Last night featured the fourth of our vegetarian Feast Night Formal Halls, and the first such dinner to feature recipes from Cafe Paradiso by Denis Cotter. Opening in October 1993, Cafe Paradiso set out to take vegetarian cooking out of the healthfood industry and away from the perception of meat-free cooking being somewhat penitential. Dishes were created with a focus on vegetables rather than lentils, and with no agenda other than sharing the pleasure of real food prepared with skill and passion.
Groundbreaking in it’s early years, Paradiso has now become something of an iconic institution in the Cork dining scene and the wider Irish food culture.
However, we began last night's dinner with an amuse bouche recipe from Pure Vegetarian by Paul Gayler; steamed Malaysian bun, a savoury pastry filled with mushrooms, peanuts, garlic, corainder and sweet chilli. We even managed to persuade Sara, our vegetarian pastry chef, to leave the sweets alone and to help prepare last night's menu!
Next up, we served a stunning red tofu salad with French beans, mint, persimmon fruit, cashews, plum sauce and soy.
Sweet, delicious persimmon fruits are rich in health promoting nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that are vital for optimum health. Botanically, the fruit belongs to the family of Ebenaceae of the genus: Diospyros; scientifically named as Diospyros virginiana.This delicate oriental fruit is native of china. It spread to Japan very long ago and later was introduced to California during the middle of nineteenth century.