Showing posts with label De Roiste. Show all posts
Showing posts with label De Roiste. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Spotlight on Best in County Awards at Blas in Dingle

Fish in Garvey's SuperValu, Dingle

Blas na hEireann 2015 Award Winners
Spotlight on Best in County Awards

Ger Kirwan of Goatsbridge Trout Farm

Year on year, the awarding of Best in County Awards has been growing as a part of the Blas na hEireann Awards in Dingle every October. These awards are presented by the the Local Enterprise Office from the various counties and are much appreciated by the winners.

Blas: “The winners of these awards have reported that being recognised in their own counties has been vital to their businesses where a large portion of their sales are made locally, either in stores or farmers markets.”  And it is not just the awards, important as they are, that are appreciated by the producers. They also very much appreciate the support that they receive throughout the year from their Local Enterprise Office.

Actually one of the Local Enterprise officers Joe English let slip that food producers may already have a foot in the door. He said the offices find it hard to resist when someone comes in with good things to eat. You get their attention straight away! So there you are, if you are a food producer, make a beeline for your local office.

Like the Blas awards in general, this shorter list from the Local Enterprise offices reflect the trends happening across the Irish food and drink scene. Here you see craft brewers, gin distillers, sushi makers, cider makers, all relatively new to the stage but, of course, bakers, black pudding makers and, very importantly, chocolate makers also feature.


Joe's Farm Crisps

Increasingly, the winning products, either Blas or Local Enterprise, are ending up in prominent position in supermarkets. While walking around Dingle on Saturday morning, I was urged by Walter Ryan-Purcell of Loughbeg Farm, whose Oat Loaf has been a great success in Cork and Kerry Supervalu's, to take a look in the supermarket just behind me.
Jim's Kerrs Pink in Garvey's

Garvey’s was something of a revelation. It was completely revamped last May and looks brilliant, spacious and bright, with a great layout. And, encouragingly for me, there were lots and lots of what is loosely called “artisan” food. They love their spuds in Kerry, grow some terrific ones up around Ballydavid and Ballyferriter, even have annual hotly contested tastings, and local spuds and veg were prominent.

Then I took a look at one of the cheese displays, seeing Dingle Gold, Crozier Blue (one of my favourites and a Blas winner) along with their own brand cheeses. They have a very inviting fish display, most of it fresh from the nearby seas. But right smack bang in the middle were fillets of the farmed trout from Kilkenny’s Goatsbridge, a winner at Blas this year.


Cathal of De Roiste

On a shelf nearby, I spotted Longueville cider and the local Cronin's cider, beers by Eight Degrees and Galway Bay Brewery. Lots of foreign beers too but at least the Irish were up there, battling shoulder to shoulder. And naturally enough, Dingle gin and vodka has a display case to itself!

I’m told quite a few SuperValu managers are visiting Garvey’s to see what the future looks like. Looks pretty good for Irish producers to me, even if my look-around was far from forensic. Not all producers go the Blas route but a win in Dingle (be it gold, silver or bronze, or recognition by your county) is a boost to the producer and quite possibly a boost to his or her sales figures as well.
Best in County Awards 2015
Carlow -
Best in Carlow: Sunshine Juice
Best in Farmers Market: The Chocolate Garden of Ireland
Donegal
Best in County: Aran Ard Teo – Gallaghers
Best in Farmers Market: Mallow Mia
Galway
Best in Galway: Galway Hooker Brewery
Best in Farmers Market: Tribal Foods
Kerry
Best in Kerry: O’Donnells
Best in Farmers Market: Dingle Sushi
Kildare
Best in Kildare: Aedamar’s Lemon Curd
Best in Farmers Market: L’Art du Chocolat
Louth
Best in Louth: Dan Kelly’s Cider
Best in Farmers Market: Daisy’s Pantry
Mayo
Best in Mayo: Kelly’s of Newport
Meath
Best in Meath: Big Red Kitchen
Best in Farmers Market:  Blaste & Wilde
Roscommon
Best in Roscommon County: Waldrons
Best in Roscommon Town: Gilligans
Tipperary
Best in Tipperary: Piedmontese Beef
Best in Farmers Market:  Ayle Farm Foods
Waterford
Best in Waterford: Blackwater Distillery
Best in Farmers: Market Pure Food Company
Westmeath
Best in Westmeath:  Mr Crumb
Best in Farmers Market: An Olivia Chocolate
Wexford
Best in Wexford: Wexford Preserves
Best in Farmers Market: Naturally Cordial
Cork South
Best in Cork South: De Roiste Puddings
Best in Farmers Market: Joe’s Farm Crisps
Limerick
Best in County Moonriver Chocolates
Best in Farmers Market   Silver Darlings

You may see the full list of Blas winners for 2015 here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cork Summer Show No 209! Numbers Rise Again, Up To 60,000!

Cork Summer Show No 209!

Numbers Rise Again, up to 60,000!
If you’re going to bring tens of thousands of visitors to your show in the fields, then you'd better arrange food for them. The 209th annual Cork Summer Show certainly attracted the visitors in large numbers and, yes indeed, there was no shortage of food, ready to eat on the spot. Lots of tables and benches as well.

All kinds of food were being served up, anything from Asian to Italian to good old Irish and, in between I spotted an Argentinian grill! When I began to get a little hungry I was quite close to O’Crualaoi’s and they had quite a choice and, as is the case in their cafes, the items were well priced. We got two burgers (one steak, one chicken, and a drink) for a tenner all in. Quite a substantial lunch.

Cathal at De Roiste

While there were many selling food to eat, I was disappointed that there were so few producers at the show. I was really expecting to see more. Wasn't expecting though to see Mag Kirwan from Kilkenny but it was a pleasure to again meet the woman (there is also a man!) behind the innovative Goatsbridge Trout Farm. By the way, you can get her gorgeous fresh trout at the fish counter in Dunne’s Stores. Just look out for the Irish farmed trout sign as it is not packaged!

I had been in early enough and that allowed me the chance to have a chat with some of the stallholders before things got hectic. Cathal was fine-tuning the De Roiste displays and had all their black and white puddings and sausages lined up. Excellent products and you could hear the pride sizzling as he spoke. He also introduced me to their Breakfast Time pack, which includes rashers, sausage meat, black and white pudding, egg and mushroom. Easy for the lazy!


Mobile banking!

Also spent a bit of time in the Craft Drinks Tent, especially with Barry Fitzgerald, Brand Manager of the new St Patrick’s Distillery who are based in the old mills at Douglas. They are different to other distillers in that their spirits are potato based. There are easier ways of producing alcohol but the Douglas team believe that it is well worthwhile as their spirits are naturally smooth with the added bonus of a grain free process given a naturally gluten free result.

Certainly that smoothness, some little sweetness too, is evident in their Potato Gin, a classic juniper gin. They won't divulge the full details but most of the regular botanicals are in use here and the potato makes it that bit different from all the others! Worth a try. Widely available around Cork, not so widely (yet) in other counties. See the stockists here.


The drinks tent was fairly well populated with producers. There was beer from the Cotton Ball, Franciscan Well and Blacks of Kinsale, cider by Stonewell and Hyde’s whiskey (which I have yet to try!). But generally, there was a lack of producers overall and I’d personally like to see many more of them for the 210th anniversary next year. Don't know exactly what the problem is. But hard to ignore sixty thousand punters in over the two days.

I hadn't been to the Summer show for a few years and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Great space there for the stands and the parking and everything seemed to be very well run indeed.
Walk this way

It is a terrific place to bring the kids. They had their own “zone”, which includes a small animal pet farm, Bouncy castles and a fairground with some super high flying machines. For something more gentle, there was the option of taking a trip around the Show on board the magical mystery train (Noddy Train).


A family event!
 No shortage of musical entertainment either with a marching band liable to turn up anywhere. The main focus though was the big stage in the Entertainment Zone which saw everything from Crystal Swing to Gospel, Ska to Soul, Funk,Trad (even magic!) and some of the best voices of Ireland. There is also face painters, balloon makers, stilt walkers, and clowns in this area to entertain the kids. And convenient as it is packed with tables and benches and situated right next to the Food Zone.
Too hot for this guy!

In addition there was the equine events, the farrier’s tent, the dog show, trade stands, cows, sheep and poultry and more including a vintage rally zone, farm machinery, and home and garden show.

It is a fantastic day out both for adults and children, for town and country. A record sixty thousand punters is a massive endorsement. Here’s to the 210th edition next year!

He was in the petting enclosure.
I didn't chance it 
Out of the blue


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Schull’s Café Cois Cuan. Good View, Good Food

Schull’s Café Cois Cuan.
Good View, Good Food


Roast Mediterranean Vegetable salad
 Many visitors will arrive in Schull around lunch-time. You park the car in the car-park above the fishing boats and wonder where will you get lunch. Just look up towards the street and there you’ll see Café Cois Cuan, serving breakfast, lunch, teas and coffee.


It wasn't there last year, you might say. And you'd be right. The bright and tidy café, run by Kevin Rochford (chef) and Brittany Ingram, opened at the start of 2015 and, during a lunch-time visit last week, Brittany told me that each week so far has been better than the previous one.

And we hope that trend continues. For here you will find good food at a fair price. And, by the way, you'll find excellent coffee. They prefer the “classic” and so they went for a Maher’s blend and the cup I enjoyed was one of the very best I’ve had in a long while.


There is quite an extensive menu at this family run place and be sure to check the board for their daily specials. Indeed, we went for two of the specials. CL picked the Roast Mediterranean Vegetable salad, a very impressive plateful indeed in which the aubergine played the starring role. It was available in two sizes, one for €6.95, the larger for €9.95.

I had been thinking of going for the De Roiste Black Pudding and Cashel Blue Cheese salad but instead picked the Tune special, basically a Tuna Wrap Special with salad and chips. Quite a meal, I must say, and the salad, just like CL’s, was superb.

There were lots of sandwiches available as well, including a Ploughman’s Lunch for just €5.95. You could also start with a bowl of soup and if you were feeling the chill, they were offering a Beef and Murphy’s Stew!
And if you enjoy something sweet, well they have you covered as well. They have Baked Apple cake, Chocolate Fudge cake and Maple Banana Slice (in nibble and full size!). No alcohol here but they have lots of soft drinks and teas and that superb coffee. Service is efficient and friendly and yes the view from the window seats is excellent.


Café Cois Cuan http://www.cafecoiscuan.ie
East End, An Scoil, Cork, Ireland
Tue - Sat:
8:30 am - 5:00pm.
028 27005

kevin@cafecoiscuan.ie