Review: Belfast on a plate

Belfast On A Plate
David Pauley with Joanna Braniff

If ever a book was a culinary delight then it’s Belfast On A Plate, it’s so succulent you could almost eat it!

For years David Pauley of The Studio planned to produce a book featuring city restaurants and highlighting our talented chefs and when he talked to journalist Joanna Braniff about the idea, she jumped on board. Together they, and The Studio, have produced a wonderful book which covers aspects of 20 of our restaurants, the chefs, the history of the buildings and a whole collection of exciting recipes. David is undoubtedly a master photographer and in sympathy with local chefs and such is his standing that staff agreed to forego their day off and turned up to help set up the photocall, David on camera and his partner Cheryl Johnston making sure everything was just right while Joanna researched the stories. Congratulations too to David’s son London based graphic designer Dean who is clearly a very gifted young man.

As a result the book is a history, not only of eating out in Belfast and the local produce used but stories about the restaurants themselves, some that have been converted and others that are new builds. Fascinating is the background of James St South serving diners in a re-vamped linen mill, Neill’s Hill on the site of a railway station in East Belfast, Howard Street with its front doors salvaged from a Christian Brothers School and Tedfords still retains many of the outward signs of maritime history and its ship chandler business in the 1800s. There are many more stories and backgrounds to enjoy and on top of that 60 recipes to try. Working with the restauranteurs David and Cheryl have come up with the best.

It’s a timely publication as this is Northern Ireland Year of Food and the perfect time to blow our own trumpet and Belfast On A Plate is without doubt a total brass band of the highest calibre.

With a team like this I’d be surprised if we didn’t have a second and third volume extending to Ulster On The Plate.

Anne Hailes

Belfast On A Plate – £25 – is available on Amazon and in book shops and tourist outlets from next week.

Post Author: Belfast Times

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