Showing posts with label Gallo & Galetti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gallo & Galetti. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Nigel Cotter. His Butcher to Chef Story

Nigel Cotter. His Butcher to Chef Story

Nigel Cotter, the Douglas man who was recently awarded the Market Lane Culinary Scholarship with CIT, has taken a long road to cheffing. He is a qualified butcher and has spent over ten years in the trade.

And it was while working as a butcher that he began to appreciate quality of produce. He credits an early mentor, Flor Kent, with giving him a good all-round picture, of the trade, of food and of life. And that butcher background is now a massive plus as he studies to be a chef.

But cheffing had always been somewhere in his mind and that has much to do with his mother who was a farmer’s daughter. Her roasts were spectacular, memorable. But with a whole animal from the family farm available, she had to use all the cuts and they had meat, stews and steaks and so on, all the year round variety.

Nigel still appreciates the meat of course but nowadays tends to cook a lot of fish at home. “We are an island nation, we should be using more fish.”

And it is not just at home that Nigel cooks these days. As part of his CIT course, he had to find a restaurant that would give him 400 hours placement. Luckily, Brendan Cashman’s Gallo and Galetti, where both Nigel and his wife enjoy eating, took him on and now that 400 hours requirement has been well and truly exceeded.

He was delighted to accept the scholarship that will help him extend and enhance his culinary education, “It is an incredible opportunity for me.” Nigel, who is currently studying for a Certificate in Culinary Skills, will use the bursary to progress to the National Chef De Partie Apprenticeship Programme at CIT, which will set him on a fast-track to becoming a fully qualified chef with access to the best kitchens in the country.

He is an obviously determined young man. His studies currently take up two full days each week and then he works around that commitment. Does he get a chance to relax? He does indeed. He loves watching Rugby and American football. For the past seven or eight years, he has been playing Five-a-Side football out in Ballincollig, enjoying the exercise and the craic. Music is another big interest of his and indeed he “used to play for a few bands”.

He has been strong on getting local producers recognised and his thoughts on the subject were taken on board by Conrad Howard of Market Lane who will be including profiles on their menu in the coming weeks, introducing their diners to the fantastic, passionate producers that supply the restaurant with their produce. 
Nigel, with Dr Noel Murray(left) of CIT and Conrad Howard of Market Lane Group.

Nigel’s interest in local producers was reinforced by Avril Allshire of Rosscarbery Recipes and Caherbeg Pork when she spoke to his group at CIT. “Avril gave us a great talk and very unselfishly promoted other producers as well.”

He is all for diversity and balance in diet. “We should eat better quality meat, but less of it, and definitely eat more fish and vegetables.

Has he a favourite chef? “Marco Pierre White, a working class man who shot for the stars. Also the Roux brothers, Albert and Michel, French-born restaurateurs and chefs in Britain. And I’m sure there are more!”

Nigel is a patient fellow. It has taken him a long while to get to this point but he is not jumping too far ahead. “Of course, it’s in the back of every chef’s mind to have his or her own kitchen and to run the show to his or her own standards. But I’m only at stage one. You’ve got to serve your time, got to learn, then find your niche.”

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Top Food & Drinks Posts for Past 12 Months

Top Food & Drinks Posts for Past 12 Months
(to end of April ‘14)
The Wine Geese. Top of the Charts!
Have decided to publish these regularly. If I do it annually, those coming in at the end of the year will hardly ever have a chance of making it to the top. Minimum requirement is 700 hits, just reached by Ballycotton newcomer Pier 26.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top restaurant posts 2013

Top restaurant posts 2013
Aubergine & Roast Pepper Parcels at Chapel Steps

For the second year running, Bandon's Chapel Steps tops the restaurant charts. This year's post didn't score quite as high as the 2012 review but still, thanks to the many fans of this lovely restaurant, came out ahead. Good performances too from newcomers like Brendan Cashman's Gallo & Galettii in Wilton, Finn's Table in Kinsale, and the Greenroom at Sage in Midleton. Electric is tops in city centre, Cafe Gusto is leading cafe while the Sultan is best ethnic.

Top Drinks Posts
Kinsale's Black Pig Wine Bar is the place to go for a glass of wine (and a meal), the newcomer quickly establishing itself at the head of affairs. This was the Year of the WineGeese and great to see the visit of Cullen Wines to Cafe Paradiso featuring as does the series' opening night at L'Atitude 51. The rise of craft beer is underlined by the popularity of the post on the Cotton Ball, Cork's newest micro-brewery; this post, just up a week or two, is gathering in the hits even as I write.

Most popular restaurant posts
Speciality Nights at Bandon's Chapel Steps
Brendan is back
Electric. Easy to Book. Hard to Leave.
Magic at Myrtleville
Al Fresco dining at the Titanic Bar and Grill in Cobh
Old Friend's at Finn's Table
The Sultan of Penrose Wharf
Tapas in the Greenroom
Grazie Cafe Gusto

Most popular drinks posts
The Black Pig Wine Bar in Kinsale
On the tapas trail with Campo Viejo
Cullen Wines at Cafe Paradiso
Wine Geese Heading Home
Happy New Beer at the Cotton Ball
My Curious Case

Monday, May 27, 2013

Brendan is back with Gallo & Galetti

Gallo & Galetti

Brendan Cashman, Cork’s award winning chef, is back in business. His new venture is in Wilton and is an Italian restaurant called Gallo & Galetti. It is on the main road, opposite the Cork University Hospital, between the Shopping Centre and the Topaz.

The first thing that struck me on last week’s visit was the big team available to service the customers. And it seems a well drilled team as service was friendly and efficient.

I started off with the Finocchhio and Arancia Salad (Shaved fennel and orange salad with extra virgin olive oil and rocket). A lovely light starter. CL’s Antipasto was also delicious: Semi-dried tomatoes and roast marinated sweet red peppers. Hers cost €3.50 while mine came to €7.50.

Quite a few pizzas and pastas to choose from as you’d expect and these are also available on the lunch menu. My pick was the Penne all’arrabbiata & Pollo (Sautéed chicken with roast garlic, tomato, chilli basil and cream). Chicken was plentiful (the spice was moderate) and good value at €14.00.

Had seen somewhere that this was known as the “angry sauce”, so I went checking, at least as far as Wikipedia, and here I was informed: Arrabbiata sauce, or sugo all'arrabbiata in Italian, is a spicy sauce for pasta made from garlic, tomatoes, and red chilli peppers cooked in olive oil. "Arrabbiata" literally means "angry" in Italian, and the name of the sauce is due to the heat of the chilli peppers.

Meat and fish dishes feature more strongly in the evening menu and CL’s pick was the Pan Roast Chicken and Tuscan ratatouille (16.95). No translation problems here. Just a simple dish yet a superb one.

Not too many desserts listed but all were tempting, even the smaller ones such as the Affogato and the Coffee and chocolate truffles. But no small one for me! Just had to try the Tiramisu. Not too sure which of the many recipes was used here – Brendan himself was off duty on the night – but it was a sweet square of sinfulness with a good input of coffee.

Speaking of coffee, we did finish off with a couple of cups. Green Bean is the supplier here and the coffee was excellent. So too was the wine: an organic Chardonnay from Spanish producer Senorio de Ayud (€20.00 a bottle).  We knew it would be good as we had enjoyed it a few weeks back at the Douglas Tea Rooms.