‘My Wild Atlantic Kitchen’ announced as Best Book in Ireland by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2020

Cookbook selected to represent Ireland in two categories at Paris awards 


My Wild Atlantic Kitchen: Recipes and Recollections, a compilation of the favourite recipes of acclaimed chef, Maura O’Connell Foley, has won two awards at the the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Best Book of the Year in Ireland and Best Book by a Woman Chef in Ireland. 

It will now go forward to represent Ireland in the most-important category of Best in the World, alongside 13 other country winners at the Awards in Paris in June 2021. 

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, founded in 1995, are considered the pinnacle of food publishing, honouring the very best food and wine books from across the globe and receiving over 1000 entries from 170 countries each year. 

My Wild Atlantic Kitchen was released in March 2020 and is a true labour of love representing Maura’s career in Kenmare which spans over six decades. It not only captures over 250 dishes. It includes beautiful art, illustrations and landscape photography and features the formidable chef’s culinary recollections and stories, all expertly woven throughout. The book perfectly communicates Maura’s ethos of keeping food simple, cooking with care and using the best available local produce. 

Founder of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, Edouard Cointreau, said: My Wild Atlantic Kitchen is the winner in the most-important category Best Book of the Year in Ireland. It is a stunning example of team work with the recipes, the writing, the photography, the illustrations , the printing, blending together in a masterpiece.” 

Reflecting on her win, Maura O’Connell Foley said: “I’m overjoyed and astounded to win these awards. It is a tremendous honour and I’m excited to share it with the talented team who contributed to the creation of the book. After a very difficult year this 2020, this is an enormous boost to me and everyone involved in the book – it is the silver lining.”

In addition, the book has received recent acclaim having been awarded the Food Book of the Year Award 2020 at the prestigious Listowel Food Fair, Ireland’s longest running food festival.

The cookbook features seasonal, classic recipes all carefully organised into eight chapters: Breakfast, Starters, Fish, Meat, Vegetables, Desserts & Baking, Sauces, Stocks & Staples, as well as a dedicated section on Dinner Parties. 

It features stand-out dishes from the first tea shop Maura and her mother, Agnes, opened in 1961, and the culinary delights from the menus of The Purple Heather Restaurant and Piano Bar, The Lime Tree Restaurant, Packie’s Food and Wine and Shelburne Lodge Guesthouse, which Maura continues to run today alongside her husband Tom.

Some of these recipes, many of which are perfect for this time of the year, include Maura’s Christmas Turkey with all the Trimmings, Christmas Ham with a Honey and Mustard Glaze, Christmas Pudding with Brandy Butter, Drop Scone Pancakes with Dry Cured Bacon and Apple Syrup, Twice Baked Hazelnut Goat’s Cheese Soufflé, Seafood Sausage with Beurre Blanc, Beef and Guinness Casserole, Dover Sole Stuffed with Atlantic Prawns and Brandy Cream Sauce, Irish Barmbrack & Butter Pudding.

Working in close collaboration with Kenmare-based graphic designer, Éamonn O’Sullivan of Anchor Studio, the cookbook is a joy to explore and a must-have for the kitchens and coffee tables of those who love to cook and those who appreciate and enjoy food. It features over 100 images captured by Lynda Kenny, Maria Bell and Norman McCloskey all of which showcase Maura’s love of art and the Irish landscape.  It also includes illustrations by artist, Christine Bowen, and paintings from internationally acclaimed Irish artist, Pauline Bewick. 

The foreword is written by Irish Michelin starred chef Derry Clarke of L’Ecrivain Restaurant in Dublin. He said: “This book is the culmination of 60 years of passion, hard work and imagination and is a summary of Maura’s life working in busy kitchens. These recipes are timeless, classic and detailed. This is a book I feel every cook should have in their kitchen as there are so many brilliant and varied recipes. This is a book recording Maura’s legacy through the many years she has been at the forefront of Irish cooking. As a fellow chef, I am proud to know her and respect her for all her achievements.”

My Wild Atlantic Kitchen: Recipes and Recollections (RRP €35) is available directly from www.mywildatlantickitchen.com, selected independent bookstores and via Amazon.

Keep up to date with the latest news by following My Wild Atlantic Kitchen on Instagram @MyWildAtlanticKitchen


Find out more about My Wild Atlantic Kitchen: Recipes and Recollections in our earlier post here

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