Kildare-based Chef, Caomhán de Bri, is taking a new approach to street food with the launch of his nomadic food trailer, The Salt Project.
Travelling from coast-to-coast, Caomhán will be popping up in scenic locations all over the country offering an Irish-inspired plant-focused street food experience.
Caomhán has worked in professional kitchens for over a decade, including a year in London in Gordon Ramsay’s Maze, and five years as Head Development Chef for catering firm ISS. He is a recent graduate of TU Dublin’s Botanical Cuisine course – the first farm to plate culinary degree programme of its kind in Europe.
This new-found knowledge is reflected in Caomhán’s menus, which will see vegetable put front and centre in each dish. Vegetables harvested that morning will be cooked over hot coals on a Hibachi grill, while others will be finished in an Ooni pizza oven.
The Salt Project, of which the food trailer is the first of several elements to launch, is something Caomhán has been working on for a number of years now. A wellness retreat in Co. Sligo is scheduled to open in the Spring/Summer of 2022.
His opening Blaisíní (small bites) menu will include a couple of vegan friendly options; a Market Garden Bowl consisting of barbecued veggies, Japanese dressing, crunchy leaves, toasted seeds, and dehydrated onion, which will be on offer alongside Hibachi-grilled Carrot – zero waste carrot four ways, bee pollen, coriander.
Diners can also expect to choose from fried potato slices with garlic & herb Atlantic sea salt and a Burren Gold cheese dip, The Little Mill Company buttermilk potato bread, with preserved summer salsa, melted Burren Gold cheese & rocket; Gubbeen Chorizo croquettes with truffle mayonnaise; free Range Irish roast chicken & spud steamed dumplings with gravy; and wild Irish pollock, hand-churned dillisk butter, and saltwater seaweed potatoes.
Caomhán de Bri said: “The Salt Project is as much about the small producers scattered throughout our wonderful island, naturally sourced ingredients and beautiful locations as it is about the cooking methods and techniques I’ll be utilising. The dishes I’ll be serving are a celebration of the many great Irish chefs and producers that have guided, influenced and inspired me throughout my career to date.”
His long-term goal is for The Salt Project to be as self-sufficient as possible, negating the need for over reliance on large suppliers. The groundwork was laid last winter that will enable Caomhán to utilise two-acre plots in Co. Sligo and Co. Roscommon to establish his own organic food growing system. This will ultimately provide the food trailer with a variety of homegrown seasonal ingredients throughout the year.
Visitors to The Salt Project can expect an offering that consists of a series of Blaisíní (small bites) dishes that have been specially designed to showcase locally grown and artisan ingredients from small scale producers specific to each region.
In Munster Caomhán will be cooking with the likes of Fingal Ferguson’s Gubbeen Chorizo (produced in Schull, Co. Cork), Oyster Mushrooms grown in Herbertstown, Co. Limerick by Colm Smyth (Irish Gourmet Mushrooms), and Burren Gold Cheese from Ailwee, Co. Clare.
When out west, he will be choosing fish and shellfish fresh off the boats in Galway and featuring Achill Island Sea Salt and Black-faced lamb from Co. Mayo, along with Keith Clarke’s Knocknarea Honey from Co. Sligo.
The Salt Project’s first two confirmed locations are the recently opened Wickham Way Market in Limerick city – where it will operate on Fridays (12pm to 9.30pm) and Saturdays (9am to 4pm) – and Rosses Point, Co. Sligo, where the food trailer will pitch up midweek (trading days/hours to be confirmed).
Announcements regarding The Salt Project’s upcoming confirmed locations and opening hours will be announced in advance on www.thesaltproject.ie.
In addition to his Blaisíní offering, come Spring 2022 Caomhán also plans to host a series of monthly Supper Clubs, offering one-off dining experiences for small groups of 15 to 20 diners.