Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Monday, January 19, 2015

West Waterford Gets Gourmet Thumbs-up From New York Times

Original Article: Irish Independent

15th January 2015

Pól Ó Conghaile

The New York Times' travel section has been sampling the gastronomic wonders of the southeast, and it likes what it tastes.

West Waterford is "fast becoming known for its epicurean culture."

That's the latest assessment from the fabled publication, which describes the area as favoured for its "idyllic beaches, picturesque villages and sprawling green fields blanketed with sheep" today.

The New York Times, with a circulation of some 1.8 million, has been showering praise on Ireland of late - with no fewer than three travel features celebrating various aspects of Dublin late last year.

Today's feature – ‘In Southeast Ireland, a Coastal and Culinary Destination' – is the first in some time to venture outside the capital, however.

In it, author Shivani Vora cites Dungarvan as the centre of West Waterford's "epicurean culture", and singles out Paul and Máire Flynn's Tannery restaurant and wine bar for several glowing paragraphs.

"Renditions like grilled hake with barley and turnips accented with paprika butter, and glazed beef short ribs slow cooked in onion sauce, are simple yet pop with flavor," Vora writes.

The Dungarvan Brewing Company gets a mention, as does Anna LeVeque's Triskel Goat Cheese, and Eunice Power's pop-up dinners.

"Travelers who aren't visiting during one of the events can always buy Ms. Power's easily packable specialties in her charming home," the author advises.

Vora credits the "spurt" in gourmet activity to the Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore, whose House Restaurant is led by chef Martijn Kajuiter.

"His artfully presented dishes, such as… organic salmon from nearby Bantry Bay with pickled vegetables and horseradish, are the reason for the boite's 2010 Michelin star, an honor it has held onto since," Vora says.

Perhaps the best way to sample the area's cullinary delights is at the annual West Waterford Festival of Food the author concludes.

It runs from April 9-12 2015 of this year.


Eunice Featured In New York Times Article On West Waterford Food

Original Article:

".....A few minutes outside the heart of downtown Dungarvan is another visible name behind the gastronomic surge, Eunice Power, a caterer and chef who lives on a dairy farm. Ms. Power, 45, hosts pop-up dinners at least four times a year around town. For her last one at the Tannery, she cooked 16 dishes inspired by her recent trip to Lebanon, such as lamb roasted in onion juice, locally caught cod with lemon-saffron rice and the ancient grain freekeh tossed with currants and cumin-seasoned cauliflower.

Travelers who aren’t visiting during one of the events can always buy Ms. Power's easily packable specialties in her charming home. Walking into her bustling kitchen might mean seeing jars of freshly made strawberry jam, loaves of lemon-frosted poundcake or tubs of savory tomato chutney. ...."


Monday, December 22, 2014

Last-minute Tasty Baking Recipes For Christmas

The countdown is on, but these recipes are perfect for the final few days before Christmas

With five more days to Christmas, Dungarvan is certainly continuing to look festively magical and I'm grateful, as always, to be one of its lucky natives.

The light extravaganza that the town's businesses and the local authority invested in for the past few years is quite breathtaking, especially in Walton Park and along the harbour-front.

People bustle along about their business with a spring in their step while local carol singers perform in the back ground, accompanying bucket shakers in the foreground. There are lots of familiar faces and excited greetings as a local diaspora returns home for Christmas.

In the kitchen, we are gearing up for the last few days before the holidays.

The orders for mince pies, meringues, roulades, paté, red cabbage, stuffing, and our brown bread, along with other seasonal favourites, are arriving in droves.

Each night as I lie in bed the mental list for the next day runs through my over-stimulated mind.

And then at 2pm on Christmas Eve it's all over, the last delivery is made, we wish each other a Happy Christmas and are released back to our families for the festivities to begin. Roll on 2pm on Christmas Eve.

Photography: Shane O'Neill
Food Styling: Leona Humphreys, One Fine Plate

Monday, February 24, 2014

Eunice Power's bumper guide to getting married

The Irish Times
Friday February 14th 2014

Video Link: What's On Trend For Weddings In 2014

What's big in the world of weddings for 2014? Caterer Eunice Power has the inside track on current trends


Friends instead of family
Guest numbers have taken a dramatic drop so the focus seems to be on quality rather than quantity – and it's all about friends. Family guests are forensically chosen and kept to a bare minimum. It is only closest comrades and confidants who are getting the golden invites. With the benefit of hindsight, I question the wisdom of this trend – friends come and go, family are here to stay, for better or for worse.
While the wedding parties are getting smaller, the bridal parties are getting larger. Can't choose your nearest and dearest? Couples are upping their numbers to four-plus bridesmaids and groomsmen. And of course there has been the introduction of bridesmen, to create a role of honour for the bride's male best friend.

Humanist ceremonies
Since the change in legislation last year the demand for Humanist ceremonies has exploded. Solemnisers from the Humanist Association are already almost completely booked out for 2014.

What day? What season? What forest?
Sunday weddings are becoming more and more popular, as are winter weddings – personally my favourite. There's nothing quite like dusky afternoons, heavy velvet, soft fur, candles and roaring fires. Think slow cooking, poached pears, mature Cashel Blue, baked quince and starry nights. Woodland ceremonies are also an emerging trend, with long wedding veils, flowing dresses, twinkling fairy lights and the crunch of twigs underfoot. Together with a lush green canopy overhead, the setting amounts to a very beautiful, natural, sophisticated affair.

A room of one's own
Alternative venues such as barns, theatres, tents and warehouses are becoming "the" thing for 2014. Couples can personalise such places and create unique experiences for themselves and their guests.

Traditional canapés are still popular but there has been a rise in tapas – little dishes such as warm black pudding combined with chickpeas, raisins and pine nuts, cones of vegetable crisps and spiced nuts to accompany the "bridal Bellini".

Signature cocktails for bride and groom
These allow for beautiful presentation at the drinks reception, especially when they are served from a crystal drink dispenser. The cocktails provide an elegant talking point and encourage guests to mingle. They are a great alternative for those who don't love bubbly.

Sharing platters
The whole idea of "Bring me food" platters creates an informal-feast mode of dining. Sumptuous sharing platters along with good bread, dips such as beetroot hummus and baba ganoush, contribute to a more communal experience around the wedding dining table, making everything much more convivial and natural.

Banquet tables
Long tables, often humbly dressed with battered silverware, honest-to-goodness earthenware and cotton table cloths, are taking over from traditional round-table dining.

Simple and elegant main courses
Quality ingredients well sourced and seasonal, served simply and elegantly is what it's all about for 2014. Side dishes and accompaniments contribute hugely to the overall experience.

Just desserts
There is a return to homemade favourites, chilled light soufflés, Eton mess and, believe it or not, traditional apple tart and good vanilla ice cream.

Turophile heaven – the cheese cake
Couples are also opting for a cheese cake, reminiscent of Roman times. Beautiful tiers of cheese with apples, grapes, chutneys, membrillo, decorated with fresh herbs and flowers. These are usually served after dinner on big wooden boards where turophiles gather and feast.

Trendy food for afters
Late-night snacking on something a little different has spread to encompass a myriad of options including barbecue burgers, pizza, hot dogs, even paella. People want a treat after all that dancing.

Naked cakes
Stacked sponges left un-iced but filled and decorated with fruit and/or flowers are huge at the moment. They're rustic, natural, look homemade and are soaring in popularity, especially in Ireland where we like things to be a little imperfect and homey.


Homemade favours
Little pots of marmalade, shortbread with the couple's initials, packs of homemade postcards of the bride and groom are all really sweet, thoughtful and time-consuming gifts, 50 per cent of which are left on the tables at the end of the night. Is all that effort worth it ?

Wedding signage
Love, this way...


Chocolate fountains
These have definitely bitten the dust. A rare sighting since 2010, they're a bit too Celtic Tiger for today's couples. Personally I'm grateful for their demise – strawberries and marshmallows dipped in cascading chocolate were never my idea of a perfect hors d'oeuvre.

Four-hour drinks receptions
I know photographs are important but you want your guests to have a vague recollection of your wedding day.

Carving meat at the table 
Seriously, who wants to don an apron over the silk dress and carve beef for the masses?

Late food 
Sambos and cocktail sausages served as a barman bellows, "Last orders".

Baby blues and pinks are fading away, making way for neutral palettes with metallic accents; rich berry tones with gold; cool teals and mint with alabaster white.


Friday, May 17, 2013

A Good Wedding Reception

Irish Times
Saturday May 11th 2013

The secret to a successful wedding is to have a clear idea of what you want and the right people in place to make it happen. Wedding caterer Eunice Power has the inside track.

"I know this is a challenge, but just do it . . ." those were the words of a wedding stylist a few weeks ago as I peeked into a beautifully decorated barn, which had absolutely no electricity point, not to mention anywhere a caterer could serve food. Any such practicalities had escaped the stylist, whose evening theme centred around dozens of suspended paraffin lanterns. I recalled the bride and groom's priorities at the menu tasting we had a few weeks previous - the finale of the meal was to be an after-dinner coffee menu, something which is now hugely popular at weddings. A specially sourced giant espresso machine and its attendant flown-in barista was the couple's way of treating their guests to an authentic Italian coffee house experience, performance latte-art being one of the specialities. Needless to say we frantically improvised for them, and it all turned out wonderfully.

In my day, weddings were quite different affairs. We went with the flow. Our parents invited every neighbour and living relative. Ed and I were just about allowed to invite a few friends. There was a fight over who made the cake. We had beef or salmon in the local hotel and danced to Gina, Dale Hayes and the Champions until the small hours. My type can be spotted a mile away as the inner Bridezella is unleashed when we turn 40 and insist on the big party, or worse . . . when we eventually arrive at planning our own offsprings' weddings.

From the viewpoint of the wedding caterer's chair which I occupy these days, the wedding couple are now very much in the driving seat and they have a clear idea of what they want, presenting it to me, quite often, on a detailed mood board. In the past few years there has been a distinct move towards formal weddings - undoubtedly attributable to the popularity of Downton Abbey et al - all empire lines and beautiful flowers.

At the moment there is a swing towards the 1920s and early 1930s, art deco, silverware, china, crystal, damask and black tie. This year it's most definitely out with the champagne flutes and in with the champagne coupes and the champagne pyramid with its cascading bubbly.

Specially created pre-dinner signature cocktails are also bang-on-trend, with tequila being high on the list of ingredients - so be warned before imbibing. I've had couples spend hours deciding on the composition of their particular wedding cocktail - flavours that conjure up their time spent abroad, ones which represent their favourite holiday destinations, even flavours that symbolise traits in each other. I recently had one groom tell me he wanted something hot and spicy to represent himself.

It has also become quite popular to draft in a professional mixologist to add to the drama of the cocktail-making on the day, or to give guests novel wedding favours by attaching the printed cocktail recipe to a quartet of miniature bottles containing all you'll need to "make your own at home".

This formal wedding trend is invariably interjected with an enduring leaning towards the pretty and vintage style, and the festival/carnival feel. Think bunting, mismatched crockery, maypoles, heart-shaped cheeseboards, pigs on spits, carousels and the strongman, or high striker. This romantic, floaty trend is definitely big at present, but it's wise to remain grounded in reality and have a plan B. We live in a climate where the hazy summer evening is often a misnomer and that perfect image of ice creams on the lawn can quickly become naturally occurring icicles on the lawn; so be flexible.

The weddings we cater for are generous, warm, relaxed affairs. Each one varies in style, reflecting the couple's individuality. Venues change from week to week - from castles to cow barns to wonderful tents in stunning locations. The couples all have one thing in common - they want well sourced seasonal food, beautifully presented in an atmosphere of conviviality and fun, in a location which will be forever special to them.

If I was to distil what most couples ultimately seek, I would say it is unpretentious, honest, memory-provoking, good food, full of flavour, with a homemade feel. I am impressed over and over again with my clients' knowledge of food and its provenance, and how they can determine precisely what they want, and their subsequent single minded quest to get it. We are frequently asked for names of suppliers, even names of individual farmers so that these details can appear on the wedding menu.

So what is the secret of a successful wedding party? Simple really, visualise the end result and then get the right people around you to make it happen. Delve into the detail months beforehand, embrace it, then delegate it and turn up on the day - it's as easy as that. But please don't forget to think about practicalities - see my opening sentence.

Weddings are electric affairs fuelled by great company, wonderful wine and delicious food. The attention span of guests will last for three hours over dinner, and after that it's all about the action - people will want to get up and move about. Plans for a lunch or brunch the day after the wedding are really important for the couple - the post mortem is such an important part of the unwinding and helps keep PWB (Post Wedding Blues) at bay until such emotions can be dealt with properly on a remote island in the sun.

So, returning to the big day - once dinner is served, we in the kitchen collect ourselves and our belongings, bid farewell to our colleagues front of house, pack the van and prepare for the journey home. We spend the first half hour going though every detail, and the remaining time being elbowed in the head as we each try to find a suitable position to sleep on the bench seat of the van. Fear not, we have a driver.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Feast In The Forest Sunday 3rd of March 2013

Waterford Festival of Food launched their 6th Festival of Food on Sunday. Eunice Power prepared a feast in the forest at Colligan woods on a glorious spring afternoon. Over a 150 guests attended - most arrived by bike! Guests enjoyed wild garlic soup, spit roast Comeragh Mountain Lamb cooked over a wood fire, and rhubarb and rosewater pannacotta.

Details of the festival programme can be found on

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eunice's Column In The Irish Times Nov 22nd 2012

Eunice's latest column for the Irish Times Magazine, November 22nd 2012 is now available online. It includes features on Christmas gifts, chocolate courses, hampers, coffee and baked Christmas decorations.