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Issue 41 - A spicier side of Ireland

Whisky Magazine Issue 41
July 2004


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A spicier side of Ireland

Celebrity chef Paul Rankin has always used whiskey in his recipes. Dominic Roskrow took a cooking lesson with him and visited his restaurant, Cayenne

Beware lobsters with attitude. I have one in front of me. It's moving.

Celebrity chef Paul Rankin has congratulated me for the firm way I have picked it up, though he does note that I have gone for the smallest one.

And, as it happens, the feistiest. It's waving its claws around aggressively at the moment and is keen to walk off the plate.

I'm grateful that the claws have elastic bands on them, though I can't help wondering how they put a band on the first claw without the second claw taking their hand off.

Paul is now raising an eyebrow and looking concerned as I struggle to get my lobster to stay still. I know any further attempt at prevarication won't work. So I pick up my knife, look the lobster between the eyes, and prepare to kill my lunch…

Cooking with Irish whiskey, and particularly Bushmills, comes naturally to Paul Rankin. He grew up in Ballywalter in Northern Ireland's County Down and his love of the country's respected single malt grew through adulthood.

So when he started cooking professionally in the early 1980s, it made total sense for him to include his local tipple in his recipes.

“I think it is one of the greatest tasting whiskeys around,” he says. “I have always replaced cognac in recipes with whiskey but think Bushmills is equally great as an aperitif or even as a food accompaniment.

“You wouldn't necessarily have it with every course but it is a very flexible whiskey to work with and I have continued to develop recipes using it. It's ano...

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