Stiff Little Fingers’ Chili

Posted on: 16 November 2012 No comments

The longer an act is on the road, the more Spinal Tap-esque moments you notch up. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t like hearing about those wild and wacky vignettes of rock n roll insanity and awkwardness?  But if you’re chatting to a band with over 30 years of experience under their belt and you’re looking for a funny wee nugget to share with readers, where does one even begin?


SLF –  a supremely amazing, proper Punk band

Such was my momentary dilemma when interviewing Jake Burns from the legendary Punk outfit Stiff Little Fingers.  So I decided to home in on the one city, dirty old Dublin and got some interesting feedback.

“A million years ago we played the Baggot Inn and they had like fisherman’s netting hanging from the ceiling. Our guitar player, Henry, got so enthused at the end of a song, he slung his guitar in the air, where it stayed…stuck in the netting. The rest of us went and had a pint while he disentangled it.”  Not a great look, I do hope he pulled that stunt off at the climax of their set.  And during another show in their earlier years, they had an embarrassing, very un-Punk like interruption by a college official.

“We also once had a social secretary at UCD order Bob Geldof off the side of our stage because he didn’t want “anyone, and that means you, Geldof!!” sitting there. “

These days, the Belfast born Burns resides in Chicago, where he’s never short on finding a rich abundance of Irishness to remind him of home. Let us not forget, this is a city that has been dying its river green for over 40 years on Paddy’s Day. He has befriended a fellow Hibernian who owns a bar and imports all the necessary accoutrements for what he calls, “an Ulster fry.” Burns pops into him whenever he’s got the “one more than I should have had” hangover.  As the band’s resident cook, he loves knocking out wintry, spicy one pot wonders.  What better than the classic chili for this time of year?  A nice jolt of heat to warm even the most hardcore of souls and certainly a great substitute to whenever a local hangover fry is not within grasp.

Stiff Little Fingers’ Beef Chili


1lb minced beef

1 medium onion

1 medium green bell pepper

1 jalapeno pepper

1 or 2 cloves garlic

1 can tomatoes

1 can dark red kidney beans

1 qtr. lb. mushrooms

Tomato puree (paste)

1 tablespoon of Chili powder

½ teaspoon of salt

Vegetable oil


In a medium saucepan, heat the vegetable oil

Brown the beef and add the chili powder, add less if it’s a fiery batch. They can vary in heat!

Chop onion, garlic and peppers and add those.

Add tinned tomatoes

Add kidney beans

Stir in about 1 tsp. of tomato paste

Slice mushrooms and add those.

Simmer and reduce slightly for about 45 minutes.

Serve over rice and with garlic bread.

Are you embarrassed reading such a low life website? Well you can also read this post on the far more reputable Irish Times.

Damson Diner ~ Open Next Week!

Posted on: 2 November 2012 1 comment

Haven’t had a spare second to post anything on this site of late. Been up to me nads building Damson Diner and getting it all ready. And we are finally ready to rock!

Next Monday and Tuesday we’ll be doing some sneak previews of what food and drinks we’ll be serving. If any of you are up for attending, please follow us on Twitter or Facebook for details. We’ll be offering up a discounted meal and a free cocktail upon arrival. It’ll be a nice way for us to get some feedback from everybody and a final moment to show off the outstanding design that Conor has put in place. He has truly done an exceptional job.

We have been blessed with amazing staff who have helped us all tremendously to get open. They will be our first diners and we are serving them tonight. Tomorrow, we’ll be serving our most critical of customers – our mammies. The fear has truly set in.

Asian & American cuisine is what we’ll be all about. Dinner service only until November 13th, then we’ll kickstart our lunch. Then on November 25th, we’ll be rolling out Sunday Brunch. In December, our basement lounge will be up and running for some dancing and special events. So in other words, we’re staggering everything.

Marc, Conor and myself have been working round the clock with all the crews on site to finish the build. Managing a re-fit project of this scale is a biblical pain in the hoop. We’re chomping at the bit just to do what we really love – to serve the grub and gargoyle we’ve been working on these last few weeks and hopefully see some happy faces in the Diner. You genuinely have to be totally insane to do this kind of work for a living. But thankfully there’s never been a shortage of madness on South William Street.



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