Chef JP McMahon has called for people to include Irish seafood into their festive dining this year, to create new traditions celebrating seafood when it’s at its best.
JP said: “Turkey came from America in the 16th century. They were big and cheap. Popularised by Henry VIII and Queen Victoria, turkey was a practical solution to the problem of large families. Ham, on the other hand, seems to be associated with pagan Germanic tribes celebrating the new year. Indeed, most of the other food and drink traditions that we associate with Christmas all arise out of earlier pagan festivals.
“This time of year is when Irish seafood, shellfish and seaweed is at its best, due to colder water, and moreover a time when it’s forgotten. At times we forget that we are people of the sea as well as the land.”
This initiative aims to celebrate the quality of seafood at this time of year and encourage people to experiment with different fish, shellfish and seaweed during the Christmas period.
JP will be running seafood specials each weekend over December in Tartare Café + Wine Bar and Cava Bodega in Galway. The specials will change weekly depending on what fresh, local seafood is available.
In Tartare, diners can expect small plates such as Dooncastle oyster, sea lettuce, trout roe; and crab, chervil mayonnaise, potato crisp, and seafood tapas such as scallops, black pudding, cauliflower, lardo, pistachio; and wild mussels, almonds, white wine, garlic in Cava.
JP will also be sharing some of his favourite seafood recipes from Tartare for people to try at home at www.tartaregalway.ie. The recipes can be accessed free of charge and will be available from Monday the 2nd of December until the end of the month.