My Wild Atlantic Kitchen
Maura O’Connell Foley is another first-time author and her beautifully produced and self-published book, My Wild Atlantic Kitchen is the culmination of Maura’s life in food. She comes from along line of spirited and entrepreneurial women, known to be ‘great cooks’. Her mother was a professional cake maker in Frasers Tea and Cake Shop on Haverstock Hill in Hampstead and opened a Tea Shop in Kenmare on her return to Ireland in 1950. Later Maura cooked alongside her mother in the Purple Heather Tea and Cake Shop, opened the Lime Tree in 1963 and later Pakies on Henry Street.
More recently she bought Shelburne Lodge–which was lovingly restored to a registered guest house. Maura was also an early member of Euro-toques, and travelled widely to add to her knowledge. She kept her finger on the pulse of the global food scene. ‘Stáges’ in top restaurants and insights from the many international visitors for whom her multi-award winning restaurant and guest-house are a ‘must visit’ on atrip to Kenmare.
The introduction in ‘My Wild Atlantic Kitchen’ is intriguing, worth the price of the book alone – but the collection of classic recipes are also gems. Beautiful stylish, delicious and the kind of food that one returns for over and over again. Maura is much loved and respected as a hugely influential presence on the Irish food scene with her own quintessential style. This comes from a life in food and a love of the beautiful Irish produce from the local farmers, fishermen and artisan producers whom she has supported and showcased on her menu for decades before it became fashionable. This book is a ‘keeper’ that you’ll return to over and over again.