Gruel Guerilla Christmas Dinner with Hunt & Gather by Kevin

christmasHere it is! The only way to have a NOTC Christmas Supper this year! We're booked out from 9th-21st so there's no more chances! Hunt & Gather have joined up with our Gruel Guerilla Team to produce this super local and filling Christmas Dinner in the marvelous 12 Henrietta St. Here's what the wonderful ladies have to stay about it:

Gruel Guerilla and Hunt&Gather Present: A Christmas DinnerJoin us on the 5th, 6th and 7th of December in the lavish surrounds of 12 Henrietta Street as we celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season. Taking inspiration from Joycean times and in particular his masterpiece ‘The Dead’ which incidentally was partly filmed in Henrietta, we invite you to an event of sensory exploration.

We will begin the evening at 7pm with a whiskey reception by Teelings Whiskey in the Drawing Room. Here you will be transported back to the 1800’s as you take in the surroundings of one of the earliest Georgian Streets in Dublin. http://www.teelingwhiskey.com/

When you’ve warmed by the open fires you will be escorted to one of the many long banquet tables. Here you will be treated to a dinner by the talented Gruel Guerilla ensemble inspired by the Christmas dinners of times past. http://gruelguerilla.com/

In costume and in character we then invite you to be entertained by some of Dublin’s most renowned performers, the PETTYCASH collective. After many successful shows throughout Dublin city including the Fringe festival and 10 Days in Dublin they have planned some intimate recitals, poetry readings, acoustic music and many surprises for you on the evening. https://www.facebook.com/pettycashcollective

Finally when you are full of Christmas charm and merriment it will be time to step out into the cold December air with the Library of King's Inn facing onto the western end of Henrietta Street. We hope you will be as inspired by this incredible and historical location as we were in creating such an evening.

Please RSVP for a seat at hunt.to.gather@gmail.com. BYOB (we are encouraging attendees to bring their own bottle of wine or beer) Dress to impress in your finest Joycean era inspired outfits (optional) Group bookings of 6 people or more - €40 each Single tickets (after Nov 24th) - €50 each Couple bookings (after Nov 24th) 2 for €90

We do cater to vegetarian requirements. Please inform us in advance and we will forward on vegetarian menu options.

We look forward to hearing from you soon,

Hunt & Gather

Well that's it! A dinner and a show! Hope to see you there!

Supper Happened! 25th July! by Kevin

Another supper! I'm sorry I'm so behind on these but I'm catching up!...I think. Moroccan food is probably one of my favourite foods. This was also my most prepared and professionally hosted suppers. I was really pleased with how it all came out. Great company as usual and lots of fun!

It was cherry season! I bought cherries. I ate far too many cherries. Took the stones from each....I need one of those stone popper things...but I quite enjoy taking the stones out. Cooked them down with some water and sugar and seived the batch. Left it to cool and made sorbet! Next was the mousse! I like mousse...I've noticed the large number of 'like' in this post. But I liked all of this. The mousse is made with a little spiced rum. It's wonderful and tasty. Lastly I baked the buteer biscuits. My favourite recipe for biscuits. This time I added saffron and lemon zest.


I wanted my cous cous to be cold for the supper, so I made it in advance as well. I roasted the squash and mixed in lemon and harissa.

3 hours before my dinner, I made my flatbread dough and left it to rise. Next I moved onto the chicken dish with 1 hour before people arrive. I got this chicken recipe of a wonderful Moroccan-American man by the name of Hassan.I'm very glad to have had the pleasure to have met him and the luck to have received such wonderful recipes from him. If you're ever in New York and happen to be frequenting Dean & Deluca find him and tell him I say hay! The thing I like about Moroccan food is that it is spicy but fresh, citrusy and wonderful all round. It's really a simple dish but has wonderful flavours. I used my own chicken stock to cook it in and it all worked really well.

I turned the oven up to 200°C and rolled out my dough. Flat breads began baking. Last but not least was the clams.....

Sadly I didn't end up with clams for this dinner, we were unlucky and ended up with a Red Tide. I ended up getting my hands on some wonderful mussels. So it was all ok! Panic over. I heated sherry, some water and my dry harissa spice mix. Cooked the mussels for a few minutes about a minute before the mussels were ready to come off the heat I mixed through the samphire. Put some chopped coriander on top. That was it ready to go!

Apologies for the hazy picture. **was organised, forgot to take photos..**

Everything served up. All at once. Bam. We ate, laughed and enjoyed everything.

Supper Happened! July 18th! by Kevin

My first and one of my favourite dinners with my newest accomplice Danielle!

Danielle and I were in Galway at the Film Fleadh, when we came to the decision that it would be great to do a Japanese meal using Irish Seasonal ingredients. The best suggestion was that it would be great to tempura some courgette flowers. I made a quick phone call to the wonderful McNallys, I was informed they were available...provided I appear on the farm the day I was going to use them and hope it wasn't raining.

I wanted the pickled salad and mackerel to be strong and flavoursome. Mackerel only needs 24hrs to pickle safely. I wanted to intensify the flavour so I left it for 2 nights. The salad is a simple bento recipe on a larger scale.


Find your veg that you want, chop it into strips pour over a mixture of rice vinegar and sugar leave for up to 3 weeks in the fridge. With the mackerel I used a mixture of  cider vinegar from Llewellyns and white wine vinegar. Cooked it down with a fennel and orange mix. Covered the fish in onions, fennel and poured over the cooled liquid. I wrapped it well and put a heavy weight on top.


I wanted to do something different with the seaweed salad this time, I decided to use rhubarb, broccoli and wakame seaweed with a soy/lime dressing. I roasted the rhubarb for 15min at a high heat with ginger and soy. Seared the broccoli with chilli. Mixed everything with the rehydrated seaweed. Dressed it all in the soy and lime and it tasted great.

The plan was to make soba noodles and it almost worked. It got to 8:00pm, went to roll them...dust. Not good. It's life I guess I had done a test batch earlier that day, with some success. I had decided to add more white flour to the mixture. It just didn't come together. These things do happen and I plan to return to them soon. Out I ran to F&B and ran home.

The joy of pickling was it was done ahead of time, sadly I am sometimes a little distracted..D appeared just after 8:30 to see me running around like a headless chicken. None of the tempura stuff ready to go. Within the next few minutes she was in chopping like a pro while I complained about noodles and gluten. But we were back on track. We began by cooking the flowers which worked amazingly well! The rest followed and we were ready to go! The noodles chilled, their dipping sauce waiting them. Salad and fish on the table. We all set down with small plates, bowl and chop stick. Hungry and warm*

*I was mainly warm....I had also put my finger in the hot oil at least twice.

Last but not least was the matcha tea ice-cream. I love making ice-cream I've been making lots of it lately and my confidence has risen. I made brittle to go along with it. Cooked down the red beans to a nice consistency and passed them through a sieve.

Supper Happened July 4th! by Kevin

Sorry about how far behind I am on these supper posts. It's been a bit hectic lately. So today, I hope to tell you about two supper that have happened! This was somewhat of a hurried supper, I had been working Galway at the Ocean Race and came back on the train to Dublin the night beforehand and was on a train back to Galway in the early hours of the morning the Thursday morning.

ImageThe idea for the dinner came to me while I was at Corleggy Cheese's farm preparing to go to Galway. I decided if I was going to be on the West Coast of Ireland I should mainly use what I could get my hands on there. I thought to myself that I'd just ask around the market and see who had the best mussels BUT everyone was talking about Marty's Mussels. So I went and found the number for them called and voilà, mussels. I talked to Catherine Nee (Marty's wife) she informed me all about their mussels, she also brought them to Dublin for me, which was very,very appreciated. They're rope grown, they've got a thinner shell and cook quicker than most mussels I've used in the past. I arrive in Dublin to find these waiting for me:

I got home Tuesday and began to prep, decided I was tired. So relaxed. I had my little sister over the next morning, so the Wednesday turned out to be a very busy day. The supper was easy and very manageable, the main prep came with the making of the ice-cream. The idea to infuse it with elderflower came when I was on the farm, the only problem was getting it to Dublin five days later. We had been infusing vodka with elderflower for some other fun projects so I decided to borrow some of it and make a syrup. I cooked down the vodka with some extra elderflower in it with 4 tablespoons of sugar, boiled off the alcohol. So I used the syrup as the sugar in the custard. Job done, I had elderflower custard. Left it to chill in the fridge for 8 hours or so. I got gooseberries from the McNallys and cooked them down with lemon juice and sugar. We served it with gingerbread people.

Cooking the mussels was simple, at Marty's they debeard nd clean all the mussels. I made my harissa and got a huge amount of coriander. In the bottom of my largest post I heated oil with chopped garlic and shallots.  When te oil was hot enough I added the mussels with a glass of dry white wine.  I didn't necessarily need the wine, but I want to get a good bit of steam to make sure I could get all the mussels cooked properly...I hadn't gotten around to cooking 5kg of mussels before..it went ok. There was a bit of pot shaking, but I just left them to it. IT was great with the thinner shells they cooked great. I put about 2/3 of the batch  into a large hot pot and lay it out on the table, sprinkled chopped coriander over the top and it was ready to go.

As we worked our way through the mussels I served slices of sourdough bread to start to soak up the wonderful spicy juice in the bottom of the pot. With this meal we also had battered aubergines covered in honey infused with rosemary. With Aubergines I always try to get as much liquid out of them as possible before cooking with them. Battered aubergines are not the prettiest things in the world but that taste great. I also made a seaweed salad, with this salad, I rehydrated a mix of seaweeds and washed out a good bit of the saltiness. I then mixed the seaweed with spinach and some seared broadbeans, dressed it in a honey, lemon and dijon mustard dressing.

It all went well. The ice-cream was fresh and light, it was refreshing after a spicy and salty dinner.

Supper happened! Wednesday 27th! by Kevin

Well it happened! This is not the first time I've done dinner for people, we do it quite regularly. This will be the first of many I hope that I post about. The plan was to have 6 people over and feed them tasty food. In the end we had 4, the couple that was meant to arrive couldn't..damn work...what'll ya do! But it was fine, it meant I got the pleasure of sitting and chatting..oh and eating with my visiters! Image

So just to recap the menu was:


Slow Roast Porchetta on top of French toast brioche with a side of pan-friend carrots, seasonal greens and caramelised apples.


Frangelico and lime jelly topped with dark chocolate blancmange.

and cheese...always cheese.

The slower you roast porchetta the better, it's salty and moist. I got my porchetta from Hicks in Temple Bar food Market. It was rolled with fennel, garlic and rosemary. At about 8am yesterday morning I popped it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature. When 10am rolled around I popped it in a preheated oven.....not that it was that preheated. I had my oven on at 90ºC for the entire day. That was it, I done nothing else for it. The pork was there till 8pm. I took it out 30min before I was to serve it, to let it rest. So within that 30mi gap I made the sides.


I get my carrots and leaves from McNally's also in TBFM, I washed and tidied the carrots. Set them in a hot pan with olive oil. The carrots take about 205min to cook I turn them every 5mins of so till they are good and roasted on all sides. For the last 5min I put a few sprigs of rosemary into the pan with a little balsamic vinegar and honey.

The leaves were a mix of black kale and spinach. There was meant to be catalongna but I forgot to pick it up. BUT anyway it was still tasty. It takes about 10 or so minutes to cook down such a large batch. I poured over olive into the base of pot and threw in some chopped garlic. When it was good and hope I put in the kale then the spinach. Poured in a cup of water mixed with salt, pepper and some nutmeg. Popped the lid on top, a few minutes in mixed the leaves around and that was it.

I got the apples from David Llewellyn in the market...I got everything for the main in the market. I peeled the apples, segmented them and placed them in a frying pan with some of the porchetta run off. I crushed some fennel sprinkled it over the apples with some brown sugar. I let each side caramelise nicely and that was that!

Last but not least was the French toast Brioche. The brioche came from Le Levain, it choose to use the sweet brioche, I thought it would sit well with the salty meat...and it did. I just mixed eggs and set slices of the brioche into it. Put some black pepper over it and placed them in a hot pan with butter.


That was it. The supper. Already to go.


To drink with had some ice-tea....I still have issues remember that I have to give people something to drink. I remembered just in time I guess this time.

Then we moved onto dessert.

What you'll need:

  • 4 limes
  • 100ml frangelico
  • However much sugar syrup to bring liquid level to 500ml
  • 3.6 leaves gelatine

For the Chocolate Blancmange

  • 400ml milk
  • 4 leaves gelatin
  • 100g 70% chocolate

The night before the dinner I began making the jelly. I juiced four limes, In a measuring cup I made 500ml of a mix of lime, frangelico and sugar syrup. I personaly am a subsriber to the "universal jelly principle" set out by Bompas & Parr. Which is:

Liquid + Gelling Agent = Jelly


I was not using moulds but making the jelly straight in to china tea cups. Which meant I had to use less gelatin. I poured a little of the liquid on top of my chopped gelitin and left it for about 10mins in a heatproff bowl. Once it was softened I set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Stir till it's dissolved and that's about it, pour the rest of the liquid and give it a big stir. Pour into cup and that's it. It needs about 6 hours to set. The next day I started to prepare the blancmange. With milk based jellys you need less gelatin, this keeps the mouth feel pleasent for everyone eating. I done the same as before but this time while it was on top of the pot I added in chopped 70% chocolate also. No sugar and no water in this mix. This also sets pretty quickly but it's still better to give it a few hours.Something I forgot to do was place small circles of greeseproof paper or cling directly ontop of the blancmange, this stops it getting a skin. But it's no major deal.

We finished the night with chats over a large pot of tea and some cheese. We have the Creeny sheep cheese from Corleggy Cheeses. On the side and on top of everything we put two of my newest jellys of cheese. We had Port Jelly and Vodka jelly infused with elderflower, lemon and assam tea.

Well thanks for reading. I'll put up the next menu in the next day or so. If you'd like to come just let me know. Everyone is welcome.