Peace Kitchens – Episode 1: IRISH STEW – The Negotiators Cookbook

The „Good Friday Agreement“ would never have been signed if the negotiators had not gotten anything decent to eat. One of the then negotiators, Gerry Adams of Sinn Fein, put together a cookbook with the dishes that were served during the years of negotiations. Together with star chef Michael Dean, negotiators from both sides cook some of the dishes they ate during the negotiations.

The ingredients to many of these dishes often come from local farmers who have their fields on either side of a today invisible border which Brexit is likely to make a visible one again. The question of which fishermen are entitled to fish in which waters after Brexit will also probably be a controversial one again. But no matter who catches the fish, the only thing that matters is: “The fish is fresh.” This is what Gerard Sands thinks. He works as a cook in a small restaurant in Belfast, almost exclusively frequented by Catholics. Gerard Sands is the son of former House MP and IRA fighter Bobby Sands, who died in prison in 1981 as a result of a hunger strike. The „Good Friday Agreement“ has largely ended the violent clashes on both sides. But the social divisions that have grown over generations are still there. One can tell immediately when one visit pubs on either sides of the Belfast „peace walls“. Even though the „peace walls“ are open for passage today, it is almost regarded as a betrayal to go to a pub on the other side. The cooking activists of the social enterprise „Urban Community Chef“ want to do something about this. Their motto is: „… cooking up a difference“. With their social cooking events they want to strengthen the dialogue between both sides in everyday life.

If the Irish want to argue: Let them argue about the proper preparation of Irish Stew …