Jamie and Emma Budd travelled the world together before finally settling in Ballydehob in West Cork, a spot they describe as similar to Provence in France, simply better. Influenced by the different cultures encountered on their travels, the couple has created a restaurant that reflects this. Budds of Ballydehob is a melting pot of flavours and people: from Nicaragua to West Cork, from your local dairy farmer to vegan hipster. It’s a place with good vibes where good food and good people mix.
“We immediately felt at home here,” says Emma. “Everyone was so welcoming and we fell in love with the village and the people. It felt right.”
Passionate about food, Jamie uses only the freshest local seasonal ingredients in his kitchen, sourcing all of the restaurant’s produce from small independent farms or local fishermen. “As far as I’m concerned, West Cork is the best producer of food in the whole country,” says Jamie. “There is so much right here on our doorstep — asparagus, farmhouse cheeses, buffalo meat…whatever you’re looking for is here — it’s unbelievable the quality and diversity of food that we have to work with.”
Jamie originally studied art before deciding he wanted to use his talent to create in the kitchen. With his passion for flavours and artistic eye, he creates food to soothe all the senses. Even the bread is made in-house — the Macroom buffalo or venison burger is lovingly sat on a homemade spelt brioche.
One of the newest dishes on the menu, gleaned from their recent travels to Nicaragua is a Caribbean Rondon — a cross between a Thai curry and a seafood chowder with coconut milk giving it an exotic creaminess. Depending on what’s in season, you may also find venison or Wagyu burgers, Masala Dosa (an Indian pancake) or fish (coated in a herby Panko crumb) and chips.
Budds serves Badger and Dodo gourmet coffee and all of the teas are hand-blended in-house.
There is also a very friendly and wholesome kids menu available.
Budds is open seven days a week; breakfast Saturday and Sunday; lunch every day, 12.30-4pm; dinner Thursday-Saturday, from 6pm onwards. During July and August, Budds will be open for breakfast seven days a week and serving dinner five nights, Wednesday to Sunday.
If you’re heading to Ballydehob for the Country Music Festival over the June Bank Holiday weekend, why not make a real occasion out of it and call into Budds for dinner.
The restaurant is celebrating its first year in business this summer and Jamie and Emma are would like to thank everyone for their support over the past year. “We have a great team and we’re really looking forward to continuing to provide good wholesome food in a welcoming space,” says Jamie and Emma.
Budds, Main Street, Ballydehob, 028 25842.