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Ask any St. Patrick’s Day reveler what constitutes a proper Irish meal, and meat, potatoes and stew might come to mind first. But that meat-and-potatoes-heavy image has undergone a quiet Celtic conversion in the past two decades under a new breed of creative chefs. Leading the pack is Cathal Armstrong, whose focus on fresh, local ingredients has both redefined American cuisine and the traditional dishes of his native Ireland. We rediscover Irish cuisine with Armstrong just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.
Reprinted with permission from "My Irish Table" by Cathal Armstrong, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography credit: Scott Suchman © 2014
Armstrong talks about what he sees as some American misconceptions surrounding Irish food and chats about the kind of food his family ate in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day.
Armstrong cooks brined pork belly with thyme and garlic, served with pea shoots, kumquats, smoked onions, and sunchokes. After the meat has been brining for several days, he cooks the pork skin until crispy and adds the spring vegetables, emphasizing that the dish represents a transition between winter and early spring.
D.C. Public Schools is abandoning longtime school food provider Chartwells in the wake of allegations of poor food quality and fraud and moving forward with new vendors for 2016. But, questions remain about the selection process and future oversight.