The Irish Cookbook Review

The Irish Cookbook Review
March 30, 2020

A Journey to the Past and Future of Irish Cuisine

Since nowadays no one can travel, we decided to take you on a journey to Ireland through the pages of The Irish Cookbook.

This is the newest book from Phaidon, that promises to take the readers into a journey to the past and future of Irish Cuisine. In The Irish Cookbook, acclaimed chef Jp McMahon tells the story of Irish food, its unique culinary origins, migratory influences and the wild resources that make up the land.

Eager to change the perception of Irish food, McMahon recounts Ireland’s remarkably rich food heritage which dates back millennia and celebrates the unique culinary culture of the island and the roots of its hearty flavors and warm hospitality.

the irish cookbook
The Irish Cookbook

A Food Exploration

Over the years Phaidon has been publishing cookbooks dedicated to specific types of cuisine. Luckily we already had the opportunity to review some of those books such as The Lebanese Cookbook or The Turkish Cookbook.

The Irish Cookbook is a comprehensive collection of 500 authentic Irish home cooking recipes. Several years in the making, this book celebrates the best that Ireland has to offer. From the oysters and seaweed on its west coast to the beef and lamb from its lush pastures, to the wild forest food, berries, and oats found throughout the island.

The book explores every aspect of Irish home cooking including potato dishes, pies, pickles and much more. Here you’ll find best-loved traditional dishes but also many lesser-known gems.

For the book, McMahon undertook the mammoth task of bringing together 500 authentic Irish recipes into one impressive volume. For that, he sought out and adapted old recipes, drawing on the wealth of archive material available in the National Library of Ireland. He trawled through the books of Ireland’s best food writers, pulling together classic dishes, seeking out lost recipes and learning about the uses of ancient ingredients.

As if all this was not enough McMahon brings the book up-to-date with more contemporary dishes. Including recipes from modern food writers and chefs, his family and dishes from his own repertoire.

the irish cookbook
Chef Jp McMahon

Inside The Irish Cookbook

One of the things that we love is in this book is the way it looks! The first thing that stands out is its amazing cover that transports us automatically for the green meadows of Emerald Isle. On the inside, you have a similar feeling but thanks to the beautiful photos of Ireland landscapes.

The content is also something that we need to talk about. In addition to the 500 recipes, there are also many stories and curiosities that deserve your attention. We really encourage you to read the first sections of the book before jumping into the recipes. You will not only have a good reading time as also you will be able to take the most out of the recipes!

The chapters are organized in types of foods like Vegetables, Shellfish, Will Game, Beef and much more. These make the book easy to navigate which is great, considering its size.

The photos of the dishes are also something worth mentioning. Although not all the dishes have photos, which is normal considering the 500 recipes, the ones that exist will vividly evoke the warmth, hospitality and culinary spirit of the Emerald Isle.

the irish cookbook

Final Thoughts

The Irish Cookbook was a big surprise for us! We are already fans of this collection of books, but this one really catches our eyes. In this book, McMahon was able to showcase the true depth of Irish Cuisine. He showed us its ingredients, recipes and its fascinating history. This is not a book about the past, but about the present understanding of Irish Cuisine. Its a look through in what food in Ireland was, how it was used, and ultimately what it can be.


Presenting best-loved traditional dishes together with many lesser-known gems, this book vividly evokes the warmth, hospitality, and culinary spirit of the Emerald Isle.









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