My most indulgent meal: Fresh lobster dipped in butter

Danni Barry, Ireland's only female Michelin-starred chef, shares her most treasured food memory

It was a staff trip with the Eipic kitchen team in March 2016. We were closing for Easter and it had been a very busy couple of months, so we all needed our heads showered.

James [Devine, head chef] had been in touch with one of our suppliers and had arranged for us to visit Belderrig, north Mayo, to visit some lamb farmers. Wellie boots were packed and road snacks and beers got and we set off from Belfast for the remote wilderness of the north Mayo coast.

We spent the day being shown around the historic Ceide Fields, walking the hills and heather-covered mountains, where we met some of the farmers and even witnessed one of the lambs being born.

We milled our own ancient grains for flour, which inevitably turned into a competition between the boys, and headed back to the cottage for dinner. And what a dinner. The cottage was right on the coast overlooking a small fishing port.


Jason, our host, went down and got lobsters from one of the boats and was cooking them over a fire. They were so fresh, out of the water for less than two hours.

Even though we were just sitting outside all wrapped up against the cold March air, smoke in our eyes from the fire, muddy boots from the day’s walk, this lobster dipped in butter with some bread felt like one of the most indulgent meals I had ever eaten.

We also grilled some lamb chops and finished with bananas spiked with chocolate wrapped in foil and thrown onto the fire.

The fresh air, simple but delicious food, and the chats around the fire meant mission accomplished. It was a world away from the Eipic kitchen with prep lists, time constraints, and my constant “maybe we could”...

It was incredibly humbling for me to see the team that work so hard and are so committed totally switched off and relaxed and enjoying themselves.

Danni Barry will open Clenaghans restaurant in Moira, Co Down, on November 14th. See