The Jolly British Pop-Up: Former "Fat Duck " Chef Helms "Canteen Food" in Limerick

July 24, 2012 5:51 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Fat Duck
A former Fat Duck chef leaves the gastromolecular lab to serve up something more down-to-earth. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Paul Williams, a young chef whose list of accomplishments boasts such exorbitant heights as working under Heston Blumenthal in the Fat Duck kitchen, has opened up a pop-up in Limerick that combines the offerings of a cafe and restaurant. Canteen Food, his brainchild, devotes itself to serving healthy fast food during the lunchtime hours. Having left the gastromolecular lab, this former Fat Duck chef seeks to serve up something a little more down-to-earth.

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To most, the phrase "healthy fast food" may sound like a complete misnomer. When fast food giants McDonald's and Burger King ventured into the unlikely intersection between the two concepts, they ended up offering little more than the lettuce they use for their burgers covered in sickeningly (maybe not literally) fatty dressings and served with a copious helping of bacon bits. McDonald's goes a step further with its oatmeal offerings, masking naturally sweet dried and relatively fresh fruits with a delicious handful of syrup and some heavy, heavy cream.

Enter Mr. Williams, with a clear and compelling remedy to what ails us. Ditching the more traditional, traditionally unhealthy fast food options in favor of mild Thai fish curries, couscous, meatballs, Mediterranean chicken, salads, and so much more. All options are priced between €4.50 to €8, so these bad boys won't hurt your waistline or your wallet.

With a working man's aesthetic that reflects his inauspicious beginnings in engineering school before transferring to studying for a culinary arts degree in Dublin, the thirty-five year old chef invites locals to his trendy pop-up while it's open, from the hours of 10am to 5pm, which lunch served from 12:30pm to 3pm.

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