‘I'd get in massive trouble for stealing lobster legs, sucking the meat out like straws’

My most treasured food memory: Erik Robson

Erik Robson: I remember having regular lobster races with my friends Neil and Mark

Erik Robson: I remember having regular lobster races with my friends Neil and Mark

 

Throughout Food Month people will share with us their most treasured food memory. You can share yours at magazine@irishtimes.com

Trying to pinpoint any one most treasured memory of a meal is almost impossible, given that I was lucky enough to grow up living above my parents’ restaurant, The Coastguard Restaurant, in Bettystown. There were so many influences, so many meals and so many opportunities to taste real Irish produce.

It was the 1970s and 1980s and food provenance was a given. Simply put, there were no imports to speak of. Beef was local and grass fed, lamb was actually seasonal, the duck was Mallard from local hunters, as was the pigeon. The salmon came from the Boyne, the jumbo Dublin Bay prawns from Balbriggan. The turbot was bigger than the table and we served Dover sole on the same dishes people used for their Sunday roast.

Everything was absolutely fresh, so much so that I remember having regular lobster races with my friends Neil and Mark. We also made everything in-house from ice-creams to mayonnaise. I’d help peel prawns, pluck duck and hand cut chips – and then cycle to my grandmother’s to get the brown bread straight from the Aga for dinner at 7.30pm.

I’d get into trouble for pinching prawns straight out of the pan just before they were to go to the guest, and I’d get into massive trouble for climbing into the main fridge, taking the legs off the cooked lobsters and sucking the meat out like they were straws.

I can still see the faces on the guys in the kitchen when my sister and I were asked if we’d like duck for dinner and we’d both answer “Not duck again”.

As kids, we certainly ate well but the most abiding memories are of the constant stream of people, all locals, who supplied my parents, daily deliveries from suppliers they worked with.

Erik Robson co-owns and runs ely wine bar on Ely Place and ELY BAR & GRILL in the IFSC with his wife Michelle. elywinebar.ie

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.