Martin Shanahan is the owner of the award winning Fishy Fishy Restaurant and Café in Kinsale County Cork. A graduate of Rockwell Catering College, Martin spent his early career working in The Butler's Arms in Waterville and afterwards he became head chef at the popular restaurant Jim Edwards in Kinsale. Following this, he went on to open Kinsale's first gourmet store with his wife Marie and then Fishy Fishy Restaurant in 2006.
Martin's popular and simple cooking style with fish was born from his time in San Francisco's prestigious Huntington Hotel, where his love of fish cookery intensified. He also spent time working in Germany. Martin and his team have stuck with an ethos of using and cooking local, fresh, seasonal fish served in an informal context, with staff who take real pride in their work. "Fish is nature's fast food. It is a gift, not a commodity, and deserves our respect", is the way Martin has always explained the philosophy behind his business.
Martin was a resident chef on the afternoon show RTÉ Today. In 2009 Martin filmed the first of a successful series of television programmes, Martin's Mad About Fish. This spawned a second series in 2011, Martin's Still Mad About Fish, both filmed for RTÉ Cork.
Martin teamed up with Paul Flynn to feature in the series Surf ‘n’ Turf which aired on RTÉ in 2012. Martin and Paul embarked on a fantastic trip around Ireland from Cobh in Cork to Glenn Colm Cille in Donegal. They were challenged to create signature dishes for every area they visited, using only the best of local ingredients. Martin created the Surf dish while Paul served up the Turf. They had 24 hours to source local produce before creating their unique dishes. Martin joined Paul Flynn for the second series of Taste of Success and Lidl on RTÉ. The series focuses on food producers who pitch their innovative product idea to be in with a chance to win the all-Ireland competition and for the opportunity to have it stocked in Lidl stores around the country. For the series’ Martin Shanahan is the mentor for Munster.
Martin also has a number of successful cookery books to his name, Irish Seafood Cookery and The Seafood Lover's Cookbook, both written with Sally McKenna, and in 2011, Martin's Fishy Fishy Cookbook, which quickly became a best-seller. Following the success of the Surf ‘n’ Turf series, Martin and Paul’s Surf ‘n’ Turf by Martin Shanahan and Paul Flynn was put together to share the recipes of the series. This book contains all those dishes plus a host more – 80 in all – divided into chapters on Starters and Soups, Salads, Quick, Slow and Easy, Comfort Food and Food to Impress. Martin included his fresh modern seafood dishes and Paul included dishes from the turf feature.
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