Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Blackwater Opera Festival 2018

Eunice Power is delighted to be providing catering services for the Blackwater Opera Festival 2018 in Lismore, Co. Waterford.

The Blackwater Valley Opera Festival, Ireland’s most beautiful summer music festival presents Opera at Lismore Castle and music in the great houses of the Blackwater Valley. May 20th to June 3rd 2018. The Opera 2018: presenting Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 Wedding Trends: Botanicals, birds and Irish booze

Irish Times May 14th 2016

Eunice Power has been catering weddings for more than a decade and shares her expertise

The 2016 wedding season is officially open. As always, I am excited to see what trends will emerge.

Weddings are certainly getting bigger, and Humanist ceremonies are overtaking traditional church weddings. Humanist celebrants are as scarce as hen's teeth, so if you are thinking of a change of career, it's definitely one to consider.

This year, retro is in (circa 1960/70). Expect prawn cocktail, sherry consommé, dressed chicken and ham, followed by big bowls of sherry trifle on the menu. I haven't been asked to dress a chicken yet, but I reckon my days are numbered.

Irish gin is having a moment, giving rise to the trend of gin and tonic receptions, with lots of cucumber and peppercorns - instantly lifting the spirits.

Gold cutlery adorns tables and simple, beautiful botanical themes run throughout, from pressed flowers on the invitations and menu cards to wonderful garlands of foliage on dining tables. The fresh scent of eucalyptus is refreshing, its bluey green-tinged leaves are divine. It's all very simple and understated and leaves a lingering effect.

A flock of origami birds suspended from the rafters gives a magical presence and is simple to achieve. Making origami birds, once you get used to folding them, is addictive. They can be made months ahead.

Long tables are being favoured more than the traditional rounds, and are actually much more sociable.

Outside venues are becoming increasingly popular, from marquees in the garden to teepee tents in the woods. Big, old houses are very much desired, as such venues allow couples privacy as well as a canvas to express their own style, as opposed to the hotel offering. Lots of winter weddings are also on the cards this year - a winter of log fires, slow-cooked beef ribs, candles and fur-trimmed elegance.

Couples are putting as much thought into the day after celebrations these days. This is an Olympic year, so don't be surprised to be invited to a mini Olympics.

Sack, egg and spoon and three-legged races are the order of the day and competition is fuelled by Bloody Marys (made with artisan vodka, of course), followed by a well-deserved feast of (still popular) pulled pork, delicious pick-me-up salads and, if you're lucky, a vintage ice-cream van serving 99s. The next day box should certainly be ticked on the RSVP.

A sign of the times, perhaps, but DIY touches are a little less popular now than before. Gone are the days of making your wedding dress, bridesmaids' outfits and going-away suit - my mum made all of the above for my own wedding.

But these days brides - and bride grooms - often make their own cake, and sometimes the wedding favours. See my recipe for a gorgeous DIY wedding cake opposite. This cake is a light Genoise sponge with rich, dark chocolate mousse lying beneath a vanilla Swiss meringue icing. It can be made and frozen weeks beforehand and iced a day or two before the big day.

The recipe was given to me 20 years ago by my neighbour, wonderful baker Mary Curran. This cake is fool-proof, robust and delicious, and it travels well. Mary brought it to the UK in her car, to her son's wedding and it survived the journey unscathed.

We rarely, if ever, see wedding gifts being brought to weddings. It's all envelopes now. More often than not I meet the red-faced best man asking, "Did you see a bundle of envelopes? I can't remember where I left them."
I have a childhood memory that sticks in my mind. A cousin of my father was getting married and my mum and I went to deliver a wedding gift. We were brought into the drawing room to inspect the wedding presents, which were all laid out: bundles of towels, a canteen of cutlery, a barometer, a Kenwood mixer, a candlewick bedspread, a dinner service, a tea service and saucepans, to name but a few.

I actually doubted my memory and yesterday checked with my mother, who said indeed it was not my imagination - laying out wedding gifts for inspection was de rigueur, and she reliably informed me that the British royal family still do it.

That tradition seems to have died off, thankfully. Who wants to see bundles of Brown Thomas vouchers or a wad of cash? They don't make for quite the same viewing.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Eunice Features in Image Brides Magazine


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.