The Feast of 29 Crops: August 2013

“How can we use up our glut”? This was the question for one of our suppliers Caroline and Eddie Robinson of Robinson’s chemical free farm. We considered pickling the whole lot but lets face it, a feast was far more exciting.

So we wrote a menu consisting of every one of their 29 Crops and to keep things interesting (and to satisfy a childhood dream of mine) replicated a fullacht fiadh/Pit cook and slow roasted 2 ½ whole lambs 4 feet underground for 28 hours. The result was succulent to say the least. 140 people ate that balmy evening and cork band “The Hard Ground”, so aptly named, serenaded us into the night.

It was magical.. 

A point to note and my most memorable moment of the evening would have to have been as we dug up the dinner. 280 eyes stuck to a trench of earth which contained the centre point of the evening. I, the under practised pseudo-viking chef took several steps back and cowed by the bar. To describe this moment as the moment of truth is a grave understatement.

Pictures of raw lambs quenching the diners hunger flooded my head. It didn’t last long. The result was hard to put into words. All I’ll say is, it worked.

Will we do it again this summer? I hope so.

Photos courtesy of Brid O’Donovan at







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