisher, who has worked with Jamie Oliver and Thomasina Miers, to do the photography for her new book.

Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen (Kyle Books, £19.99) is a beautifully shot, modern and sophisticated look at contemporary Irish cuisine. “I wanted to create a book that reflected the way Irish food is now cooked and eaten in Ireland. It has developed into such an exciting cuisine, and I wanted people to see that,” says the restaurateur, writer and TV presenter.

The lifestyle shots were taken along the south Co Dublin coast, near where she lives, and Dublin bay has never looked prettier. It’s Donna Hay meets Martha Stewart – but it looks and feels indelibly Irish.

McKenna is known for her high-octane energy levels, and she shows no signs of slowing down. She’s just back from launching the book in the US, and returns Stateside next week to do some TV. Then it’s back to London for the UK launch. “In between the travel, I will be spending all my time in the restaurants in Blackrock and Arnotts, they are my most important projects of all.”

Aesthetics are important to McKenna, she loves beautiful things, and creating a gorgeous setting in which to eat seems to be almost as important to her as what’s on her pretty plates. Tablescaping, she calls it. “For me the visual aspect of a beautiful table adds to creating a beautiful memory.”

Beautiful memories are at the heart of the touching dedication of the book to her father, who died last year: “To my Dad. I would give up everything to share one more meal with you.”

“My dad loved everything about food and having us all around the table to share a meal together. Those memories are everything to me.”

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