Wednesday 18 November 2015

New Website

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Sunday 6 September 2015



Set in the rolling hills of Co. Wicklow, the Award winning BrookLodge & Macreddin

Village invites you on a road of discovery, exploring and learning all about Wild foods.

Based around foraging, cooking and preserving wild foods that grow in abundance

around us, the MasterClass with The Chefs of The Strawberry Tree Restaurant and

Evan Doyle, co­author of the best­selling 'Wild Food' book will cover identification as well

as instruction on how to gather, cook and preserve foods using traditional methods such

as sugar, oil, drying, vinegars and alcohol.

Participants will receive a welcome tour of Macreddin Village including The Kitchens and

The Wild Foods Pantry, followed by in depth tuition taking them through a full calendar of

natural Wild Foods that are available along 327,000km of our Irish Hedgerows.

After enjoying lunch in The Waterside Lounge, participants will be brought outdoors with

The Strawberry Tree’s Wild Food Forager to do some gentle foraging around Macreddin


The Strawberry Tree Restaurant at The BrookLodge is Ireland’s Only Certified Organic

and Wild Restaurant offering a daily changing menu that reflects the seasons and

featuring the freshest organic and wild foods, many grown to order on nearby organic

farms, or foraged by their own chefs and full time wild food forager, along the lanes and

in the fields and woods surrounding Macreddin. Winner of Best Restaurant in Leinster at

the recent 2015 Food & Wine Awards.

The Wild Foods MasterClass including a two course lunch is a steal at €95pp

This one day Course includes: Tour, Tea or Coffee with Macreddin’s homemade biscuits,

Tuition, Master Class & 2 Course Lunch.

Reserve your Wild Foods MasterClass Course by contacting BrookLodge & Macreddin

Village on 0402 36444 or email for dates available .

In addition, those attending the Wild Food MasterClass, who wish to enjoy an overnight

stay at BrookLodge will be offered a special B&B rate.


To win 2 tickets for The Wild Food MasterClass on the 15th of september 2015, Please

follow @jacobscrackers9 on Twitter and tweet Wild Foods MasterClass @Macreddin 


Answer this simple question

  • Evan Doyle is the author of which best selling book ?
Send your answers to

A lucky winner will be picked on Sunday 12th Sept 2015

Good luck

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved.

Monday 31 August 2015

Barcelona & Sitges. Spain. Travel feature

Barcelona is Spain's second largest city after Madrid, an enclave of Catalan Culture and a world apart from the rest of Spain, here both Spanish and Catalan are widely spoken. This is a city where Culture, Architecture and Gastronomy makes it one of the most attractive cities in the world; A city that is always on the move and ever changing, so there is always new things to discover. Barcelona has certainly reinvented itself since hosting the 1992 Olympics, it is now a cultural mecca and gastronomic capital.
For me apart from the obvious touristic attractions , there are no better ways in getting to know a city and it's people than through it's Cuisine and markets and Barcelona has plenty to offer on both fronts.
Probably best known for the fantastic architecture of Antonio Gaudi, the genius of Catalan modernism, so we started our trip in doing just that; Discovering the works of Gaudi, whose imprints  are scattered all around the city, leaving the rest of our trip for exploring and immersing ourselves into the life of the city through food.

Wednesday 1 July 2015

Jamie's Italian. Dundrum. Dublin 16

What’s not to love…Jamie’s Italian by Robert Jacob


Inspired by Jamie Oliver’s passion and love for the Italian way of life, Jamie’s Italian allows us a furtive glimpse into the mother of all European Latin Cuisines.
The Cuisine of Italy is a reflection of this wonderful country of sapphire blue skies,land of the rolling hills, the ever winding roads with their tall elongated cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olives groves with their curiously twisted trees, glimpses of sienna red tiled roofs and above all, of warm, generous and hospitable people.
The country’s culinary tradition is as long as its history and an Italian meal is a leisurely, sociable affair, often taken in the open air, however it is very important to remember that Italian Cuisine is strongly regional in character and across the menu here you can choose from the colourful pasta dishes and fish of Southern Italy or the rustic meat and poultry dishes of Tuscany and of course the pizzas, so there is something for every one.
Staying away from the typical Italian starter of an Antipasti platter, which usually includes an assortment of Cured Meats, Olives, Vegetables, Salads and Cheeses, we dived straight into the deep end and started with Crispy Squid with garlicky mayo, lemon & chilli @ €8.25.

Jamie's Oliver PIC 1

While very simple, they  were crispy and the squid still very tender and moist and the chilli garlicky mayo added refreshing notes to this tasty dish and all were very well seasoned.

Jamie's Italian  PIC2

Flash fried Prawns with chilli, lemon & flat leaf parsley @ €9.95 again while it was a simple dish, it was well executed. The prawns were juicy and meaty and the sauce had just the right amount of acidity from the white wine to make perfect.

Jamie's Italian PIC 3

The Crab Tagliolini @ €16.95, with lots of sweet crab meat & just a hint of chilli, lemon,tomatoes, creme fraiche and perfectly cooked pasta, it reminded me of the ones, I ‘ve had in Italy, which were simple and allowed the freshness of the produce to sing to you. A delicious main indeed.
Meat lovers could try the Wild rabbit Tagliolini @ €15.95, which consisted of a slow cooked ragu with garlic, herbs, mascarpone & lemon.

Jamie's Italian PIC 4

The Prawn Linguini with shaved fennel, tomatoes, chilli & rocket @ €16.95, offered once again perfectly cooked pasta, “al dente”, they were complimented by a decadent yet simple sauce of roasted baby plum tomatoes & shaved fennel which coated rather than gelled the delicate pasta . With a generous dusting of parmegiano & rocket, it was simply delicious.
Italians rarely finish a meal with a dessert; Cheeses and fresh fruits are normally served instead. But for those with a sweet tooth, there are the traditional Italian desserts on offer.

Jamie's Italian PIC 5

An Amalfi Lemon Cheesecake @ €6.75 was creamy mascarpone and not overtly sweet. Perfect consistency with  subtle hints of lemon & topped by an Italian Meringue, it was served with lemon curd and macerated blackberries.

What’s not to love…
With a good selection of wine that can be purchased by the glass or bottle, the place was packed to the rafters, and while I didn’t like all the screaming kids around, making it so noisy that it was nearly impossible to have a conversation, the staff were most attentive and charming.

Jamie’s Italian
Dundrum Town Centre
Dundrum. Dublin 16
01- 2980600

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved 

Thursday 4 June 2015

Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Merrion Hotel. Dublin 2

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Restaurant Forty One. The Magic of Graham Neville. The Taste Magazine May edition 2105

Restaurant Forty One “ The Magic of Chef Graham Neville “ by Robert Jacob

There are many things to like about Graham Neville cooking; Not only does he serve some exquisitely refined cooking but he also remains true to the provenance of the produce he uses going to the extent of cultivating some of the vegetables and herbs he serves in his restaurant. It represents what a talented and ambitious young Chef with a serious Culinary pedigree, as he previously worked with the Michelin Star Chef Kevin Thornton, think what Irish Cuisine should be about nowadays and let’s not forget the address as it couldn’t get any better.


Occupying the first floor of what must be one of Dublin’s finest town houses, an ivy clad Georgian building, overlooking St Stephen’s Green is Restaurant Forty One.

With wood panelling, over sized gilt mirrors and heavy damask, the decor is opulent yet very very elegant and exudes old world charm. We were immediately at ease in the cosy dining room. Tables are well spaced out and seating very comfortable. The staff are poised and flawlessly professional.

We started with an Amuse bouche of Chicken Ravioli & Porcini Mushroom. A single ravioli sat in a pool of fragrant mushroom cream. It was magnificent with great depth of flavours.

My starter of Annagassan Smoked Salmon with Clogherhead crab was elegantly presented, topped with a lattice of fine match sticks of Granny Smith Apple, a flavour constellation of finely chopped capers, red onion, egg yolk, egg white and salmon roe. The Crabmeat was sweet and perfectly seasoned while the wafer thin Smoked Salmon was delicate with just a hint of smokiness. This was no conjuring game, as both produce sang the authenticity of their provenance.

Our  mains of  John Dory stuffed with a Prawn Mousse, Wild garlic, Artichoke, Noilly Prat Sauce was exactingly executed and delivered. Again, perfectly seasoned and cooked fish with the ethereal texture of the prawn mousse and slivers of Wild garlic as a garnish. It was pure bliss. What intrigued about this dish is that  it managed to be  light but delivered a full punch of comfort food pleasure. How, I so wished I had taken a second helping of bread from the starter now, to mop up all that Noilly Prat vermouth sauce.


For dessert, a Millefeuille, Praline. Butternut squash and roast lemon puree, While it tasted very good, it lacked a bit of finesse in presentation.

However across was a sweet smelling Warm Irish Orchard Apple Tarte Tatin, Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream, it was classic in its approach but my god it tasted divine, with perfect pastry, fruits with still a bite and delicious caramel, With the ice cream , it delivered a perfect mouthful in textures, temperature and flavours.

There is no doubt in my mind that Graham Neville is on the starting block as one of the next great Irish Chefs and if you haven’t visited Restaurant Forty One yet, then you are missing out on something very special.

Restaurant Forty One
Residence Club
41, St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2
T: 01-6620000

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved 

Monday 4 May 2015

Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. The Taste Magazine May edition 2015

When Irish eyes are smiling “ Rediscover the Original Irish Whiskey “ by Robert Jacob

Midleton Dair Ghaelach pic 1-1

There was a time when Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey was the World’s favourite. For over a century, it defined the very essence of Irish Whiskey, it’s complexity, full of flavour and lingering taste flowing from Dublin to New York via London.

History was unkind and Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey all but disappeared from view, however while new fashions and trends came, nestled in the deep wilderness of Southern Ireland,it enjoyed an illicit romanticism and a group of devoted distillers in Midleton kept the flame alive and thanks to them, you can now rediscover the Original Irish Whiskey for yourself.

Midleton Distillery is unique in many ways, not least because it is where the tradition of Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey has been protected, nurtured and enhanced for almost 200 years.
All Pot Still Whiskeys at Midleton are triple distilled known as the holy trinity in lustrous cathedral sized copper pot stills in individual batches. As in any premium product, it is a slow, expensive and time consuming process. It is a carefully crafted Irish spirit, made from un malted barley and aged in oak casks.

It is said that it is socially acceptable to hide your Single Pot Still Whiskey from unappreciative guests, I couldn’t agree more for Single Pot Still is so good, it breaks and mends your heart at the same time.

Here are a few for you to try :

Yellow Spot 

irish_yel1Sophisticated & complex. Creamy from the unmalted barley with pot still spices from the Malaga casks with notes of red apples & toasted oak.

Redbreast 12 year old 

Redbreast 12 Year Old USFull flavoured with a harmonious balance of spicy Xmas stewed fruits leaving a comforting finish at the back of your throat.

Powers Signature Release 


An unhurried journey through an impressive flavour spectrum. Succulently sweet with herbal undertones on the nose, leading into the warming flavours of charred oaks with hints of melon and pears.

Midleton Barry Crocket 

MidletonBarryCrockett-lightbox-seElegant aroma of Vanilla and old spice notes revealing its years spent in American’s oak casks.

Red Breast 21 year Old

Redbreast 21 Year Old Bottle pic 3Remarkable aroma spanning fresh tropical fruits, rich dried fruits with a creamy mouth feel from the barley where it all began.
A new member of the Single Pot Still family is soon to be launched by Midleton. The new Midleton Dair Ghaelach will be the first of its kind to be entirely finished in Virgin Irish Oak from Grinsell’s wood in Co. Kilkenny. This exciting new whiskey is the result of a six year exploration by Midleton into using native oak.

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat.

©2012-2015;Robert Jacob;jacob'scrackers;jacobscrackers9; All rights reserved