An Taoiseach shares his favourite recipe for the new TUH Cookbook

TUH 25 cookbook(December 7th 2023) An Taoiseach, Dr. Leo Varadkar, has kindly shared his favourite recipe in the new Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) Cookbook, which has just been launched to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Hospital. Global Family Favourites - Recipes and Stories from Our Families to Yours, is a collection of recipes and stories from Hospital Staff and includes starters, main courses, and desserts.

As a tribute to TUH Staff, and to celebrate his Indian heritage, Dr. Leo Varadkar shared his favourite recipe for delicious Indian Butter Prawns. An Taoiseach is a former member of our staff. During his medical career, he worked in TUH as a Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor, having also spent time here as a medical student. 

Global Family Favourites contains 62 recipes with accompanying stories from 25 different countries, including Ireland, China, The Philippines, Grenada, Nigeria, Poland, Spain, France, Albania, and the Czech Republic - to name but a few!  There are eight recipes from India and five from staff in our Catering Department, including the famous TUH Shortbread. 

Many of our international staff leave behind their homes and families to come and look after our patients, and each other. Take, for example, Jun Cao a Clinical Nurse Manager who works in our Cancer Services. Jun grew up in the city of Shijiazhuang near Beijing, in the Hebei province of northern China. In Global Family Favourites, Jun shares her grandmother’s recipe for Chinese Dumplings. We also have some Irish recipes, like the one for Boxty from our Head of Catering, Valentine Farrell, which she learned to cook during her childhood in Killeshandra, County Cavan.

There are stories of TUH families, where couples and siblings both work in the Hospital. As well as the recipes themselves, we learn about the places and people they come from, with photos accompanying each story.

Global Family Favourites was edited by our Head of Library and Information Services, Jean McMahon, who says:  “This book contains joyful stories of celebration, and poignant stories of loved ones no longer with us. The one thread running through all of the pages is love - love of home, love of family, and how love is shown through preparing and sharing food, with family, friends, colleagues, patients, and community.”

There are some interesting vignettes in the book, for example, the story shared by Senior Biomedical Scientist, Lissy Durhuus Ryan, who is from the Faroe Islands - a self-governing nation, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Lissy, who gave us her family recipe for Faroese Apple Cake, explained: “When you get married in the Faroe Islands, you take out an ad in the local paper and ask people to RSVP to let you know if they would like to attend. It’s not unusual for a wedding to have several hundred guests!”

Our CEO, Lucy Nugent, who herself included a favourite family recipe for Beef Bourguignon, says: “This new publication is a real tribute to our very multicultural workforce of just over 3,500 staff. There are around 60 different nationalities working at the Hospital and that diversity enriches us all, which is so evident in our new cookbook. There are heart-warming and fascinating tales together with appetising recipes from all over the world, making this the ideal Christmas gift for the food lovers in your life. It is also a lovely way to end our year of celebrations as the Hospital marks its 25th anniversary.”

This project was only possible because of the generous support of the Meath Foundation, the Adelaide Health Foundation, and the Tallaght University Hospital Foundation. All proceeds will go to fund innovation & research for the benefit of our patients. The book can be purchased from the shop in the main Atrium of the Hospital for €15.