Honest and unpretentious food using the best local produce
Martina and Tricia Cronin are twin sisters who started working at The Mills in Ballyvourney at the age of thirteen. They soon realised that they wanted to have their own restaurant. Their ethos is to support local producers using the best produce and they describe the style of their food as honest and unpretentious.
Chef Martina Cronin
Martina went to chef college and then worked at a succession of well-regarded restaurants: The Park in Kenmare, Bayview in Ballycotton, Chapter One and Restaurant FortyOne at Residence Member’s Club in Dublin under chef Graham Neville. Her passion for clean, clear plates using the best produce shows in the dishes she creates. She came up with the recipe for the goats cheese salad on the train and wrote it on the back of a receipt.
Martina’s description of making her Fois Gras Terrine, for example, leaves you in no doubt of her passion for food. She describes how she removes the veins from the fois gras, marinates it and then leaves it in salt for 17 hours. Then she allows the flavours to blend and mature in the fridge for 4 or 5 days before it’s ready to serve. She serves this with Tom Durcan’s carpaccio of beef.
Tricia waitressed during college and gained extensive experience in the front of house operations at G’s Restaurant – part of Casey’s Furniture where she worked for nine years. She then worked the front-of-house at Jacques in Cork City where she learned how two sisters could work well together by observing the owners.
Martina and Tricia are two of the co-founders of The Old Butter Roads Food Trail initiative is developed by the producers, eateries and visitor attractions to celebrate the range of foods grown in the Muskerry, Avondhu and Duhallow areas of County Cork. The trail escorts visitors through fertile valleys, the bread basket of Cork, where rich pasture lands provide the most wholesome and delicious dairy, meats, vegetables and grains in Cork.
The sisters describe themselves as down-to-earth and their vision for their restaurant is to have all types of people sharing their enjoyment of good food in a relaxed setting.