Jane and Myles Lamberth’s “The Surf Café Cookbook” is crammed full of the couple’s two passions “a love of food and outdoor living”.
The Lamberth’s met eight years ago working in a hotel in Newquay, Cornwall in the south west England. They spent the subsequent summers working by the sea in Cornwall and surfing and the winders running chalets in ski resorts in the Alps. Eventually they decided they needed to settle down and in March 2010 their moved to the west of Ireland and opened Shells Café.
Their books is about their experiences, the lifestyle and their love of food.
Strandhill, in County Sligo, is where Shells Café and their new life was born. They had simple goals to exceed expectations and never disappoint, Shells soon developed a cult following as a flourishing eatery serving delicious, wholesome natural foods.
Among the first visitors to the café was Louise Searle, editor of SurfGirl Magazine based in Newquay. She saw that Jane and Myles had something very special going on at Shells and decided it would make a great story.
“I was stunned by the beauty of the coastline and hugely impressed by the fantastic food served at Shells. I thought their food adventures could be shared.”
Six months later the book project was underway and local photographer Mike Searle was dispatched to Ireland to photograph the pictures. The book brings the reader into the world of Shells and the outdoor lifestyle Jane and Myles now enjoy on the beautiful Atlantic coast.
Jane explains “We use fresh, organic, seasonal produce – vegetables straight from the soil, and fish from the bountiful Atlantic.”
Recipes in the book include Clonakilty Black Pudding and Crispy Bacon Breakfast Salad, Guinness And Beef Stew, Vegetable Gratin With Durrus Cheese, West Coast Chowder, Thai Pumpkin Broth, Surfer’s Salad, Sardine Bruschetta, Apple And Donegal Rapeseed Oil Cake, and Irish Whiskey Pudding.
The book also takes a look at the culture and history of the beautiful Strandhill area, as well as the multitude of exciting outdoor activities on offer and an assortment of interesting characters from the region are profiled, among them artists, musicians, fishermen, craftsmen, and surfers.
Here’s a sample of some of the delicious recipes in the book:
Apple and Donegal Rapeseed Oil Cake
200g (1 cup) golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
150ml (2⁄3 cup) Donegal rapeseed oil
350g (13⁄4 cup) flour
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (bread soda)
1 teaspoon baking powder
110g (2⁄3 cup) golden raisins or sultanas
80g (2⁄3 cup) walnuts, crushed
Pinch of salt
Grated zest of a lemon
2 cooking apples, grated
• Preheat the oven 180°C/350°F.
• Place the sultanas or raisins in a bowl of hot water and allow to soak for 15 minutes to plump up.
• Whisk the sugar and eggs until doubled in volume and pale cream in colour. Warm the rapeseed oil and slowly whisk in with the eggs and sugar.
• Sieve the flour, cinnamon, ginger, bread soda, salt and baking powder together. Then gradually add in to the oil and sugar mixture. Fold in well.
• Drain the raisins or sultanas from the water and add to the mixture along with the lemon zest, crushed walnuts and grated apples. Mix thoroughly. The mixture should be stiff at this stage.
• Butter and flour a 20cm spring form cake tin and spoon in the mixture.
• Bake for about 45 minutes until a skewer placed in the middle comes
• Carefully remove the cake from the tin and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
120g (1⁄2 cup) cream cheese
2 tablespoons honey
• Whisk together and spread evenly onto the cake once it has cooled.
Big Phat Veggie Breakfast Pie
This is a great family and friends feeder. Make it the night before everyone arrives for a perfect breakfast picnic or for post-surf munchies. Serve cold or hot, whichever you prefer. This dish is healthy, tasty and packed full of veggies.
Serves 8 to 10
8 to 10 hard boiled eggs, peeled
8 boiled baby potatoes, sliced
4 portobello mushrooms sliced and cooked
300g (10 cups or about 5 large
handfulls) baby spinach
4 basil leaves, roughly ripped
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, sliced
150g (11⁄3 cups) grated mature cheddar
3 eggs and 100ml (1.6 pts) milk, blended to form an egg wash mix
Salt and pepper