good things01
carmel02The Good Things Café and Cookery School is located by the waters of Dunmanus Bay in the beautiful village of Durrus in West Cork. Award-winning chef Carmel Somers uses only the finest, fresh, local, seasonal and, where available, organic ingredients. We are proud to have received a Bib Gourmand Award from the Michelin Guides since 2007.

Good Things Café takes its name from the classic cookery book written by Jane Grigson, whom I had the good fortune to know - and to cook for - when I worked with Colin White in Cricklade. Good Things is our name, and it is also our ambition: our cooking takes the good food things of West Cork and brings them to our guests in what we hope is the simplest and most delicious form possible. 

We take our inspiration from what is produced all around us, and we take our ideas from the great scholar-cooks of the past and present - Jane Grigson, Elizabeth David, Alan Davidson, George Perry-Smith.

The Restaurant

Our menu changes all the time depending on what is available. To give you an idea of the sort of food we serve, here is a typical menu:

goodthings1Starters/Main Courses

Mushroom Caviar served with Sour Cream, Chives and Toasted Brioche
West Cork Fish Soup served with Alioli, Rouille, Garlic Croutons and Coolea Cheese
Good Things Salad - Celeriac, Beetroot, Orange and Capers With a Mustard and Chive Dressing
Lemon, Pesto, Basil and Parmesan Risotto
Coq au Vin - Chicken Marinated in Red Wine and Slow cooked with Bacon. Mushrooms and Onions
Andalusian Monkfish with Saffron, Honey, Raisins and Pine Nuts
Pan Fried Hake with Sea beet and Potato Bhaji
Rick Stein's Roast Hake with Aioli , Florence Fennel and Butter Beans with a Cognac and Basil Sauce
Good Things Loin of Pork Baked in Bay and Brandy and served with Red Cabbage, Apple, Orange and Prune Compote

Our entire menu is wheat free except our pastry and breads

We make a priority of sourcing ingredients and using organic produce

St. Emilion au Chocolat – Intense Chocolate Mousse Stuffed with a Brandy soaked Macaroon

We would recommend a glass of Bodega Los Frailes “After 3”

Brown Sugar Meringues with Cream and Raspberry Sauce
We would recommend a glass of Moscato D’Asti,
Chocolate, Oatmeal and Almond Cake served with a Yoghurt and Honey Sauce
We would recommend a glass of Bodega Los Frailes “After 3”
Rhubarb, Meringue, Ginger and Orange Parfait
We would recommend a glass of Moscato D’Asti
Hot drinks
Teas & Coffee:

  • Barry’s
  • Organic Rooibosh
  • PF Organic Mint
  • PF Organic Camomile
  • PF Organic Splendid Woman’s
  • PF Organic Energising
  • PF Organic Relaxing
  • Solaris Organic Earl Grey
  • Solaris Organic Mint Digest
  • Solaris Organic Jasmine Green
  • Solaris Organic Lapsang Souchong
  • Regular Coffee
  • Espresso
  • Cappuccino
  • Latte
  • Hot Chocolate

We Use Organic Columbian Coffee Beans

The Cookery School

cookery class

Located in the restaurant overlooking the sea in Durrus with one of the most beautiful views in the world (well, we think so).

Lots of extras. Parties, dinner, wine, tea and coffee....each course has lots of little extras built-in.

Great selection of cookery books to browse and buy and the odd pot, pan and kitchen utensil you might be missing.  Still excellent value for money!

A number of factors make this cookery school different:

  • Small classes - for practical courses as few as eight people. For demonstrations no more than 16
  • Personal tuition. Clearly possible because the class size is so small
  • The use of only first class ingredients. I am obsessed with using local, seasonal, fresh, organic and free range ingredients
  • Nice people. I don’t know how else to put it. The fact is even after seven years, we still seem to attract a very friendly, cheerful class of attendees

For the full course schedule, please see our web site

The Shop

We sell a large variety of items from salts, local seaweed, teas, and a large selection of Riedel wine glasses. Our Best sellers are our Olive oil from Spain and our amazing frying pans from Lacor, also in Spain. We sell both due to demand from our customers.

Olive Oil is sold in 5 litre tins and comes from Cordoba in Andalusia in the south of Spain.  We have been using this olive oil in the kitchen at Good Things since we opened and our customers like it so much we started to import it now twice a year to sell in the shop.  It is made for the Arbequino olive and has an amazing fruity flavour and is first and cold pressed. It comes in a very pretty tin and has a shelf life of a year.
The Frying Pans - iron steel

These are frying pans that are made for the catering kitchen so they are made to last. They are not made to look pretty, are not endorsed by a TV chef but are the pans they would use in their kitchen.  I use these pans in the kitchen and in cookery class. Students were taken with the many uses I have for them that they wanted to buy them so we now sell so many we get them direct from Lacor along with some other very practical kitchen equipment so it means we can sell them on at a very good price.  We sell these pans in three sizes, a crepiere pan 22cm, frying pans 20 cm and a 28cm.  What is outstanding about these pans is that they can all be put in the oven so you can pan fry or roast in them.  I also use them for making pies and omelettes.  So with very little care, as you would care for a wok just no scrubbing and drying well these pans will last you a life time and you will find so many uses for them.  We also stock these sizes in non-stick which are ideal for fish cookery.
We stock a large choice of kitchen stuffs, we like to supply what we use in the kitchen because then we know its quality and it works:

  • kitchen aid processors and mixer
  • professional knives
  • mandolins
  • ricers
  • various size pots and pans
  • graters
  • whisks
  • spatulas
  • tart cases
  • aprons half and full size
  • chopping boards
  • books by various authors and on foodie subjects
  • heavy duty kitchen clothes

The Good Things Bag

This is a gray heavy duty bag that has a zip pocket on the inside. On one side it reads "Only for Good Things" and on the other "Eat Good Things Everyday".  These bags are ideal for shopping and have become the ideal gift holder for present giving. Customers are using them for their hampers at Christmas and for birthdays and they are also giving a bag for life which is simple but stylish.

mckennasLast time we were in Carmel Somers' restaurant, the place was rockin'. It wasn't rockin' like a West Cork restaurant, however. It was rockin' like the hippest, hottest city on the planet. Such energy! Such a vibe! You just walked in the door and Bam! That wall of human enjoyment was the equivalent of having two margaritas just to start the evening.

How do they conjure up this magic in Good Things? Fantastic cooking, of course, is where it begins, so imagine the impish imagination of Ottolenghi with the historical embrace of Jane Grigson, brought to vivid, intoxicating delight in dishes like flank steak with marrow bone with a garlic, Parmesean and bone marrow sauce; or gnudi with sage butter and roasted squash; or Andalusian monkfish with saffron, honey, raisins and pinenuts, or tafelspitz (beef rump) served with parsley dumplings, beetroot and a horseradish sauce. The room, the vibe, the food and the aesthetic of Good Things are all sui generis, and Ms Somers' achievement over almost a decade of cooking in this lovely little room has been immense. So, get ready to get rockin'.

John and Sally McKennas' Guides, 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 2013

The Good Things Café & Cookery School

Ahakista Road
West Cork, Ireland

Telephone: +353 (0)27 61426

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