Our Seven Wonders series continues with some local culinary delights
My earliest days as a young chef were spent at the Portaferry Hotel and what sums up Northern Ireland for me is that smell of the sea. I now live in Killyleagh, just one mile from Strangford Lough.
On the Ards peninsula there are scallops, prawns, lobsters, oysters and mussels and it is a great pleasure to work with such good food. A bit of butter and lemon is all you need with these ingredients. For the recent Strangford Seafood Week, however, I devised a Strangford crab and cauliflower Martini.
I put cauliflower puree at the bottom of a Martini glass, followed by white crabmeat with pickled shallots, a light crab bisque frothed into a foam with a Parmesan puff attached.
That is a refined dish from the restaurant, but I love the langoustines we get from Strangford Lough which have simply been blanched, cooked
for a minute or so in boiling water, cut in half and had some garlic butter and lemon added.
With wheaten bread and a pint of Guinness, it is a plate of home.
Danny Millar (39) is chef-director at Balloo House Hotel, Killinchy, and was awarded Best Chef in Ireland at the 2010 Irish Restaurant Awards. He is a regular on BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen
How you can shape the Seven Wonders
So what do you, the reader, think makes Northern Ireland special?
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At the conclusion of the series this will enable us to draw up a list of the Seven Wonders of Northern Ireland — the things that really make Northern Ireland great.
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