Monday, June 3, 2013

Sligo Suppers in the shadow of Benbulben

Carol Anne, Sligo girl, globe trotter and food blogger at Carol Anne's Kitchen completed her 10 week course at the world-famous Ballymaloe cookery school in April. Before she returned to South Africa, where she lives with her boyfriend, she hosted two special culinary gatherings in Grange, north county Sligo. I was thrilled to help her out and be a part of her first experience of catering for a large group (25 people). Although it all happened at the last moment, Carol Anne managed to pull off two successful, fully booked supper clubs, over two subsequent Friday nights. She's some woman, for one woman!

All the vegetables were organic, sourced in the Organic Centre, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.

Menu 1 (May 10th)
Butternut Squash Soup
Harissa Roasted Chicken
Green Buckwheat Salad
Tzatziki Yogurt Dip
Orange and Fennel Salad
Put lentil stuffed courgettes
Rhubarb fool with vanilla shortbread

The menu of the first supper club had a mediterranean feel to it. Vegetarians and carnivores were generously catered for. Courgettes are probably one of my favourite vegetables, and in common with most veggies, I adore puy lentils (the caviar of the lentil world). I was able to help myself and scoff some of the food between courses!

Carol Anne's delicious sourdough bread made an appearance on both nights. She picked up the recipe at Ballymaloe, and we were privleged enough to enjoy it with some of her mother's homemade Irish butter, delicately flavoured with paprika and garlic. I was a vegan for a couple of months until I moved back home. Soda bread and Irish butter is manna from heaven, if you're Irish.

Menu 2 (May 17th)
Poppadoms with mint chutney
Vegetable Pakora and mango relish
Slow cooked spiced lamb korma
Roasted vegetable coconut curry
Both served with lemon rice
Coriander flatbreads and Raita
Carrot and fennel salad
Cardamon infused panna cotta topped with rosewater infused pomegranate seeds (agar was used instead of gelatin for the vegetarians)

The vegetable curry was divine, much better than I've had in some Indian restaurants. The richness of the coconut milk in the curry really came through, combined with the delicate heat of the spices and the moreishness of the butternut squash, parsnip and sweet potato.

My favourite dish of the two nights was the sublime, cardamon infused yogurt with pomegranate seeds that had been soaked in rosewater. Incredible doesn't cut it! The warmth of the cardamon cuts through the creaminess of the yogurt and your palate was refreshed by the fresh burst of the pomegranate seeds. Quite unlike any dessert I've had in a restaurant before.

The atmosphere was jovial, many of Carol Anne's friends and acquaintances had come for the evening, as well as curious foodies who'd heard about the night on twitter! The evening sunset lent a twinge of romanticism to the evenings as the setting sunlight illuminated the glasses and plates, as people had animated conversations between courses. Benbulben looked curiously like Ayers Rock from the north of Sligo, as the sun set.

Pictures 1 & 3 via @ladydotty & 2 of Carol Anne in her chef's whites via @carolanner


  1. oh my this sounds amazing!!!

  2. These photos are lovely, it looks like there was a great atmosphere and delicious food! xx