Cook Like a Michelin-Starred Chef at Home- The Collar of Gold Story
Peter McCloskey is the Managing Director of Collar of Gold Limited, the company that produces the pure Irish rapeseed oil that has been taking the food industry (and indeed, many home kitchens) by storm.
But where did it come from? And who is behind it? Peter is no stranger to quality food and the food industry in itself as both sides of his family have been heavily involved in the industry for four generations.
With exposure to some of the best produce Ireland has to offer, Peter acquired a love and appreciation of food from a young age, explaining:
“My great grandparents were fresh fruit and vegetable importers. The next were bakers and my parents founded the Boyne Valley Group. Also, my father was a fruit and vegetable retailer and we always ate the very best of fresh produce. We were a family of six boys and we had long meals discussing food, provenance and quality.”
This passion for ingredients and Irish produce helped inspire Peter’s decision to set up Collar of Gold: “About five years ago, I decided that I wanted to produce the purest possible Irish vegetable oil that wouldn’t alter the taste of Ireland’s finest ingredients when cooking.”
I wanted to complete the circle of Ireland’s fine food, food preparation and sharing.
The seeds used to produce Collar of Gold come from Wicklow and Kildare and Peter admits that he’s lucky because the business “has been going well”.
Working with his family, Peter enjoys spending time with those closest to him, emphasising that “we get on well together”.
We are a family of six and my wife Ann, Liz, Hannah, Christian and Rachal all play a role in the business and we frequently discuss it at the table.
Wondering what it was about this particular product that made it stand out, I asked Peter, who explained that unlike other oils, “Collar of Gold neither has a strong smell, taste or colour and has not been made using chemical methods. This sets it apart in enabling every home to work with the finest quality food ingredients without compromise.”
According to Peter, Collar of Gold is so suitable for cooking “because of its absolute purity”, explaining that the rapeseed oil “does not contain any of the compounds which break down under cooking heat”.
“Collar of Gold is an absolutely pure Irish rapeseed oil that does not add any smell, taste or colour to food or cooking, even at high temperature.”
It brings out the exquisite subtlety of even the most ordinary foods like the white of a fried egg or for roast potato wedges, where the smell and the taste of the caramelised potato starch can be discerned and not the oil!
“Furthermore, it has exceptional emulsification properties and makes the most fantastic mayonnaises, dressings, sauces. It also acts as an excellent substitute for butter in cakes.”
Speaking for itself, Collar of Gold has attracted the attention of a number of high profile restaurants in Ireland, with chefs in Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, Shanahan’s on the Green, Glovers Alley, The Saddle Room, Aniar, Pichet and Chapter One all utilising the rapeseed oil.
So, if you want to upgrade your cooking prowess, you can pick up some Collar of Gold in most SuperValu and Dunnes Stores shops, as well as Fine Foods outlets. If you’re working within the food industry and want to give Collar of Gold a shot, you’ll find food service size bottles through all major food service channels.
Describing one of his best experiences since starting his business, Peter said: “When Marguerite Keogh of the Michelin-Star Five Fields Restaurant in Chelsea, London gave Collar of Gold a brilliant testimony (and an order!). She has been a customer ever since.”
Taking a peak on Collar of Gold’s website, the testimony Peter referred to was right there in black and white: “We use Collar of gold because of its resistance to tainting when frying. It is a superior product that has enhanced our cooking.”
In terms of his biggest achievement to date, Peter is most proud of his product being recognised as “a pure Irish ingredient that hugely enhances even the simplest food and cooking.”
Looking to the future and Peter says “it looks very bright”. With a product like Collar of Gold by his side, I’m sure the future will be very exciting.
Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.
Named Best Break Out Travel Writer at the 2018 Travel Media Awards, Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.
A big people person, especially when it comes to hearing other people’s stories, Sarah loves interviewing chefs, food producers and more.