“Try not to drool too much!” That was the Husband’s parting shot as I left the cottage, en route to interview Willie Harcourt-Cooze at the Temple Bar Chocolate Festival on Saturday. It’s not that I have the habit of going weak at the knees with my interviewees, no matter how charismatic – while at Savour New Zealand I managed Anthony Bourdain without so much as a missed heartbeat – but the Husband knew how much Willie’s Channel 4 programmes had drawn me in, had witnessed my initially fruitless search for the 100% cacao bars in Ireland and had sourced a very well-received stash of those and the just-released chocolate bars for my birthday.
Category: Food Events
A perfectly seared scallop and a mouthful of Asian ‘slaw, some crispy chilli squid on a sesame fried ricecake, a cone of battered smoked haddock with chunky chips and homemade tartare sauce, barbequed prawns, a pile of pickled seaweed alongside tuna carpaccio and fish pâté: it was a full-on seafood feast at the weekend’s Dingle Peninsula Food and Wine Festival.
The An invitation to participate again in the judging of the Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards in Dingle on Friday gave me the opportunity to discover a range of new products – as well as stick around for the rest of the weekend’s Dingle Food Festival festivities! This year’s judging was quick and efficient as the initial judging at UCC had slimmed almost 800 entries down to three in each category; all we had to do, in a series of blind tastings, was choose the gold, silver and bronze winners.
The Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards have announced the shortlist for 2009. The products in each of the 28 categories – ranging from soups and cheese to biscuits and sausages – were chosen from a blind tasting of almost 800 entries, which must have been a whole lot of fun for the first round of judges!
Speaking at yesterday’s Good Food Ireland Awards, Minister for Food and Horticulture Trevor Sargent made the point that restaurants and hotels are ambassadors for Irish farmers. This is something which can be simply ignored, taken for granted – or, more proactively, celebrated, with those in the hospitality industry becoming directly involved with the producers.
I’m loving the new RTÉ player. We don’t have a television at the cottage but at least I can check out the latest food series, normally at the same time as feeding Little Missy! While she chews and hums her happy way through dinners of mashed avocado and beetroot or potato and courgette, I’ve watched Corrigan’s City Farm, most of Fresh from the Sea (note to self: remember to check player before programme is deleted) and am working my way through Trish’s French Country Kitchen.
Sowans Organics produce baking mixes. But not just any old kind of mix, but a thoughtful and well-flavoured blend of organic ingredients, from breads and pancakes to ginger cake and brownies. Spelt flour features strongly: Super Spelt Bread is a great favourite around here, I loved the spelt pancakes and the spelt brownies didn’t last too long in this house.