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My Story

Welcome to Prepare and Serve, an Irish Food Blog. 

I’m Gillian, creator of the above mentioned blog, here to teach you how to cook traditional Irish food and food the Irish love!

Throughout this website, you’ll learn:

  • a bit about me, my background, training and experience.
  • how to cook classic Irish foods as well as new emerging foods that are becoming popular in Ireland.
  • unique tips for success.
  • how recipes, cooking and baking techniques all have flexibility.
  • what Irish food is.
  • hospitality know-how.
Headshot of Gillian, author of Prepare and Serve.

Here’s a wee bit about me –

I was born and raised in Ireland, more specifically County Antrim, along the shores of Belfast Lough. I left my native Northern Ireland after graduating with a degree in Hospitality and Catering Management.

Photo Credit: Clive @ Carrickfergus Street Photography.

After training in London, my next stop was Germany.  Here I perfected my ‘front of house’ skills, in other words, I learned how to professionally serve food and wine, in one of Germany’s top 5 star hotels in Baden-Baden.  

With my deepened knowledge of incredible food and  equally incredible wine, I ventured south to Switzerland.  I decided it was time to polish up on my culinary skills. It was here I really learned to cook. Working this time ‘back of house’ in the Swiss kitchen, I learned how to bake and prepare cold foods as I worked in the Patisserie and Garde Manger departments of a popular restaurant in Lucerne.

Exterior of the Hotel Ratstuben in Ettlingen in Germany.

Following my stint in Switzerland, I returned to Germany and continued working in the kitchen honing my culinary skills at the Hotel Ratstuben in Ettlingen in Germany.

With all of this front and back of house knowledge, I hopped on a plane, crossed the Atlantic to Florida to work in destination resorts and corporate hotels.

From Florida I traversed the entire U.S. and ended up in Washington State, part of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  I continued in my field of expertise working in the Hospitality Industry in hotels, restaurants, event venues and even teaching at college.

During Covid, our family moved to the southern part of the State, where I now grow a lot of my own fruits and vegetables, keep bees and cook!

How To Cook

With all of this knowledge and my culinary background, I decided to start a food blog, but not just any food blog, one about Irish foods and foods the people of Ireland are enjoying in their own country and abroad. In this blog I will teach you how to cook typical Irish food such as Irish Stew, Irish Soda Bread and Irish desserts like Irish Apple Cake. Along with classic Irish food, I’ll also include recipes for popular non-traditionally Irish foods such as Brownies and Sliders.

All of the recipes come with easy step by step instructions, images and possibly even videos (complete with narration – yikes!). You’re not alone in the kitchen, you have an experienced wee Irish woman beside you, cheering you on!

Schnitzel sautéing in pan
Schnitzel sautéing in pan

Culinary Tips

Every recipe contains a “Tip From Me.” Useful tips, given freely, from my own experience and knowledge to improve your cooking experience and recipe success. I offer strategies that will help make entertaining, cooking, and hospitality easier, efficient, and more cost-effective. Sometimes these tips are what NOT to do when making these recipes!


Flexibility with ingredients and equipment will always be offered. I encourage you to use the ingredients and equipment you already have. Every recipe includes a US to European Metric conversion chart. I prefer to weigh food rather than use the ‘cup’ style of measurement, commonly used in the United States.  Weighing is more accurate – that’s a ‘Tip from Me!’

Bowl of Smoky Pumpkin Soup with Bread
Bowl of Smoky Pumpkin Soup with Bread

What is Irish food?

Great question!  The Irish have not necessarily been known for their cuisine. But the popularity of Irish food is growing.  In bygone years, Irish food centered around the humble spud.  Potatoes were often front and centre of Irish meals.  Today our foods include freshwater fish, oceanic seafood, grass fed dairy and meats, grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Photo credit Kathlyn Metzger from the Daily News.

Any recipe can be modified to include Irish ingredients such as Black and Blue Burgers, where I use Cashel Blue cheese to make the ‘Blue’ part of the Burger.

Irish foods go hand in hand with Irish traditions. You’re not just combining ingredients, you’re honoring a legacy, whilst creating new memories.

Many of my traditional Irish recipes are heirlooms passed down from both grandmothers, my great aunt (who was a professional baker), my father (who was a professional chef) and my mother who was an excellent cook and baker.  I was raised around great tasting Irish food and I want to share that with you.

Every recipe card includes a recipe multiplier which will double or triple the quantity of ingredients you’ll need, so that making Irish Food for a crowd just got easier.

Examples of Irish Food

So, what foods are Irish? Click on the ‘Categories’ button at the top, scroll down (it’s alphabetical) and then click on ‘Irish’.  There you will see a plethora of Irish food ranging from an Ulster Fry, to Dublin Coddle, to Soda Bread and Champ.

Finished tray full of Ulster Fry components.
Finished tray full of Ulster Fry components.
Finished mound of Champ with butter melting in the well.
Finished mound of Champ with butter melting in the well.

Also included in is Irish food that is not easily found outside of Ireland / UK. This includes recipes for Irish Style Pork Sausages, Black Pudding and Back Bacon.

There’s also Irish pub food, like Irish Vegetable Soup, great with a slice of buttered Wheaten Bread.

White bowl containing Irish Vegetable Soup with carrots, celery and parsley laying beside the bowl.
Bowl containing Irish Vegetable Soup.
Slices of Irish Wheaten Bread.
Slices of Irish Wheaten Bread.

Now don’t forget the drink, I’ll have a few beverage recipes in here too!


Finally, hospitality know-how, because why cook and cook well if you don’t share it with others? The Irish are a great lot for getting together and sharing some ‘Craic!’  So, get your friends and family over for a good old chin wag.

As a culinary and hospitality professional, with more years in the business than I care to remember, my goal is to make experts out of novices and to make hospitality and cooking approachable and, dare I say, fun?! 

Why not join me – sure it’ll be grand!  


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