Denis Cotter

chef, writer, restaurateur


for for the love of food

For the Love of Food is full of colour, flavour and nutritional goodness, making his recipes ideal for committed vegetarians celebrating National Vegetarian Week and for those simply wanting ideas for Meat Free Mondays…His approach is a year-round celebration of vibrant, seasonal and fresh produce, based on the philosophy that our meals should not only be healthy and delicious, but cooked with love and appreciation.’

Top Sante

“The latest book from the owner of Café Paradiso in Cork has lots of inventive recipes that will also appeal to the non-vegetarians who want to try some new combinations of flavours.”

The Independent (One of the Top 50 Cook Books)

for wild garlic, gooseberries… and me

‘No other book on vegetables in my library is so beautifully written or so thought-provoking. The recipes, as ever, are intriguing and original, but even if you never cook a single thing out of this book (which would be a crying shame) it’s worth buying for Denis’s beautiful prose – you’ll never think of vegetables the same way again.’

Darina Allen, Irish Examiner

Not only the most gorgeous book title of the year, but also the most stylishly produced volume, and it’s a cracking read too

Marie-Claire Digby, Irish Times

‘A cookbook to lust after.’

Image Magazine

Vegetarian cookery with delicious style.’

BBC Good Food Magazine

‘Whether you get a veg box every week or shop at your local supermarket, you can’t fail to have noticed that the variety of veg on offer has increased markedly over the last couple of years. This is exactly the kind of book you need to make the most of them. Denis Cotter, owner of Café Paradiso in Cork, Eire, has a way with veg, and his passion for them really comes through. Celeriac fritters with caper and rosemary aioli were earthy and sweet and the aubergine and cime di rape (turnip tops) with chillies, feta, citrus and pomegranate is packed with flavour, with none of the gloom associated with salad in winter. We guarantee you won’t even notice the lack of meat.’

Book of the Month, Olive Magazine

for Paradiso Seasons

Paradiso Seasons, the new cookbook by the mega-talented vegetarian chef Denis Cotter of Cork’s Cafe Paradiso is out tomorrow – Monday June 23rd. This guy is the chef (or “cook” as modest unassuming Denis prefers) who has taken veggie food light years beyond the “brown rice/brown plates/brown sandals” brigade and made it look and taste appetising, even a touch sinful. Get to Waterstones, Figgis or wherever and grab a copy.’

‘Denis Cotter is one of Ireland’s best chefs, though he’d not thank you for saying so. We’ve never heard this unassuming superstar refer to himself as anything other than ‘a cook’ – which is, to our mind, a bit like hearing a Stradavarius or Chippendale say they make things with wood. If you need convincing sample these recipes or, better still, buy Paradiso Seasons and taste for yourself how Denis elevates vegetarian cooking from the worthy-but-dull to Elysian gastronomic heights. ’

Food & Wine Magazine

‘What a treat – the book that I’ve been waiting for all year has arrived at last. Regular readers will know how much I love Ireland’s most original restaurant, Denis Cotter’s Cafe Paradiso, in Cork city – and his Cafe Paradiso Cookbook which took the culinary world by storm when it was published in 1999. The first was a watershed, and Paradiso Seasons, develops the concept further, emphasing the importance of simplicity, well grown ingredients produced with respect and the principle of eating seasonally. ’

Georgina Campbell, Irish Independent

‘Elegant, inspiring and astonishingly creative dishes to delight even the most carnivorous of appetites. Speaking as a Frenchman from the South West of France, I am by no means vegetarian, but I cook willingly and eat greedily from this book’

Eric Treuille, Books for Cooks, London

‘Who would have thought it possible that Denis Cotter could supersede his unsurpassable Cafe Paradiso Cookbook? That book is, in our opinion, the greatest cookbook ever written by a working chef. But Mr Cotter has surpassed himself, and Paradiso Seasons is another classic text. Classic plus. So, what’s his secret? Well, like so many of those quiet guys, the ones whom you never suspect, Mr Cotter is a revolutionary, and also an intellectual. His method is to think and work like a deconstructionist: read the paragraphs on page 98, when he explains the origin for his Tomato Rasam, and you see a chef researching an age-old recipe and concept, then rebuilding it anew for himself. Cotter never leaves alone: his is a creative art, not an imitative one, so the sheer weight of ideas in this new book is exhilarating, especially in the – very witty – chapter on barbecued foods. Read this, reader, and you will abolish the steak and bangers from your barbie for ever; this is food for the Gods. As a culinary thinker, Denis Cotter is out on his own, and we are fortunate that in two classic books he has had the ability to describe, with precise, articulate prose, the creative and intellectual urges that make him the most original chef in the country. If this doesn’t win the Andre Simon, the Glenfiddich, the Guild of Food Writers and the James Beard awards, we will want to know why.’

John McKenna, food writer and publisher of the Bridgestone Guides

for The Cafe Paradiso Cookbook

‘A ferocious imagination, and a gentle, wise wit, underpin the brilliant culinary improvisations of Denis Cotter. With The Café Paradiso Cookbook, he shows that vivid imagination, and that uncliched sense of humour, in sparkling introductions and intriguing, soulful recipes. He writes as he cooks – freely, cleverly, modestly, trusting to instinct and intuition. The result is a book without artifice or pretence, a book which rings utterly true.’

John McKenna

‘It’s great to have a veggie cookbook that inspires you to drool over the recipes and cook them too! Flick through the new Café Paradiso Cookbook and you’ll find more than 100 creative recipes, with plenty of pictures to whet the appetite. It covers staples such as pesto, salsa, aioli, oils and everything from simple suppers to adventurous entertaining.’

BBC Vegetarian Magazine

Cook Book of the Week: ‘This is not a book for instant gratification, rather for lots of prolonged pleasure. Who knows, Denis Cotter may even tempt rabid meat-eaters with his vibrant new style of vegetarian cooking.’

Sybil Kapoor, The Independent

‘The best cookbook of the year… Utterly essential’

Irish Times

The Café Paradiso Cookbook by Denis Cotter is superb. Every page is filled with useful information, interesting ideas and good recipes.’

Weekend Review, The Saturday Independent

‘One of our best ever finds… on the strength of the book I visited the restaurant. It was the best eating experience I have ever had.’

Flora Woods (Manager, Books for Cooks, London), Food Illustrated

‘…takes vegetarian food to a new dimension. The recipes are not too difficult and have never failed’

BBC Good Food Magazine

for Cafe Paradiso

‘Café Paradiso’s Denis Cotter is the finest vegetarian cook in these islands. Café Paradiso is the magical confection of a truly original cook, a man who not only puts his ideas into delicious practice every day of the week, but whose theories on the subject of vegetarian cooking as evidenced by his outstanding book “The Café Paradiso Cookbook”, have led to what we believe is the finest cookbook every written by any chef anywhere. If you can’t live without the book, you can’t live without the restaurant. Democratic, fun, distinct, there is no other room like it. Potato and watercress gnocchi in a roasted tomato cream is both light and yet gutsy, and when that watercress appears again in a risotto with avocado and a stew of cannelloni beans it serves a wholly different role, this time drawing our the flavours of the avocado. This is what makes Denis Cotter’s work so special, the way in which ingredients are played with like so many themes in a piece of music, juxtaposed, counterpointed, often just plain improvised. Great wines, great sounds, great service, and one of the greatest Irish restaurants of all time.’

The Bridgestone Vegetarian Guide

“…I now firmly believe that Cork’s Café Paradiso is the only vegetarian restaurant – maybe in the whole of Europe – where the actual enjoyment of the food is paramount. Like all recent coverts to the cause I find myself seizing people by the arm and breathing unto them the name of the shrine, its location (Cork) and its Holy Book, The Café Paradiso Cookbook

Helen Lucy Burke

‘One of the great chefs of his generation… I wonder if Denis would mind being cloned, we need more of him!’

Tom Doorley, Sunday Tribune

‘Denis Cotter has been polishing his approach to vegetarian cooking for a decade or more, all the while combining flavours and influences with a sure hand and undogmatic intelligence, so that the individual elements don’t stumble over one another in confusion, but instead shine clear with pointed spicing and beautifully judged flavours. To see for yourself, either go to Cork (which I strongly advise) or invest in The Café Paradiso Cookbook and try making them yourself.’

Matthew Fort, The Guardian

‘Here is a restaurant which treats food with wit, knowledge, spirit and enjoyment …it just happens to be vegetarian.’

Matthew Fort, The Guardian

‘Perfect, clever, light, ingenous …a thunderously fine restaurant.’

Bridgestone 100 Best Restaurants in Ireland 1999


© Denis Cotter 2013. Designed at bite!.
Portrait photograph by Nancy Forde.