Eunice Power

Eunice Power

Obsessed with food from an early age, learning much from her mother who is a wonderful cook, some might know Eunice Power from a catered wedding like no other, or a spectacular spring pop-up in Dungarvan, where she is part of the backbone of the seminal West Waterford Festival of Food. Others might know her from RTÉ or her recipe columns, but all the most influential chefs and media in the country know and regard Eunice’s attention to detail and work ethic. “The Queen of Flavour,” says Michelin-starred Ross Lewis, and “Gee-whizz food from a cook with real verve” according to the Bridgestone Guide, from her ability to serve a record-breaking 2,243 guests an elegant 3-course gala meal in just an hour and a half in 3Arena, to her regular TV appearances and her roles as teacher and food tourism promoter, Eunice is a powerhouse in Irish food. Then came AndChips, a takeaway in Dungarvan, a stone’s throw from the harbour. Cooking perfect fish and chips, once you know how, may be straightforward but there’s nothing simple about trying to create the perfect fish and chip shop. To research the right ingredients and perfect the process — the temperatures, the fats and timing, finding the perfect spud, batter and fish — every corner of AndChips has Eunice’s experience and expertise all over it. Strolling from AndChips to perch on the wall outside with a ling and chips on a sunny day is a different but equal kind of fine dining.  

Ox Belfast

Eight years ago, two close friends at the top of their game left the safest jobs in their industry to strike out on their own, to take a risk on an old tile shop in a part of the city that didn’t do destination restaurants, or restaurants at all. At this stage OX feels like it’s been part of the Irish food conversation forever, it’s so seminal, but at that time many thought Stevie Toman and Alain Kerloc’h were mad. The media response was immediate though — top marks from the Irish and UK critics alike. And OX was only getting started. Alain Passard popped up in a collaboration for their first birthday, cooking shoulder to shoulder with Toman. Then the OX team travelled south and cooked at Ballymaloe for some of the most influential food and drinks heroes in the world — Jancis Robinson on one table, Alice Waters on another — and that year the Michelin Guide awarded OX the star it has retained ever since. A year later, team OX went west to Manhattan to collaborate with the number one bar in the world, the Dead Rabbit, for two ground-breaking cocktail-paired tasting menu nights in Battery Park. With best chef and restaurant awards from Food and Wine during a time when Irish destination dining never had as much competition, the star, the collaborations and awards have never distracted Toman who has kept his foot to the floor since opening. OX gets more focused, more elegant and concise with every service. Kerloc’h, a gentle genius on front of house, can move from starry Parisian Michelin dining formality to local barman in the flick of a vowel, and guides a wine list that is constantly interesting and surprising, and a perfect foil to Toman’s richly understated and, at heart, deeply generous food. A subtly beautiful space, Belfast’s brightest star overlooks the Nuala with the Hula and the city that it has helped put on the world map since its arrival.

Restaurant Chestnut

As far as we know the fastest straight to one Michelin star ever in Ireland. Restaurant Chestnut is the story of a local boy, Rob Krawczyk (son of well-known charcutier Frank), taking the long road home through some of the best kitchens in the country before circling back to the setting and produce of his native West Cork. With a dinky old pub himself and his partner have put Ballydehob on the dining map. On the plate Rob’s restraint and gift with textures and flavours is beloved by restaurant critics, inspectors and the public alike and front of house is carefully choreographed by Rob’s partner in everything, Elaine. The star belongs to both of them. Rob and Elaine have added two private dining rooms upstairs in their beautiful, tiny starred 18-seater, and across the road is the most interesting and eclectic of Irish family pubs and venues, Levi’s Corner House. Dinner at this sweet-as-a-nut little Chestnut followed by summer pints in Levi’s is as authentic and dreamy an Irish experience as you can have.

Volpe Nera

Barry Sun Jian came to Ireland in 2002 when he was 19, to improve his English as many Chinese students do. He began part-time work in kitchens to supplement his income, and worked his way up from kitchen porter in Mint restaurant in Ranelagh, followed by time in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Bon Appetit, Cleaver East and l’Ecrivain, finally ending up as head chef in Etto, where his elegant flavour-led food won him chef of the year in 2018. Barry opened Volpe Nera, or black fox — a slightly tongue in cheek take on the premises being halfway between Blackrock and Foxrock — in 2019, a classy neighbourhood restaurant that was recently awarded a Bib Gourmand by Michelin. Volpe Nera may look simple, but Barry’s dishes are sophisticated, accomplished and most of all delicious. While still focusing on the Mediterranean-influenced snacks, small plates and sharing platters in Volpe Nera, diners can also expect to see more of the northern Chinese cuisine that is part of Barry’s heritage making an appearance on his menus in the future.


Blas na hÉireann

Often dubbed the Irish food Oscars, Blas na hÉireann is a celebration of the best in Irish food. Founded by Artie Clifford 14 years ago, the awards are a real stamp of approval for producers up and down the country. Artie and Fallon work tirelessly to help, support and celebrate Irish food and drink each year and the awards weekend in Dingle shows just how far their Blas community stretches, with judges, friends and buyers descending on the town for four days. And it’s great craic too.

Grá Chocolates

Grá Chocolates is a chocolate brand founded on giving the best quality produce created into a mouthful of excitement. Following the principals of sourcing locally and sustainably, based on the conviction that great taste comes from the finest ingredients.

The bonbons are hand-painted and take three full days to create. For the fillings, they source locally and ethically produced ingredients to create unforgettable flavours. In addition, they polish each mould individually to ensure that the bonbons retain their beautiful shine. There are no shortcuts taken in the process because they know every single step makes a difference in the end.