Dyed Green is a podcast about food and culture in Ireland. Hosted by Kate McCabe and Max Sussman, co-founders of the ecotourism company Bog & Thunder, each episode features dynamic conversations with chefs, farmers, scholars, and more - exploring Ireland’s rich culinary history, its dynamic creative culture, and challenging outdated stereotypes. It’s not just Guinness and potatoes (although there will be plenty of that too!) Join Kate and Max on a culinary journey to the country you won’t believe you’ve been missing: Ireland.
Garry Hughes and The Shelbourne's Recipe for Success
Garry Hughes is the chef at The Shelbourne, one of Dublins’ finest and also oldest hotels, celebrating their 200th year in 2024. While the phrase hotel restaurant doesn’t always conjure excitement, the Shelbourne under Gary’s leadership has developed a culinary program that is exciting, creative, locally sourced, and most important—delicious.
On this week’s episode, we speak with Garry about the importance of work/life balance and the power of an eclair to change someone’s life. We also talk to Gary about his own personal and professional journey and what it takes to run an operation as sprawling as The Shelbourne. The number of scones they bake every day will shock you!
Ursa Minor Rising
Passing through Ballycastle, a charming seaside town on the Causeway Coast in Ireland’s northeast corner, one wouldn’t necessarily expect to find a world-class bakery serving sourdough breads and creative, beautiful pastries. But after spending time learning and traveling abroad, this is exactly what Ciara O’hArtlaighle and her husband, Dara, created when they opened Ursa Minor. Not only does Ursa Minor have fantastic breads and pastries, but it’s also a cafe, serving a really important role as a gathering space around food in a small town without many options. Inspired by sourdough and their travels around the world—New Zealand in particular—they returned home, started baking, and haven’t stopped since.
We spoke to Ciara about bringing sourdough to Ballycastle; the importance of community cafés; the difference between the food culture in the north versus the south; sourcing Irish flour and grains; and what it’s like to be a mother and small business owner.
From Fish to Fork with Niall Sabongi
Niall Sabongi fell in love with seafood as a child living on the east coast of Ireland, where his father would bring him to the beach to find cockles and mussels to eat for dinner. Today, Niall is at the forefront of the conversation around Irish seafood. As a chef, he founded fish-centric favorite spots like Klaw, Saltwater Grocery, and most recently, The Seafood Cafe. While the stereotypical Irish ocean-based meal might be fish and chips or chowder, at Niall's restaurants, the incredibly wide range of Irish seafood is on display. Everything from oysters to crab to day boat scallops, as well as less common preparations like ceviche and cod collar, is prepared with expert attention and respect for the product.
Niall also founded Sustainable Seafood Ireland, a wholesaler focusing on wild-caught Irish seafood. SSI supplies his restaurants and others, making sure that the freshest fish from Ireland’s coasts gets on the plate at some of Ireland's best restaurants. During the pandemic, SSI pivoted and made their products available to individuals rather than restaurants, which helped increase general awareness of the truly incredible bounty of Irish wild seafood (something that historically has not been so widespread as it is today).
We spoke to Niall about what drove him to focus on seafood, his evolution from chef to entrepreneur, why it’s important to directly support independent, small boat fishermen, the seasonality of fish, and using oysters for water reclamation projects.
Eunice Power: The Chipper
We often talk about how Irish food is not just Guinness and potatoes…and yet! A real Irish culinary experience would not be complete without a pint of the good stuff and some delicious spuds! Eunice Power is exactly what her name implies—a powerhouse as a chef and small business owner. In addition to being the director of the West Waterford Festival of Food, Eunice is a caterer and the owner of And Chips, a gourmet takeaway featuring fresh, sustainable food and—you guessed it—chips!
On today’s episode, we talk to Eunice about the quest to find the perfect potato for the best chip and the many varietals available in Ireland, responsible sourcing at reasonable prices, what it’s like to be a female entrepreneur with a family, and how life only gets better after the age of 50.
Kevin Burke Makes it Look Easy
Our guest this week is Kevin Burke of Library Street, a newcomer on the Dublin restaurant scene that was recently named Best Newcomer at the Irish Restaurant Awards. Kevin spent some time working at the two Michelin-star Patrick Guillbaud early in his career before heading to London where he lived and worked for 8 years before returning home to Ireland.
We talk to Kevin about the inspiration behind Library Street, his time in London, and when he knew it was time to come home. We also chat about what goes into making a restaurant that will last, and relatedly, how important (and difficult) it is to keep staff happy. And, Max introduces the concept of the Bog & Thunder EGOT. Tune in to find out more!
Bia, Craic, & Pobal: Connemara's Pota Café
When you walk in the doors of Pota Café in the Connemara Gaeltacht there’s a buzz in the air. Pota’s atmosphere is filled with community spirit and the sweet scent of freshly baked bread, while the melody of people conversing in Irish fills the air. It’s this community spirit, as well as their prolific use of local produce and seafood, that led the cafe to win the award for best café in the country from Food & Wine Ireland this year.
Opened by chef Diarmuid Ó Mathúna in 2021, Pota is a bilingual daytime café and community hub located just over half an hour outside of Galway city on Ireland’s west coast. Irish is the primary language spoken at Pota, so it plays an important role as a cultural and educational resource for the local community. Diarmuid, who trained as a chef at Ballymaloe Cookery School, has a plethora of producers to choose from in Connemara’s burgeoning artisanal scene. From crab that’s fresh off the day boat to greens picked just across the street, it’s a locavore’s dream.
On this week’s episode, we speak with Diarmuid about the secrets of the Connemara soil, how restaurants can give back to local producers, and the importance of Irish language spaces for building community.
Great human interest stories—don’t be fooled by what seems like a niche topic. Topics discussed go beyond food to issues like immigration, refugees, agriculture, sustainability, and career pivots! Broadly interesting
Such a refreshing podcast taking a different point of view of Irish food and culture.