The best of Kerry produce has been put on a plate by the county’s top chefs in The Kerry Food Story, a new book and directory launched at the Institute of Technology Tralee, last week.

North Kerry beef fillet with Fenit parsnips and Killarney honey, apricot bread and butter pudding with Dingle fudge sauce and Skelligs chocolate pavé are just some of the recipes created especially for the book by leading chefs from The Europe in Killarney, Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, The Moorings in Portmagee and more – all of whom have previously studied at IT Tralee.

The 68-page book is available for free and lists over 150 local Kerry food and drink producers. The aim is to remind chefs, distributors, hotels, restaurants, retailers and local customers of the wealth of homegrown produce that Kerry has to offer and to give them a direct way of sourcing it.

“We want to give a strong and vibrant message that Kerry is open for business in relation to food and drink, and that we have some of the best producers, not just in Ireland, but in the world,” says TJ O’Connor of the hotel, culinary and tourism department at IT Tralee.

“Anyone who wants to buy more local produce and put money back into the local economy should ask for a copy.”

Funded in partnership with the Kerry Local Enterprise office, the book is available at Kerry County Buildings, Kerry Airport, Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare, The Europe Resort in Killarney, Carrig Country House in Killorglin, The Coffee Dock in Valentia, Allo’s in Listowel, The Moorings in Portmagee and the Boatyard restaurant in Dingle, as well as from featured producers or by emailing

Note: Here are just two recipes from The Kerry Food Story featuring local produce. If you live outside Kerry, you can substitute with the best local produce in your own area.

North Kerry beef fillet with parsnips and Killarney honey

Recipe from Theo Lynch, Allo’s bar, bistro and restaurant, Listowel

Serves four

1 large onion, finely sliced

225g of butter

Salt and freshly-ground black pepper

2 medium Fenit parsnips, peeled

300ml of cold water

300ml of milk

Drizzle of Killarney honey

200ml of cream

4 slices of white bread (no crusts)

Poppy seeds

20g of melted butter

8 baby carrots, peeled

Knob of butter

4 x 6oz of North Kerry beef fillets (sourced here from Michael Kennelly)

Nasturtium leaves and chive flowers to garnish

  • Slowly cook the onion in the 225g butter until it’s caramelised. Cool and blend until smooth. Season and chill.
  • Cook the parsnips in water and milk until soft. Drain. Blend with honey and cream until smooth. Season. Place half the mixture in a squeezy bottle and the rest in a small saucepan, ready to reheat.
  • Sprinkle the bread with poppy seeds, roll it out flat and cut it into shapes (see photograph), brush with melted butter and bake at 190°C/375°F/gas mark five, for six to seven minutes. Boil the baby carrots in salted water for six to eight minutes.
  • Heat a heavy frying pan over a high heat. Add a knob of butter. Cook each beef fillet to your liking (rare two to three minutes on each side, five to six minutes for medium, eight to 10 minutes for well done). Rest on a plate.
  • Reheat the parsnip cream in the saucepan. Place a dollop of warm parsnip cream on each plate. Place a beef fillet on top. Top with onion butter mixture and add a crouton. Squeeze a few dots of cold parsnip cream around the plate. Garnish with nasturtium leaves and chive flowers. Serve with baby carrots.
  • Apricot bread and butter pudding with Dingle fudge sauce and Kenmare ice cream

    Recipe from Philip Brazil, Sheen Falls Lodge, Kenmare

    Serves four

    150ml of Valentia Island milk

    150ml of double cream

    1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out

    Lee Strand butter, for greasing

    1/2 sliced loaf of Harrington’s bread, each slice buttered

    75g of dried apricots, diced

    75g of raisins

    3 Beaufort free-range eggs

    2 Beaufort free-range egg yolks

    55g of caster sugar

    85g of Lorge dark chocolate

    150ml of double cream

    85g of Dingle fudge

    Kenmare vanilla ice cream

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark two.
  • Place the milk, cream, vanilla pod and seeds into a saucepan over a low heat and heat until steaming, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes, then remove the vanilla pod.
  • Grease four individual tinfoil moulds or ramekins. Arrange the buttered bread slices into the moulds, sprinkling the apricots and raisins between each layer of bread.
  • Whisk the whole eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar together in a bowl, then gradually pour over the infused milk mixture, stirring constantly. Pour this custard mixture over the bread and dried fruit. Transfer the puddings into the oven and bake in a bain marie for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the custard is set and the bread is golden brown.
  • To make the chocolate sauce, heat the chocolate and cream together in a pan over a low heat, stirring continuously until combined. Add the Dingle fudge and stir until dissolved. Remove the bread puddings from their moulds, place in the centre of a dessert plate, spoon the chocolate sauce over the pudding and add a quenelle of ice cream. Serve immediately.