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David Hurley

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David Hurley’s cooking shows his metier, his temperament: he works on something until he perfects it, and he works slowly. He isn’t in a rush, because he knows that the more often you do something, the more you learn from it at each repetition. He is a servant of the kitchen, as well as a master of the kitchen.
And yet his cooking isn’t overworked or tortured: there is a sense of spontaneity and creativity in every bite, the sort of vivid flavours that lift the energy – and the decibel level – of everyone in the dining room of Gregan's Castle.
His mother was a cook, and he followed her into the professional ranks, studying at WIT, working in London before heading back home to Waterford and to the kitchen at The Tannery, in Dungarvan. He seems to have learnt everything from everyone he has worked with, and he seems to have forgotten nothing. There are elements of his cooking that are new, drop-dead classics – the lobster lasagne that comes with pan-glazed halibut; the puffed salmon skin with cured Clare Island salmon; the roasted onion jelly with pea velouté; the potted shrimp raviolo with butter-glazed cod; the gingerbread crisp with foie gras and duck terrine; a dark chocolate gateau that is transcendent.
What Mr Hurley’s cooking shows is that he is Master of the Unctuous: his food delivers a mouth party of both tastes and textures, a series of teasing, lush and sexy adventures in eating. There is an extravagance in his food, but when you think about the cooking afterwards, you see the logic in everything he cooks – there is rhubarb with foie gras; there is dill with crab; there is ham with pea soup; and the lemon curd tart with celery is an old-fashioned lemon meringue pie made new and – like everything else – made better, made irresistible.
He is a craftsman, and the professional kitchen in his Guild. He has served his time, and his time is now.

Gregan's Castle, Ballyvaughan, County Clare
+353 65 707 7005
www.gregans.ie

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