Irish cuisine has come a long way. Here are three recipes that prove it

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With St. Patrick’s Day just a few days away, we have the opportunity to celebrate it as before: frozen children moving with mottled legs trying to warm up. It always seems frozen.

When our daughters were little, we braved the cold and the rain to show them the local parade. It was never anything fancy but they always loved it. Tractors pulled trailers with Irish dancers and a mix of folk and drama groups in sleazy costumes. Firefighters turned out to add a bit of glitz. The little boys stared with wide eyes at the size of the glowing red engines. It was a bit cheesy but it was ours.

Newly arrived Syrian children clung to their parents and waved little Irish flags, all hoping that this bewildering new country would be kind to them. We were a beacon of hope for them.

Irish cuisine has come such a long way. From a meager handful only a few years ago, Michelin bestowed stars on us like confetti. Talented and committed chefs have worked for years to prove that Irish cuisine is so much more than stew. Where once food was just fuel, necessary for our very existence and a dark legacy of our terrible past, it is now a sign of how far we have come. I am proud.

The hake dish is an example of simple fish cooking. The fresh cream protects and lubricates the flesh of the hake while giving it a nice creamy texture. I blanch the cabbage; it just helps to keep the most important color. You could use any other white fish, of course, but I can’t resist the creamy goodness of hake.

The chowder in the title refers to the texture of this creamless soup more than anything else. I love wild garlic, and for those of you who can get hold of it, now is the time. Otherwise the leeks fill the brief admirably.

Spring is all about green, and this roasted greens dish celebrates those wonderful leafy greens.

The sourdough adds texture and soaks up their juices, and the simple goat cheese and apple vinaigrette adds flavor and creamy complexity.

Baked hake, savoy cabbage, marinated ginger butter

Baked hake, savoy cabbage, marinated ginger butter. Photography: Harry Weir

Roasted chicken chowder, butter beans and wild garlic

Roasted chicken chowder, butter beans and wild garlic

Roasted chicken chowder, butter beans and wild garlic

Roasted mesclun, crispy sourdough, goat cheese vinaigrette

Roasted mesclun, crispy sourdough, goat cheese vinaigrette

Roasted mesclun, crispy sourdough, goat cheese vinaigrette

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