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Lucy Deegan

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Like a kid waiting for Christmas, Lucy Deegan can hardly contain her excitement, her sense of expectation, of impending delight, when she comes across something exciting in the Third Universe, the mycological maze.
It might be an eryngii mushroom she has grown in Ballyhoura, or a white truffle she came across in Alba, or the arrival of the cep season in Ireland, and the event will summon up her sense of “Can you believe this!? Isn't this amazing!”
The enthusiasm is all the more remarkable, given Ms Deegan's serious academic background: a Glaswegian, she earned a BSc in Applied BioSciences at Glasgow Caledonian University, then put in the graft to complete a PhD in Applied Microbiology at UCC, where Ms Deegan worked on identifying the genetics of a bacteria isolated from buttermilk. But Dr Deegan PhD is just the flip side by Little Lucy, the kid who marvels at what the woods can offer to us, just as Lucy is the flip side to Mark Cribbin, her partner in Ballyhoura Mushrooms.
Ballyhoura is fascinating to food lovers because the company has managed to do what no one else ever managed to do: to get exotic cultivated and wild mushrooms onto restaurant menus and into farmer's markets. And it's at the markets that Lucy's enthusiasm will convince you in no-time-flat that you really need some oyster mushrooms and a bottle of cep oil. Her giddy enthusiasm offers you the keys to the third kingdom, the pathway to the hidden world.

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