Showing posts with label Ballinwillin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ballinwillin. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Old Butter Roads Food Trail Launch. Great Weekend of food and fun in Blarney.

The Old Butter Roads Food Trail Launch

Great Weekend of food and fun in Blarney
We are nothing without the producers - Chef Martina Cronin
Here are five of the best speaking in Blairs on Monday.
Clockwise from top left: Tim McCarthy, Justin Greene, Don O'Leary,
Rubert Atkinson and Pat Mulcahy.

The Old Butter Roads Food Trail is up and running following a sunny (mainly!) weekend launch in the Blarney area. The event was officially opened on Saturday in the Church of Ireland by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed.
Wild Boar at Square Table
There were butter making demos at the Butter Museum, talks at the Hydro Farm Allotments, a pony and trap delivery of churns (the symbol of the food trail) to participating businesses, an ecology walk and talk (by Tom O’Byrne) at Clogheen Milken, the Gab story-telling competition, a smoked produce demo in the Old Blarney Post Office Café, a showcase multi-course dinner in the Square Table, an open weekend at The Farm in Grenagh and a Monday demo, with food and cocktails, at Blairs Inn.


And it wasn’t just Blarney members that were involved. There were producers plus restaurant and café operators from all over the area involved, Duhallow, Muskerry and Avondhu, a serious (if fun-filled) statement of intent for the many events ahead over the rest of the year. Expect a gathering (with food for sure) at the Kerryman’s Table in Aubane, a Tapas style event in Mitchelstown, a Long Table feast by the Killavullen Farmers Market, and more.


Wagyu beef (left) and Angus rib-eye at Square Table
Current members:
Ballinwillin House www.ballinwillinhouse.com
Blair’s Inn www.blairsinn.com
Peppers at The White Deer www.peppersmallow.com
Blarney Castle Hotel www.blarneycastlehotel.com
Nibbles Millstreet www.nibbles.ie
The Square Table www.thesquaretable.ie
Castle Hotel Macroom www.castlehotel.ie
The Old Blarney Post Office Café www.blarneycafe.com
Thatch & Thyme www.thatchandthyme.com
Praline Mitchelstown www.praline.ie
O’Callaghan’s Restaurant www.ocallaghans.ie
Longueville House www.longuevillehouse.ie
O’Brien’s Free Range Eggs, 
Hydro Farm Allotments www.hydrofarmallotments.com
Osbourne Butchers www.blarneybutchers.com
9 White Deer Brewery www.9whitedeer.ie
Longueville House Beverages www.longuevillahouse.ie/artisan.html
Folláin www.follain.ie, 
Annabella Farm, 
Twomey’s Butchers www.mtwomeybutchers.ie
Killavullen Farmers Market www.killavullenfarmersmarket.weebly.com , McCarthy’s Butchers Kanturk www.jackmccarthy.ie
Hegarty’s Cheese, 
Toonsbridge Dairy www.therealoliveco.com
St Anne’s Shandon www.shandonbells.ie, 
Activity Days www.activitydays.ie, 
The Farm Grenagh www.visitthefarm.ie
Cork Butter Museum www.corkbutter.museum


List subject to change as new members join.
The Blairs, Duncan (left) and Richard trying one of his cocktails

Sunday night’s multi-course dinner in the Square Table perfectly illustrated the depth and range of produce available in the general North Cork area.

The opening selection of canapés: 
Lamb Tartare;
Toonsbridge ricotta, apple, hazelnut, beetroot;
Old MillBank smoked salmon rice paper roll, avocado, pickled ginger;
Macroom Buffalo mozzarella, basil pesto, tomato tapenade;
Carrigcleena Farm cured duck, beetroot chutney, confit ginger.

Then, from McCarthy’s Butchers in Kanturk, we had a Black Pudding Roll with house piccalilli and also Crispy Bacon with apple purée.

Next it was the turn of Michael Twomey's Butchers in Macroom: Wagyu beef burger with Hegarty’s Cheddar and house tomato chutney and also enjoyed their Agnus rib-eye with duck fat chip and O’Brien’s free range egg béarnaise.
Hake at the Square Table

Fish then had its turn and the Pan-fried hake (from K O’Connell’s), with Annabelle Farm spinach and mussel velouté was a splendid combination, another tasty testament to the produce and to the skill of Martina in the kitchen, as indeed was the whole meal.

Now we were on  to the Ballinwillin Wild Boar, braised and cured and served with caramelised potato gnocchi, aged Coolea cheese, Ballyhoura Mushrooms and wild garlic. Great stuff.

Dessert was McCarthy’s Natural Dairy’s Buttermilk, foamed, with rhubarb, confit ginger and speculous crumble. Hegarty’s Cheddar  and Toonsbridge smoked Scamorza featured on the cheese plate and the highlight here, as part of the week long tribute in Cork to Veronica Steel, was Milleens Cheese with fig jam. All washed down with a drop of apple brandy from Longueville House who earlier supplied a glass of their excellent cider.
Dessert at the Square Table

And the top class food and drink continued on Monday in the garden at Blair’s Inn where the brothers Richard and Duncan were the hosts, Richard coming up with some inventive cocktails (using everything from stout to apple brandy to gin) while Duncan did the cooking demos.

Longueville's Apple Brandy
went down well at Square Table
Highlight here were the passionate speeches from the producers. Don O’Leary of 9 White Deer Brewery, Justin Greene of Bertha’s Revenge Gin and Ballyvolane House, Timmy McCarthy of McCarthy’s Kanturk, Pat Mulcahy of Ballinwillin House, and Rupert Atkinson of Longueville House all spoke well of their own products, and of the other products of the area.

But there was no trumpet blowing at the expense of other areas. This was underlined, simply and with some wisdom, by Tim McCarthy. If you enjoy the brown bread in Mayo than that's the best in Ireland; if you enjoy the brown bread in Cork, then that's the best in Ireland. 

So enjoy the best of local, wherever you are. And if you are anywhere near the Old Butter Roads Food Trail these coming months, you will be eating, and drinking, very well indeed.
Cheese for two at Square Table
Get the latest on their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/OldButterRoads/
on Twitter at @oldbutterroads
The Old Butter Road platter at Blairs

Monday, April 10, 2017

Old Butter Roads Food Trail Festival. Launch April 29-30 in Blarney

Media release
Old Butter Roads Food Trail Festival
Launch April 29-30 in Blarney


A Food Festival to launch the Old Butter Roads Food Trails will take place in Blarney from 29/4 to 1/5 2017. The initiative is being developed by the producers, eateries and visitor attractions to celebrate the range of foods grown and produced in the Muskerry, Duhallow and Avondhu areas of County Cork. The idea started in Blarney through which the Old Butter Road used to bring produce from Kerry via Millstreet into the Butter Market in Shandon to serve the great maritime trade.  

The Old Butter Roads Food Trail escorts visitors through the fertile valleys—the breadbasket of Co Cork—where the rich pasture lands provide the most wholesome and delicious dairy, meats, grains, fruit and vegetables in the country.

The Festival will start on Saturday 29/4 with butter making demonstrations at 12pm and 2pm at the Butter Museum. In Blarney there will be talks between 2pm of 4pm at the Hydro Farm Allotments near Tower on the importance of growing food. A pony and trap will leave the Hydro Farm Allotments to deliver milk churns, the symbols of the Old Butter Roads, to businesses involved in Blarney on the Saturday afternoon about 4pm and be displayed by businesses involved in the Food Trail throughout the year.
Butter and Iron-age bread (by Declan Ryan)

Michael Creed the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine will formally launch the Food Trail at the Church of Ireland, Blarney at 6pm on the Saturday, followed by food tasting from the producers and eateries of the trail.

On Sunday 30/4 there will be a ‘walk & talk’ with Tom O’Byrne at 2pm at the Clogheen Milken on the importance of the ecology. The Gab storytelling competition will take place at 3.30 in the Church of Ireland, followed by Smokin’ Good Time event at 6pm at the Old Blarney Post Office Café showcasing smoked produce of the area. Guest speakers include Tim McCarthy of Kanturk, Patrick Mulcahy of Ballinwillin House and Longueville Cider makers.     

The Square Table restaurant Blarney will be hosting a food event at 8pm. It is a tasting menu which will showcase all the producers on the Old Butter Road Food Trail.  The Farm in Grenagh is holding an open weekend with butter making demonstrations on Monday 1/5 – International Butter Day.
Local food
The Old Butter Roads Food Trail will host events in Kanturk, Macroom, Mallow and Mitchelstown in the following few months to celebrate the food and drink produce of the area.


For Further information Contact      OldButterRoads@gmail.com

Maire ni Mhurchu      Tricia Cronin Rupert Atkinson     
Chairperson Secretary                     Mallow    
Activity Days                             The Square Table                    Longueville House Beverages

Tim McCarthy             Patrick Mulcahy                     Lenka Forrest
Kanturk            Mitchelstown                         Treasurer  
McCarthy’s Butchers  Ballinwillin House           The Old Blarney Post Office Cafe

Sat 29/4
12.00 & 2.30pm



2- 4pm     



5pm

6pm



                              8pm   



Butter Making demonstration at Butter Museum, 1 O Connell Square Cork (beside Shandon Bells)at 12am and 2.30 pm (€4 entry)

Talks on growing foods at Hydro Allotments Blarney

Pony & Trap deliver butter churns to Blarney businesses, start at the Hydro Allotments and arrive in Blarney

Cobh Animations Ladies in the Square 5-7pm

Michael Creed the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine will formally launch the Food Trail at the Church of Ireland, Blarney at 6pm on the Saturday, followed by food tasting from the trail.

Film The Old Butter Roads by Jasper Wynn in garden of Old Post Office & food from members ( or Church of Ireland if raining)











Sun 30/4
all day

2pm   



3.30




6-9pm







8-10pm
Farm Grenagh Open day

Walk at Clogheen Milken Fenn with Tom o Byrne Ecologist on the importance of Balance of the Environment

Gab storytelling competition final on topic of ‘Old Butter Roads’ at the Church of Ireland Blarney organized by Toasmasters and the Gab. Free Event/donations

Smokin’ Good Time an event at the Old Blarney Post Office Café showcasing smoked produce from the Food Trail Area. Guest speakers amongst others include Tim McCasthy of Kanturk and master of the art of butchery and Patrick Mulcahy of Ballinwillin House. Delicious  Longueville Cider will keep all refreshed.     
Taste of the Old Butter Roads at the Square Table, Blarney  (tasting menu showcasing all producers from the trail; pre booked  €55)

Mon 1/5
all Day


Butter Day - Demonstration of Butter making at The Farm Grenagh all day

Week 1 May

Blarney Library - display of books on Cookery, Farming, Dairy Science and  Old Ireland and Cookery Meeting to discuss cookery books on Wednesday am.

Thurs 4th Historical Society   Magic, Faries and Stories at Secondary School












Monday, May 30, 2016

Ballinwillin House & Farm. Where the deer and the wild boar roam.

Ballinwillin House & Farm
Where the deer and the wild boar roam
We are in a country town. We have been feeding the deer and checking on the goats and Wild Boar pigs. Time now for a drink in the Hungarian wine-cellar. A red, appropriately named Young Bull, goes down well. It is made from the Hungarian grape Kékfrancos.

Back to the main house now for dinner which will start with a plate of charcuterie, all from the farm. The mains will feature both venison and pig. The southern town is Mitchelstown and we are having the time of our lives in Ballinwillin House (built in 1727 by the local Earl of Kingston for the famous agriculturalist Sir Arthur Young).

One of the pucks
When we arrived in the late afternoon, we were welcomed by Patrick Mulcahy. Patrick and his wife Miriam have been owners since 1985. The estate once had 1240 acres but the Mulcahy’s are doing very well indeed with 162 acres, divided into various parcels. In 1985, they started with the house and 16 acres.

The first thing you notice when you come through the gate is the herd of deer in the nearby field. Patrick told us the original deer were brought in from Hungary and there are now 850 of them. The field we were looking at had about twenty five, a “small harem” for the single stag. What we didn't see though were the first of this season’s “babies”. Just born and about the size of a hare, they were hidden away in the long grass of a far corner by the cautious mothers but they will be out and about in a few days.
The young ones
After that we were taken to see a small herds of goats and then the Wild Boar pigs and their young. To see more about the Wild Boar and how they came back to Ireland check out this Ear To The Ground feature on Ballinwillin.

Patrick, from West Limerick originally, has some more “ordinary” animals too, including cattle. We saw a mother and her newly born twins. The birth had been very tough on all three but tender care and no little muscle from the Mulcahy's saw them all pull through. They were on the point of calling the vet but didn't have to. Indeed, the vet is rarely involved here as the operation is organic and healthy.
All calm for the twins after a tough start to life
And those healthy meats, most of which are sold online by the way but also to hotels and chefs, are used in the house for entertaining. They have nine rooms for B&B, six of them in a courtyard and three in the house itself. They also entertain groups with a convivial start usually made in the wine-cellars built for Patrick by some of his Hungarian friends.

He has made many friends in Hungary over the years and that is how the wine came into it, a wine that is now combined with the other produce of the farm. His wines in Hungary are bottled under the Chateau Mulcahy label and there too you’ll see a deer silhouette. The wine names are usually in honour of relations or friends: Clos de John Patrick, Amy Rose, South Winds (after a friend’s house).
A big welcome
from Patrick
The Kékfrancos is a native Hungarian grape but most of the others are the familiar international grapes such as Chardonnay, Merlot (for the rosé), Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc for example. All in all 14 wines, including a dessert one, are available so you’ll have plenty of choice either in the atmospheric cellar or in the dining hall. 

The cellars are dimly lit and not very big but that just tends to get people closer to one another, all the better to smile and chat and laugh. You won't be checking the colour of your wine - but you sure will be enjoying it and the occasion. Indeed, you may book a cellar visit as a standalone.


In the cellar
The high roofed dining room was our next call - we were with a group of about twenty from the Munster Wine & Dine. Starter was a generous plate of charcuterie, all from the farm, all delicious.

Hard to beat the mains. Miriam is well able to turn her hand to virtually any hearty meat dish and on this occasion we enjoyed a five star Venison Bourguignon with all the trimmings. About halfway though that, a stuffed fillet of Wild Boar was added to each plate. More wine was ordered and we were on a roll!
Dessert, Miriam’s Raspberry Cake, arrived in due course.  Then a little sing-song broke out - Patrick chipped in with There’s An Isle - and it was a very happy gang that trooped into our bus back to the city.

  • The brilliant day out had started with a visit to the Grubb family farm at Beechmount, near Fethard, the home of Cashel Blue and other beautiful cheeses. Read all about it here
  • If you’d like to join the fun with Munster Wine & Wine, please send email to mwdcircle@gmail.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Munster Wine & Dine On Tour. Cashel Blue & Ballinwillin House

May Day. May Day!

After a fantastic tour and tasting at The Golden Bean Coffee Roastery with Marc Kingston last month, we are delighted to announce the details of our summer day-trip to Cashel Blue and Ballinwillin House on Friday May 27th. This promises to be another super day of great food and wine.


Tour and Tasting of Cashel Blue in Beechmount Co. Tipperary. 
When Louis & Jane Grubb set out to make Cashel Blue in the early 1980’s, their ambition was to create a farmhouse cheese that “truly represents the outstanding quality of Tipperary grass-fed milk.” Today, 31 years later, Cashel Blue is world famous and is still made by hand on the same 200 acre farm in Beechmount, Co. Tipperary, We are delighted that Sarah Furno, 2ndgeneration of the Grubb Family, will give us a tour of the cheese-producing facility and a tasting of this much-loved cheese http://www.cashelblue.com


Dinner at Ballinwillin House in Mitchelstown Co.Cork. with hosts Patrick and Miriam Mulcahy. Ballinwillin House is an oasis for lovers of artisan food and wine. The house is set on 80 acres in the heart of the Golden Vale and here they raise deer, as well as rare-breed pigs and geese. They also own a vineyard in Hungary and have built at Ballinwillin a wonderful wine cellar where they host wine tastings of their own Chateau Mulcahy wines. On arrival, we will take a tour of the farm to see the deer (Ballinwillin is one of the prime producers of venison in the country), pigs, geese and the many other animals on the estate. After the tour we will retreat to the wine barn for a tasting of Chateau Mulcahy wines, produced on the Mulcahy Estate in Hungary, and which have received rave reviews. The tasting will be followed by a 4-course meal specially prepared for us by Miriam Mulcahy. We are delighted to have the opportunity to visit this hidden gem that sits right on our doorstep. 

Other surprise tasting stops may be included along the way, subject to timing. 


Last year’s trip was the highlight of the social calendar which included dinner in the Tannery in Dungarvan with stop-offs at Fermoy Natural Cheese Company, Barron’s Bakery in Cappoquin, Dungarvan Brewing Company and a gin tasting with Peter Mulryan of Blackwater Gin. This year’s trip promises to be another really memorable day out! 

Depart Cork City Hall at 12.00pm (Midday) by coach.

Return to Cork City Hall – approximately 9.30pm

Dress: casual (suitable footwear advised for the farm visit)

Price: €75pp for members includes bus, dinner, tastings & tours. Places are limited and will be on a first come first serve basis and limited to members for the first round. Spaces for non-members may be announced later and cost will be €85. 
Send an email to mwdcircle@gmail.com if you’d like to attend. RSVP by Friday May 20th
Cheques can be made payable to MWDC.

We hope you can join us on what promises to be a fantastic day out!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Dining On the Banks. Excellent River Lee Hotel Experience.

Dining On the Banks. Excellent River Lee Hotel Experience.
Friday evening and we are shown to our riverside table in the aptly named Weir Restaurant in the city centre River Lee Hotel. We are early but soon the large comfortable room fills up; the nearby bar is already full of groups, large and small, enjoying the food and the drinks. Our menu is promising, from regulars such as Roast Supreme of Skeaghanore Duck to specials like the Ballinwillin Wild Boar Chop.

We meet some of the team, including Head Chef Shane O’Sullivan (sometimes it pays to turn up early), and we are left to make our choices. A glass of ruby red fruity French Merlot (Croix des Vents) and CL’s vibrant New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (Ribbonwood) are sipped as the choices are made.

Great to see so much local produce on the menu and I go for the Panfried Castletownbere Scallops in Lemon foam with a seafood cracker. It is superb. The scallops are as fresh as can be and the Lemon foam, not just for show, plays a complementary role. The other starter, perhaps more substantial, is the Chicken Liver Pate, with Foie Gras and Rosemary Butter, pickled apple chutney and walnut bread crostini, quite an engaging mix of textures and flavours and is also very well received.

The sun gets low to the west and the restaurant team pick the right moment to drop the window shades and so diners continue in comfort. Service here is friendly and knowledgeable, all eager to help.

I get something of a surprise when my main course arrives. The day’s special, the Wild Boar Chop, is rather large! But not to worry, it is dispatched with some pleasure, aside from some of the opulent fat that is left on the plate. The chop is served with steamed asparagus, beetroot puree, sweet potato chips and an amazing warm rhubarb relish. Ballinwillin House is a country house, (with a Hungarian counterpart), near Mitchelstown. Check it out here .

CL often goes for seafood and her mains choice was no exception. Her Grilled Castletownbere Langoustines, the chef’s June Seasonal Signature Dish, was accompanied by a Pea, Asparagus and Seafood Risotto and finished with Iasc Seafood Butter. Another top notch dish.

They serve a great Cork cheese board here but we went for the sweet stuff! And enjoyed it, every bit. My dessert was the Raspberry Tiramisu. Raspberries also featured on the other dessert, the Baked Alaska, one that you don't see too often nowadays. Both were excellent and it was two happy diners that headed off down the sunny street.