Impress your party guests this festive season with tempting treats from Peploe's head chef

Grahram Dodrill is head chef at Peploe’s on Dublin’s St Stephen’s Green which is celebrating its 16th birthday. And with celebrations of a festive type in mind, we invited Graham to devise some tasty party food.

Having spent some time in Dubai and last year winning a coveted 2017 BBC Good Food Award, he returned to his native Dublin earlier this year and is excited to be back home and using the best of Irish produce with lots of fresh fish, shellfish, seasonal meat and game.

He likes to cook high-end bistro food, very much in keeping with the Peploe’s tradition and philosophy.

Graham knows how to cater to people’s festive tastes too with his 21 years of cooking experience – including his time in popular Dublin restaurants such as One Pico and Mulberry Garden. Devising these special party recipes for Weekend readers, Graham suggests we enjoy the fantastic flavours of Umbrian ham.


Sliced aged Umbrian ham, black tapenade and sourdough toasts

Aged for two years in red wine pomace, then thinly sliced carpaccio-style and placed on chargrilled sourdough toast brushed with lemon garlic olive oil, he finished it off with a gorgeous black olive tapenade. “This dish couldn’t be more simple to prepare and will really impress guests,” says Graham. The Umbrian ham is available in speciality or artisan shops and good quality Parma or Serrano ham are great substitutes, he adds.

Serves 25


200g black olives

Olive oil

Sliced sourdough bread, toasted /chargrilled

Maldon salt & pepper

310g of thinly sliced Umbrian or Parma ham (which works out at around three slices per person)

200g rocket leaves


1. In a food processor, blitz the black olives with a little olive oil to make the tapenade.

2. Rub the sourdough with a little more of the olive oil, season the bread with salt and pepper and toast on a chargrill (or under the grill).

3. Place the ham on top of the toasts, add a little dollop of tapenade. Maybe shape it quenelle-style, using two teaspoons, and then garnish with a sprig of rocket.


Sticky glazed duck wings, aged three-year Kambashi soy sauce, chilli and smoked almond

Sticky glazed duck wings, aged three-year Kambashi soy sauce, chilli and smoked almond. Pic Steve Humphreys


Poached, boneless duck wings are slow cooked until crispy and hot in a sticky, Asian-style marinade and finished with three-year-old soy, Japanese mirin, chilli flakes and smoked almond flakes. A lot of the ingredients for this dish can be found in speciality shops or Asian markets. I love Kambashi soy sauce but you can easily substitute with any good quality soy sauce. This is perfect party food.

Serves 10


15 duck wings

200ml soy sauce

2 tbsp of chargrilled minced red chilli and some chilli flakes for heat

100g mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine, similar to sake)

200g smoked almonds


1. In a pot of boiling water, poach the duck wings for approx 8 minutes, until tender and soft.

2. Mix the soy sauce, chillies and mirin together.

3. Rough chop the smoked almonds into small nib-size pieces.

4. Then deep fry the duck wings until hot and crispy (approx 2 minutes).

5. Coat the duck wings in the soy sauce mix.

6. Dust with almonds and serve on a large platter.


Fritto Misto, garlic aioli and tomato and chilli dip

Fritto Misto, garlic aioli and tomato and chilli dip. Pic Steve Humphreys


A mixed platter of the finest Irish fish and shellfish including crab, lobster, sole, crab claws, squid, octopus and prawns, dusted with a light batter and deep fried, served with a garlicky aioli, lemon wedges and a sweet tomato chilli dip.

Use de-shelled bite-sized pieces and to keep life simple, ask your local fishmonger for a mix of your favourite fish and shellfish. This dish is perfect for sharing. Serves 10 (Allow about four or five bite-sized pieces per person, shells removed)


Tomato and chilli dip: 250g peeled plum tomatoes

2 tbsp chilli flakes

2 fresh chillies (seeds removed)

100g red wine vinegar

80g sugar

Garlic aioli:

500g mayonnaise

10 garlic cloves

15g lemon juice

5g black pepper and salt

For the Fritto misto flour mix:

1.5kg plain flour

500g soft polenta

100g smoked paprika

10g salt

7g pepper

1.2kg of white/shell fish


For the tomato and chilli dip

1. Place all ingredients in a pot and cook out on a slow heat for 2 hours.

2. Allow to cool; blitz for 5 minutes in a food processor and season with salt & pepper.

For the garlic aioli

1. In a food processor blitz all ingredients together and season.

2. Spoon the mix into a bowl for serving/dipping.

For the fish

1. Mix all the flour mix ingredients together in a bowl.

2. Add the fish and coat in the flour mix.

3. Deep fry for approx 90 seconds, until golden brown.

4. Arrange on a large platter garnished with lemon wedges, and serve with the garlic aioli and/or tomato and chilli dip.


Beet-cured salmon

This is a great party dish as the salmon is prepared two days in advance and the potato salad can be made on the morning of your get together.

Serves 10


For the beet-cured salmon:

500g rock salt

150g sugar

4 medium-sized beetroots (try Mooncoin, a family-owned business that grows and pickles beets)

150g dill

50g chervil

Rind of 3 lemons and 2 oranges

1 side of organic Irish salmon

Potato salad:

1.5kg of potatoes

3 finely diced shallots

15g white wine vinegar

10g dill

10g tarragon

10g flat leaf parsley


1. Put the rock salt and sugar into a bowl.

2. Mix the beetroots, dill, chervil, lemon and orange rind together and blitz in a food processor to the consistency of a rough pulp. Add to the salt and sugar mixture.

3. Marinade the salmon in the mix (on both sides) and refrigerate for 48 hours.

4. Boil the potatoes in salted water until just cooked.

5. Peel while hot and rough chop.

6. Mix all other ingredients into the potatoes.

To serve

After two days, remove salmon from fridge, wash off the marinade and pat dry with a clean, dry cloth. Thinly slice with carving knife and serve alongside a selection of pickles, breads and the potato salad.


Soul Martini & ‘The Little Beauty’

Soul Martini & ‘The Little Beauty’. Pic Steve Humphreys



Makes 1 glass 40ml gin

20ml cucumber syrup

10ml honey syrup

25ml lemon juice

2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Dash of egg white

‘Wash’ the glass in green Chartreuse



1. Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker.

2. Strain into a coupe (stemmed) glass, leaving the ice behind in the shaker.

3. Add a dash of lime and garnish with a lemon twist and edible flowers.



Makes 1 glass

40ml Whitley Neil Rhubarb Vodka

25ml Limoncello

10ml blood orange puree

20ml lemon juice

Dash of egg white

10ml sugar



1. Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker.

2. Strain into a coupe glass, leaving the ice behind in the shaker.

3. Add a dash of lime and garnish with raspberries and edible flowers.


Photography by Steve Humphreys

Food styling by Bairbre Power

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