Review: Mark’s Debut Book Is ‘Just’ Right

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IT’S easy to be cynical when another cookbook comes on the market.


Mark Doe of ‘Just Cooking’ Cookery School in Firies has just released his first book.

After all, the bookshops are flooded with them – all promising to turn you into a domestic God or Goddess overnight.

But ‘Just Cooking’ is not just another cookbook.

It’s written by Mark Doe,  who runs the ‘Just Cooking’ Cookery School in Firies with his wife Bernie.

Doe is neither a Kerry native nor an Irishman, but it’s easy to forget both of these facts, as he’s become very much part of the Kerry landscape in recent years, both through his regular demonstrations around the county, and through his radio slot on ‘TalkAbout’ with Deirdre Walsh on Radio Kerry.

His CV is impressive – he learned his trade in such lofty surroundings as the Ritz Hotel and the Four Seasons in London, before a spell on the QE2 saw him meeting Irish-born Bernie and eventually moving to Kerry.

Despite winning several  awards, Mark Doe has clearly found that his true vocation is teaching others to cook. And that’s what makes this book a winner.

“Cooking comes from the heart,” he explains in the introduction. “When people say you are a good cook, they are often saying that you love cooking and sharing food. It rarely means that you have excellent knife-cutting skills or can truss a chicken expertly or that you can caramelize vegetables without burning them.”

His first foray into publishing is an impressive offering; containing forty recipes, beautifully illustrated with photographs by Anne Kennedy.

Clearly a fan of simple food, cooked well, he’s included a useful first chapter with handy hints of the kind of items one should keep in one’s store cupboard, as well as an insider’s lowdown on what kind of kitchen gadgets and equipment you REALLY need.

Recipes featured include Spiced Lamb Casserole and Fillet of Beef Surf and Turf, and there are plenty of veggie offering as well.

The book is divided into starters, main courses and desserts, making it a handy reference point for anyone wanting to throw an impromptu dinner party without too much fuss.

And the real beauty of this book is that the instructions are genuinely easy to follow – perhaps a nod to the fact that the Does regularly hold ‘cooker y camps’ for kids in their cookery school, which are always booked out.

All in all, a most impressive first offering from a chef who is fast becoming a household name not just in Kerry, but beyond. Let’s hope it’s the first of many.

‘Mark Doe: Just Cooking’ is out now ( Great Food Publishing) and available at E14 in most bookshops.

One Comment

  1. Maurice O Connor says:

    Could you please email me the recipes for Sherry Triefell i. Listen to you on Talk About with Deirdre Walsh. Thank you