Made using baking soda rather than yeast as its leavening agent, soda bread continues to feature on menus thanks to its versatility - it can be used as an accompaniment or act as the main show.
Darren Deadman, executive chef at Concerto Group caterer Create praises the dish for its convenience. "Soda bread only takes 40-minutes to make, so there is no excuse not to make fresh it fresh when needed.
"It is best served warm with ice cold salted butter and home smoked salmon, or any fish is a classic winner and will enlighten anyone’s taste buds," he explains.
Irish-born Tom Barrett, managing director at Create, agrees fish is a great accompaniment. "[It is] Fantastic with smoked salmon, sweet and oaty and far better than brown bread," he says.
Made from mashed potatoes and combined with either kale or cabbage, colcannon is making its way onto the menus of caterers, albeit with a modern twist. Caterer Harbour & Jones is working Irish cuisine onto its menus as part of the celebrations.
The company's sales and marketing executive, Emily Deacock says Colcannon cakes make a great foundation to any savoury dish. "We’re experimenting with them in bowl food concepts, served with a free-range poached egg and hollandaise sauce."
Deadman explains that peoples' penchant for smoked hot and cold meat products has seen home smoking and curing techniques come to the fore in coddle and stews. "From our style and operation we are returning a little to classic combinations or dishes with a twist, and smoking is an element of this.
"This could be a classic coddle made in the typical way but tweaked with home smoked pork or even smoked potatoes – which we are currently doing – to bring a new dimension to the traditional," he says.
Barrett adds that coddle is great for those looking to avoid food wastage. "Dublin Coddle is a brilliant dish for using up leftovers as you make up your own ingredients list," he says.
With its strong Irish heritage, Guinness is understandably always a key feature of any St Paddy’s day celebration. "We have developed a Guinness brownie topped with green frosting, hinting to its origin," says Deacock.
"A heightened interest in vintage food and drink has seen a rise in the popularity of whisky. We believe the use of whisky in bars and restaurants in the UK is more dynamic and varied than it has ever been before," she adds. Moreover, Deacock says Harbour & Jones predicts 2016 will be a huge year for Irish whisky, and the company is to devise creative cocktails, mixing it with interesting ingredients such as kombucha.
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