It’s all about the Land, you see.
We’re talking about the land where the food we use in our kitchen is grown – the soil the vegetables are planted in, the grass that lambs graze on, the orchards where tree roots dig deep to nurture crisp, plump Irish apples.
Here at Chapter One, we recognise that great Irish food is about land and the unique flavour and personality it gives to the produce it yields through the seasons. And we celebrate not only the people who produce that food, but also those dedicated to educating others about it so our knowledge of it is never lost – people like foodwriters John and Sally McKenna; Ballymaloe‘s Darina Allen, the doyenne of Irish farmhouse cooking; and John and Kerryann Fitzgerald of Atlantic Irish Seaweed in Kerry, passionate educators on the over 600 (!) varieties of seaweed that flourish around Irish coasts.
For the ingredients that go into our kitchens and then onto your plate, we choose growers, farmers and producers who love the land and who excel at what they do. These are passionate, dedicated people who cultivate the land, care for it and coax it into a flavour-defining landscape like no other. In Ireland, this means everything from the stony soil of Clare to the rich loams of the Midlands, wild seas and calm shores, heather-clad hills and electric-green, rain-drenched pastures.
The French, being the French, have a word for this. They call it terroir. This one little word embodies the essence of a specific growing habitat: the climate, the soil, even the orientation of the land itself. There are wines in neighbouring vineyards in France that, all other things being equal, will be different because despite being just yards apart, one vineyard faces south and the other north. And those differences aren’t always subtle either (just ask our sommelier!)
This is the beauty of terroir and of the foods we use in our dishes here. Whether it’s sweetcorn from David Byrne in Lusk in North county Dublin’s prime veg-growing territory, organic “black leg” chicken from Sean Ring in Kilkenny, or cheese from all over Ireland (most of ours come via Sheridans), these are ingredients – and people – we really believe in.
So, here’s to the Irish terroir, and those who celebrate it – on the land, in the kitchen, and at the table.
Chapter One Suppliers List