Monday, August 13, 2012
Lunch Treat at O’Brien Chop House
The Vee, we dropped down to Lismore and sought out O’Brien’s Chop House for lunch. Best decision of a very good day in the area! The lunch, in the garden, was top drawer. Local food - they get their meat from McGrath’s on the main street - served simply, as they say themselves. Simply superb!
One of our starters was the Apple & celery salad with toasted hazelnuts, Cashel Blue and a yoghurt dressing (€7.90). It wasn't mine but I did get a few samples and it was gorgeous, a brilliant combination of textures and flavours, really well balanced. Very pleased too with my own choice: Ballyvolane saddleback pork terrine with pistachio and pickles (€8.90). Looked well and tasted well.
We both agreed on the main course: fillet of Hake with sea vegetables and a lemon/butter sauce (€21.90). The Hake was cooked to perfection and the sauce and vegetables were an apt accompaniment. The sea vegetables were brilliant, comfortably crunchy and with a robust taste. Oh and we also got some tasty spuds! Highly recommended, if you get the chance.
With the sun beating down, the rosé was always a likely wine choice. O’Brien’s have a gem: Artadi Artazuri Garnacha 2010 from Navarra, €7.25 per glass, also available in 150ml pitcher, 250ml pitcher and full bottle.
But the drinks highlight for us was the Elderflower Bellini (€7.95). The Prosecco provided bubbles galore and there are inviting scents and flavours via the Elderflowers. Well worth a try!
Saw the Badger and Dodo logo in the bar on the way in, so guessed the coffee would be good. It sure was, sterling stuff. Excellent way to finish off an excellent meal.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
BUMPER HARVEST FOOD FESTIVAL ON THE MENU
|At the launch: Alexandra Anton and |
Dawn McGrath – photo Patrick Browne
Waterford City is gearing up to host the country’s biggest food festival ‘Harvest’ from September 10th-16th which will feature a variety of Ireland and the UK’s top Celebrity Chefs at locations across the historic city centre.
Neven Maguire, Kevin Dundon, Darina Allen and Richard Corrigan will all be out en force to showcase their culinary skills in addition to BBC’s Martin Dorey, the presenter of the hit TV series ‘One Man and his Campervan’ and author of the Camper Van Cookbook.
|At the launch: Maria, John and |
Jessica Halley – photo Patrick Browne
The 2012 GIY Gathering will take place in the city during the Harvest festival and sees BBC’s Alys Fowler and Mark Diacono of River Cottage join a host of Irish stars on September 15th & 16th. The GIY Gathering will also include guest speaker Roger Doiron from the US, the inspiration behind Michelle Obama's White House vegetable garden and founder of Kitchen Gardeners International.
Commenting on the programme launch for Harvest today in Waterford, Festival Chairperson, Anne Marie Caulfield said,
“We are delighted to announce details for the fifth year of the Harvest Festival. Last year over 50,000 attendees came to the city during the Festival and we are confident that this year’s diverse & exciting programme will attract many more. Harvest Waterford is always a celebration of great Irish food and we’re particularly proud to showcase the culinary range & expertise of the region which makes this Ireland’s largest food festival’.
Festival-goers of all ages can also enjoy a traditional harvest celebration. We have everything from a ‘Revival of Forgotten Skills’ workshop to a Tea-dance, a Threshing display and a real Farm which will be positioned in the centre of our ancient city”.
Festival highlights include the Festival opening on Monday, September 10 with cookery demonstrations in the City Centre and a Curry war! Other highlights will include the National Young Butcher Competition, a Good Food Ireland Showcase, Artisan Beer Festival & BBQ and ‘Sunday Best’ - the largest open-air food market in Ireland which will see Waterford’s South Quays and John Robert’s Square transformed into a giant market place.
The annual GIY Gathering which will take place during Harvest brings together some of the world's leading experts and advocates on home-grown and local food from Ireland, the UK, US and New Zealand. The event will bring together up to 400 people from around Ireland for a two-day festival of learning about growing your own food in Ireland’s oldest city.
According to its founder Michael Kelly “It will appeal to novice and expert growers alike and includes approximately 30 talks, debates, demos, workshops, forages, Q&A sessions and much more.”
Commenting at the launch Gary Breen, Failte Ireland said, "We are delighted to support the Harvest Festival in Waterford, Ireland's biggest food festival. Food plays an invaluable role in driving tourism in Ireland, we are a nation abound with the highest quality fresh produce and festivals like the Harvest festival carry this ethos. Last year the Harvest attracted no less than 50,000 visitors and judging by the wide and varied programme unveiled today, we are sure it will be an even greater success this year."
The city will be in festival mode from September 10 to 16 with events on offer for all the family. For a full programme of events see waterfordharvestfestival.ie
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
In you are in Athy this sunny morning for the ploughing, or indeed for any day of the event, I’ll bet you won't easily pass the stand of Amandine Confectionery.
This Dungarvan based company makes delicious French style cakes of all shapes and sizes and all are tempting, especially the succulent Pear & Almond and Lemon Meringue Tarts that have been shortlisted for the 2011 Irish Food Awards in Dingle at the end of the month.
But you don’t have to go to Athy to get your hands on these sweet things. Amandine has a permanent stand in the mall at the Mahon Point Shopping Centre and also at the City Square Shopping Centre in Waterford. The products are also available in Dungarvan (in (Dunnes Stores and Twomey’s Eurospar in Abbeyside) and in Midleton (Hurley's SuperValu).
Claire O'Connor is a busy person and, aside from the Ploughing Championships, you see her at various food festivals in the southern half of the country – I met here most recently at Midleton. Claire is from France, from the Var department in the region of Provence. She was educated at the Ecole superieure de commerce de Montpellier and now lives in Dungarvan
Claire, a follower of Munster rubgy, has brought a real taste of France to Ireland, her delicious selection of artisan confectionery includes cakes, tartlets, birthday and photocakes and more. Why not have a look at her Facebook page .