Epicure Press, €25
Although 'Full on Irish' is Kevin Dundon's first cookbook, it comes with a good pedigree. A Dubliner by birth, Dundon trained internationally before becoming the proprietor of award-winning Dunbrody House in County Wexford. He also runs the acclaimed Dunbrody Cookery School.
In this book he focuses attention on local ingredients, championing artisan produce and producers in each chapter - Traditional butcher Leo Halford in Wellington Bridge, Anne and Luc Van Kampen's Mine Gabhar goat's cheese and Hook Head potatoes from Vincent and Geraldine Rowe are just some of the foodstuffs that he highlights while Atlantic salmon and Wexford strawberries also get a mention
With a firm grounding in traditional Irish cooking, Dundon offers new twists on old favourites. Colcannon, for instance, moves far beyond its hearty mashed potato and cabbage origins to become a beautifully coloured delicate soup, served in cappuccino cups with puff pastry cheese straws and crispy Parma ham shards (Colcannon Soup with Cheese Straws). Bread and Butter Pudding gets a touch of Irish Mist liqueur, there's a variation on frittata (Golden Wonder Potato Omelette) and he adds some Irish spirit to a Tomato and Poitín Soup.
While there may be too much fussing with presentation for the home cook, it is possible to strip that away and simply admire the flair and confidence of Dundon's cooking. The final two chapters - Kitchen Garden and The Larder - are particularly useful (and more down to earth) with recipes for Balsamic Reduction and Dunbrody Cucumber Pickle with Rocket. 'Full on Irish' will definitely encourage its readers to visit Dunbrody House and, perhaps, to try some of Dundon's more straightforward recipes.