Dylan McGrath outside Shelbourne Social restaurant on Shelbourne Road, Dublin 4, which will open on Thursday. Photographs:   Nick Bradshaw

Opening a new restaurant must be a bit like giving birth. Nothing much happens for what seems like an age, then all of a sudden, it’s all hands on dec(...)

Festival of Food Ross Lewis of Chapter One in Dublin – seen above with fellow chef JP McMahon – heads west to launch the Galway Food Festival (March (...)

We’ve enlisted Derry Clarke (L’Ecrivain); Ken Harker (Lady Helen); Ross Lewis (Chapter One); Danni Barry (EIPIC) and Aoife Noonan (Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud) to suggest seasonal dishes with a twist for Christmas. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

What do chefs eat at Christmas? Anything – as long as it’s cooked by someone else. That’s the usual refrain from weary kitchen staff at the busiest t(...)

Chef Gavin McDonagh, at Brioche Restaurant, in Ranelagh, Dublin, with his family, friends and Christmas Dinner.Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

For some, the idea of going to a restaurant to eat Christmas lunch is heaven – someone else does all the hard work, and there’s no washing up. But for(...)

Kate Packwood set up Wildflour Bakery to offer cakes that have a distinctive style, an eccentricity and strong attention to detail . Photograph: Rincy Koshy

WILD BAKING Kate Packwood describes herself as a “British woman working with Irish ingredients”, which is how she found herself a finalist(...)

No flour, batter or greasy oil: just fill your foil parcels and bake

It’s salmon en papillote, darling of the 1990s dinner party. The contents for each plate are steamed in a little paper parcel, ensuring that the fi(...)

 A buckwheat crepe with creamed leeks, avocado, air-dried tomato and tomato coulis from Gavin McDonagh’s Brioche restaurant in Ranelagh

Artisan meal at Brioche in Ranelagh Customers of Gavin McDonagh’s Brioche restaurant in Ranelagh are accustomed to the tasting plates, grazing na(...)

You might get the urge to throw a leg in the air on the pale wooden floor in Brioche. Except there’s not much room between the tables for jigs or reel(...)