BY PAMELA KEECH
“My summer vacation…” begins Chef Daniel Orr, owner of FARMbloomington. “I was asked to be guest chef on a cruise ship and had promised my mother a cruise, so I took her with me.”
This was the first transatlantic voyage for both Orr and mother, Mary Lu, of Columbus, Indiana—seven days at sea from New York City to Cork, Ireland. As they neared land, Orr had his camera ready. The varicolored houses along the harbor were his first shots. Throughout the trip, he photographed whatever caught his eye, from monuments to hen houses. “When I’m traveling I like to look at food, gardening, and art and see how it got there, from the ground up,” he says.
In Cork they met old friends who took them around to food markets, cheese makers, and the fellow who smokes salmon for Queen Elizabeth. “I’m always stealing with my eyes and trying to learn something new, so there are pictures of all the markets,” he says.
Next they headed north in a rental car. “We drove up the west coast of Ireland through County Kerry to Dingle—that’s a big fishing village with wonderful fish. From there you can take the Ring of Dingle, a road that goes around the peninsula of Dingle.”
The peninsula is rich in history; they visited a museum of ancient art, medieval stone dwellings, and a museum for the victims of the Great Famine, where a cold hearth stands near windows overlooking the sea.
“We went as far as County Kerry, then cut over and spent the rest of the time in Dublin,” he recalls. They visited the Guinness Storehouse, and saw the Book of Kells, the statue of Molly Malone (“Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!”), the world’s largest leprechaun, and the world’s smallest bar. They ate little meat pies and fish and chips with mushy peas—a true taste of Ireland.