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Dublin-born David Dempsey is a strong believer in the power of a hearty breakfast.
“The French live to eat, and the Irish eat to live,” he explains in tribute to his roots.
As the saying implies, the owner and chef of Yarmouth’s Keltic Kitchen came to the United States in the early 1980’s to live, not to cook. But a job washing dishes at Cape Cod Irish Village led to a position working food prep and then to a promotion to fry cook. “That’s how I learned to cook,” he says.
Today, he turns out hundreds of home-style breakfasts every morning.
The restaurateur’s home country has had a profound influence on his tastes.
“When I grew up, people shopped every day at neighborhood stores – the local butcher, vegetable stands. Bread was delivered fresh daily, and my mother went to the fish market every Friday,” he says. Simple fare based on the Irish staples of meat, potatoes and vegetables is a signature of the Keltic Kitchen menu. Features like the Irish Farmhouse Breakfast – two eggs, Irish sausage, rashers (cured pork loins, also called Irish bacon), black and white pudding (boiled rings of sausage and barley), mushrooms, tomatoes and home fries – rely on this traditional formula to feed even the heartiest of American appetites.
One of Dempsey’s favorite recipes is his twist on the Irish tradition of boxy cakes, or Irish potato griddle cakes.