Showing posts with label Badger and Dodo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Badger and Dodo. Show all posts

Monday, June 4, 2018

One Hundred and Twenty Top Artisan Products in the Bakestone Pantry. No Wonder Neil is over the Moon

One 120 Top Artisan Products in the Bakestone Pantry.
No Wonder Neil is over the Moon.
Shannen and Neil

Neil is excited when he starts telling me about the new Pantry at Bakestone in the Botanic Home and Garden Centre at the Fota Retail Park near Carrigtwohill in East Cork. And with good reasons: one hundred and twenty of them. Yes 120 top quality artisan products are stocked here, displayed ever so neatly by Neil (who started this new facility here about two months ago) and by Shannen. 

The come from everywhere on the island: butter from Abernethys in County Down, mushroom products from Ballyhoura on the Cork-Limerick border, fresh strawberries from Bushy's in West Cork, cheese from nearby Ballinrostig, jams from Donegal, Blackcastle drinks from County Wicklow, patés and more from On the Pig's Back in Cork City, and so much more.

And then he points to Bakestone’s own products. We’ve all known for quite some time that the Bakestone kitchen can come up with the goods in the café but now that expertise is being packaged and displayed in the Pantry. “Like any any pantry worth its name, we have jams and marmalades. All made over there in the kitchen.”

And then he shows me their own 12 hour slow-roasted Tomato ketchup and the Sriracha Sauce developed just in time for the BBQ season. And there’s also a coffee rub, which creates a delicious crust on the meat and locks in the juices. That coffee based rub is so new it hasn't got a label yet. And those labels are well designed by Coolgrey, as are all the labels here.

Neil has been busy sourcing local products and while local means Irish (he has Filligan’s jams from Donegal) he also has products from very close to their Cobh Cross/Carrigtwohill base. Take the honey for instance. “That’s Youghal honey,” Neil proudly tells me. “Robert Anthony is doing great work there on behalf of the native black bees.”

And also from Youghal comes the HOLO Kombucha, proudly organic and certified by IOFGA, the drink is the brainchild of Youghal brewers and twin brothers Padraig & Adrian Hyde whose Munster Brewery in the town is already well-known.

The Kombucha and Kefirs displayed in the Pantry are an effort to steer people away from the big-name sugar loaded soft drinks. No added sugar, for instance, in the bottles from Dublin’s King of Kefirs, including a couple of interesting combinations: lemongrass and ginger, cucumber, mint and thyme!

But don’t worry, Neil has some alcoholic drinks here also, almost all recent entrants to the market, including Móinéir Irish Fruit Wines from Wicklow, Mead from Kinsale, and those innovative drinks from nearby Killahora Orchards.
Chocolate from Carrigaline by O'Conaill

There is also has a sweet and dessert section, everything from the delicious Wilkies chocolate to the traditional hard boiled sweets by Shandon Sweets in the heart of the city. And biscuits also, including those classy ones from Lismore Food Company, delicious and beautifully packaged and ideal as gifts. I just noticed that one of the varieties is now available in a Gluten Free version.

Coffee is a big deal here. Not surprisingly, since Neil has worked with Badger and Dodo. He is chuffed that one famous Irish-Australian loves the Pantry coffee and always pops in here for a cuppa and a discussion whenever she is home. Neil and Shannen try to help people with their coffee choices, just a little practical info, nothing too overwhelming. But, if you do wish to take it to a higher level, help is at hand here as they do run Barista Courses.
Biscuits from Lismore

They also serve coffee in the Pantry and that helps take the pressure off the queue in the cafe itself and you’ll probably see that developed a bit further in the coming months. Neil took us over to the café and stood us lunch. An excellent quiche and a couple of salads did the trick and, by the way, the salad leaves come from Derek at the Greenfield Farm a few miles away in Knockraha.

Speaking of a few miles away reminds me to mention that Bakestone have taken over the Café in Fota House for the summer months. I’m a reasonably regular visitor here to the gardens and now I have another excuse to visit.
Wild Irish Foragers

Bakestone will be offering visitors locally sourced produce and the best of each season, and they will be serving produce from the Victorian Working Garden at Fota House. They will be serving a wide variety of fabulous eats every day and promise some exciting food events in the near future.
Quiche for lunch

Fota house themselves have a number of theatrical events lined up for the season including A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream on July 20th. Bakestone will be supplementing these with a series of music events. Tickets for the very first of the “LIVE AT FOTA HOUSE” gigs featuring Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill with special guests Swedish trio Väsen on Thursday 14th June are on sale now via the Bakestone Facebook page.

So there you are. Thanks to Neil and Shannen and others behind the scenes, there is quite a buzz and a good deal of momentum at Bakestone these days. Be sure to call in to the pantry anytime you’re passing along the N25; take the Cobh exit and you’ll be back on your journey and well fed or well stocked up or both in no time at all. 

Friday, January 31, 2014

Finger Licking Lunch at Bakestone Café

Bakestone Café and Deli
Finger Licking Lunch
Bakestone is the bright and busy Café and Deli in the Ballyseedy Home and Garden Centre at Cobh Cross. Made a visit there this week and enjoyed a lovely lunch. They also serve breakfast.

Not the biggest of menus. Three specials featured on the board and you could also choose from various quiches and other tarts. I was there at 12.30pm and picked the Meatballs Focaccia. Minutes later, it was crossed off the board.
No wonder it is popular. The full description is Toasted Focaccia bread with pork and herb meatballs, roast onion and cheese, with a chorizo and pepper tomato sauce served with mixed leaves, all for €9.95.

Loved every little bit of it. The meatballs were excellent and the sauce was a flavoursome treat and the fresh salad was much more than a few leaves tossed together. The bread was a pleasant surprise. I'm often wary where I see bread given main billing as some places use it as a filling. But not here. It was well made and, toasted, it was a tasty integral part of the dish. Recommended. Recommend you get there early also!

Ali Honour is the chef here and her declared passion is “creating tempting dishes half healthy and half naughty”. So now it was time to be bold. Gave into the temptation of her Cherry Tiffin slice (2.50) and also ordered a flat white (2.80). Both were splendid even if the cake was almost melting on the table. It was just about ten degrees outside but it must have close to thirty inside the glass, the unhindered sun making it uncomfortable. Not a bad complaint for this time of year!

I had made a late afternoon visit here a few weeks back but was disappointed to be told that the kitchens close at 3.00pm. But is was a good time to try some of those half naughty bits! Coffee, by the way, comes via the excellent, and local, Badger and Dodo.
The cafe is part of a big shop area where Meadows and Byrne (home), Farrell and Browne (knitwear), and Ballyseedy themselves (home, artisan food store and garden centre) do business.

Ballyseedy Home & Garden Centre, Fota Retail Park, Carrigtwohill, Co. Cork

(021) 438 9001
Mon - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Enjoying Great Coffees in 2012


It has been a bright start to 2012 on the coffee front with some brilliant stuff passing through the Cafetiere, including top cups from Sumatra, Guatemala and Ecuador.

The long established Dublin company Robert Roberts  are my regular supplier, via their Coffee Connoisseur Club, and I started the year with their Sumatra Wahana. The Wahana Estate sits between 1300 and 1500 metres above sea level, higher than Carrantuohill, and Roberts say it is ideal for this type of coffee.

You get a decent amount of technical info from Roberts including the fact that this is known as a “parchment” coffee. Part of the process is carried out with the green seed with the parchment shell attached. In any event, it is an excellent drink, bold and fruity. Gareth Scully recommended it with milk. I tried it but preferred it black, as always!

Fermoy roasters Badger and Dodo  have been making waves in the coffee world in recent months and you’ll find their products at some markets (including Douglas on Saturdays) and also in Curious Wines (Kinsale Road) and at Bradley’s in North Main Street,

I picked up a pack of their beans in Bradley’s and there was a tempting aroma in the kitchen as I ground down the Guatemala Finca La Perla. They source from quality single origin estates and the website is worth a visit, not just for the coffees but also for the equipment.

Must say, I was really impressed with the La Perla, a very clean cup with a delicate but satisfying mouthfeel. A tempting introduction to the range that I will explore further.

The high standard continued with the latest delivery from Robert Roberts: Ecuadorian Las Tolas, a light and sweet variety. Gareth Scully says that Ecuadorian coffees are not the most complex in the world “but they have that Central American classic cup taste profile – medium bodied with a hint of sweetness and a light floral background note”.

Must say I don’t pick of half the hints of this and notes of that that the coffee blenders talk about but I’ll also say that I am thoroughly enjoying this one. And looking forward to the next one.

Perhaps Badger and Dodo have a point that the equipment you use may help you appreciate more the finer points.