Life is Grand for Chef Cathal Armstrong at the St. Patrick's Day Parade

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Life is Grand for Chef Cathal Armstrong


We talked to Cathal to see how the man behind the gastronomic success led the way down Constitution Avenue on March 11th to celebrate Irish culture and get behind this year’s parade theme: Feed the Soul and Nourish the Palate.

Chef Armstrong, can you tell us a little about the grand marshal experience?
Riding in a carriage down Constitution Avenue in Washington, DC was a magical experience. It was an unusually sunny Sunday for March. Being surrounded by such talented marching bands, military units, dance schools and leaders—all clad in bright green colors—made the day a great celebration of Irish culture.

How did the parade’s theme of Feed the Soul and Nourish the Palate come about and how does this tie into your food philosophy?
At the first restaurant we opened, Eve, the goal is to “Nourish the Palate.” As Grand Marshal, the parade’s theme combined my philosophy with that of the Gael of the Year, Michael J. Curtin. Michael is CEO of DC Central Kitchen and his aim is to “Feed the Soul of the City.” “Feed the Soul and Nourish the Palate” is a combination of our two philosophies.

What inspired the Society Fair concept of combining a market and restaurant?
As a lifestyle food market, Society Fair was created with the goal of being able to highlight the items that other Eat Good Food Group restaurants are known for. As the hub, Society Fair is able to supply Restaurant Eve, The Majestic, and all our other restaurants with house-baked breads. As a market, Society Fair is able to pull the special items from our restaurants and feature them on the shelf–whether it be Eamonn’s famous cocktail mix or Restaurant Eve’s favorite Kerrygold spread. As my wife Meshelle likes to say, “Society Fair is an epicurean emporium—a ‘fair’ for food lovers!”

Life is Grand for Chef Cathal Armstrong (1)

After picking up fresh ingredients at Society Fair, Chef Cathal Armstrong suggests making his Bakewell Tart with Kerrygold Butter. With a successful year and recent role as grand marshal, how could we not follow his lead?

Learn more about the roots of Chef Armstrong’s success in the Kerrygold Friends section.

Chef Cathal Armstrong's Bakewell Tart
  • 1 puff pastry sheet (half of a 17.3-ounce package)
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup huckleberry jam (or other jam)
  • 12 tbsp. (1 1/2 sticks) Kerrygold Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Whipped cream, for serving
  • Fresh berries, for serving

Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface to 1/4-inch thick. Grease an 8-inch tart pan, then line with pastry, trimming excess. Prick base all over with a fork. Chill 15 minutes.

Line inside of pastry with parchment paper, and fill with pie weights. Cook 15 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Remove weights and parchment; lightly brush pastry with egg white, and bake 5 minutes more. Spread jam on bottom of tart and cool about 20 minutes.

Lower heat to 325°. In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then gently fold in flour and salt.

Pour mixture into tart. Bake until golden and set, about 40 minutes. Cool completely on a rack. Serve with whipped cream and berries.



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