James Kavanagh & William Murray talk food

Snapchatters James Kavanagh and William Murray share the story behind their food business, Currabinny, their future plans and a flavoursome ruby chard korma recipe

In this month’s issue, we were delighted to have Snapchatters James Kavanagh and William Murray share their delicious recipes for Glamnillas, pecan and white chocolate banana loaf and rosemary and lemon biscuits. The couple recently set up their pop-up food stall business Currabinny, catering events and further boosting their huge social media following with divine images of delicious looking food.

The couple always dreamed of opening a café together and their Snapchat success is making that dream a possibility a lot sooner than they expected. “Food for us is our number one obsession but we didn't really know how to go about doing something about it. We always thought we might open up a cafe, but we thought it would be something we do when we were in our thirties when we were proper adults,” James says. “I come from a food PR background myself, I used to do the marketing and PR for Kerrygold and Barry's Tea. And William did the 13 week course at Ballymaloe, and before that he studied art at Limerick College of Art and Design.” It was after Willam’s time at Ballymaloe that he moved in with James in Dublin. “He worked in Yamamori in Dundrum for a few months and then he moved to L'Gueuleton where he is working part time as a barman. He is learning all about cocktails which is interesting I think. We might end up being a café that serves a nice espresso martini!”

In the magazine James told us how they decided to name their food business Currabinny after William’s beloved home town. “Currabinny itself is actually very foody,” James explains. “William’s neighbour grows strawberries and I have actually never seen so many strawberries in my life. We would be going through the polytunnels picking them and it would actually be like attack of the strawberries. It's also known for having its own warmer climate so things grow there more bountifully than anywhere else.

“Any chance we get we go to Currabinny, because it is the most idyllic spot down in Cork. We go for walks around the woods where he lives and we talk about our dream of going into food together. There is a little pier right in front of his house and he would fish for mackerel there as a child and they would cook it straight away on the BBQ. It’s really where his love of food came from,” James says. “Even though Currabinny is not well-known it is kind of infamous. Writers have written about it, they call it 'the place where the forest meets the sea'”.

The couple have done their research but also are keen to stay true to their dream and carve their own path. “People keep asking me what is your unique selling point and what is your key product. We're not that kind of stall that has a trophy product like nettle jam or hemp tshirts or Dave's falafals. Our offering isn't one thing, we want to behave like a café, because the café is the end goal. That's why we change our offering wherever we go,” James explains. “I want to be known for that. I want people to say 'there are the two guys who always have the delicious food'. No matter what we are serving, we want people to know that it is delicious.”

For now the couple are spending time working on their offering and plan to have even more content to share online during the summer. “We're getting out website built at the moment by www.goodasgold.ie, they did all our branding. The whole plan now is to do more online and do more vlogs of us cooking in the kitchen, and doing recipes on Facebook and Instagram.” Watch this space.

In the meantime, here is their delicious Ruby Chard Korma recipe. Here William explains the story behind this unique recipe.

Ruby Chard Korma

My mother has always kept a small patch of land to the back of our house in Currabinny for the largely unsuccessful cultivation of various types of vegetables, fruit trees and berries. The salty gail force winds which frequently howl in from Cork harbour, coupled with the relentless gnarled and twisted overgrowth of an encroaching forest provided this unfortunate patch of land with some serious challenges. However, amongst the bare and fruitless plum trees, the bitter unripened gooseberry bush and the small flattened carrot tops, one thing would always grow in abundance, the chard. Thus in my house it would seem appropriate to involve this highly nutritious leafy vegetable to pretty much every dish imaginable. It is commonly used in the same way as spinach, although it is actually more closely related to beetroot. Chard isn't something I have seen a lot of since moving away from home so it was with a nostalgic enthusiasm and an unshakable faith that you can put it in anything that I decided to add it generously to a korma I was cooking one day.” - William

Ingredients:

  • 3 onions sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed with Maldon
  • large knob of butter
  • thumb of ginger grated
  • 10 cardamom pods, seeds crushed
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • a few pinches of ground cinnamon
  • a few pinches of ground chilli powder to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 700g of chestnut mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 350g of ruby chard, stalks removed
  • 200g natural yogurt
  • 150g crème fraîche
  • Basmati rice to serve
  • Crushed hazelnuts to serve
  • Method

    1. Melt butter in a large pan and add sliced onions, garlic and grated ginger, season with salt and pepper

    2. When the onions have softened a little add the cardamom, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, chilli and bay leaves.

    3. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly.

    4. Add 200 ml of water, stir and simmer for 15 minutes. Check for seasoning.

    5. Add the chard in batches until it is all wilted.

    6. Turn the heat to low and gently stir in the yogurt and crème fraiche.

    7. Serve with rice and top with crushed hazelnuts.

    For more, visit www.currabinny.ie and follow James and William on Snapchat: JamesKSnaps and willspjmurray.