Showing posts with label GastroGays. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GastroGays. Show all posts

Thursday, March 10, 2022

PADDY Irish Whiskey releases new premium blend ‘PADDY’S SHARE’ at The Shelbourne Bar.

 PADDY Irish Whiskey releases new premium blend

 ‘PADDY’S SHARE’ at The Shelbourne Bar

A big welcome for Paddy's Share at The Shelbourne!

PADDY Irish Whiskey has unveiled the latest addition to its award-winning range of whiskeys, PADDY’S SHARE. A triple-distilled premium blend Irish Whiskey, PADDY’S SHARE was created to capture an extraordinary moment in time with its bold charred wood character and nutty distinctiveness that will inspire whiskey enthusiasts and dabblers alike. 

PADDY’S SHARE was officially launched within its county of origin, nestled in the heart of Cork’s famed Victorian Quarter, in The Shelbourne Bar.  The PADDY’S SHARE Trinity Tasting, led by George Roberts, was an immersive experience for guests as they soaked up the history and culture of PADDY Irish Whiskey and sampled a selection of the brand’s award-winning whiskeys including new addition to the family, PADDY’S SHARE.

George Roberts and Siobhan Costello of Hi-Spirits. And Paddy, of course!

Commenting on the launch, George Roberts, Country Manager for Hi-Spirits Ireland said, 

We are thrilled to introduce PADDY’S SHARE to the Irish market. The premium Irish Whiskey sector has grown by 2.2% from 2019 to 2020 and is expected to continue. PADDY’S SHARE brings a new flavour to the table with its mild and distinctively nutty charred wood character of pot still, grain and malt.”

“We are delighted to have such an esteemed group of Irish Whiskey lovers here with us. Tastings are such a vital part of the Irish Whiskey community, and as we all share a dram here tonight, we can see the inspiration behind this release as we celebrate in the true gregarious fashion of Paddy Flaherty, the man himself.”

PADDY’S SHARE is available now in Ireland and can be purchased through hotels, bars and specialist independent retailers nationwide.

For further information follow PADDY @PaddyWhiskeyIreland on Instagram and @PaddyIrishWhiskeyIreland on Facebook.

(press release above)


Rory McGee, the wizard behind the bar at The Shelbourne.

Very enjoyable session in MacCurtain Street on Tuesday night. The Shelbourne was buzzing and greeted us with platefuls of tasty canapés and behind the bar their ace

Rory McGee kept the whiskey, the cocktails and the Beamish flowing. Great to meet Rory. Johnnie, from The Sky and The Ground in Wexford, who knows his whiskey well, was just the man to have at your table.

George Roberts had an enviable task in making himself heard but no better man to explain the Paddy Trinity. Haven't had the original Paddy in quite a while but enjoyed making its acquaintance again, starting with those spicy and honeyed aromas.

Next up was the Paddy Centenary, issued in 2013. This special once-off release was introduced to celebrate 100 years of the famous brand, with the packaging, recipe and even spelling harking back to the time when Paddy Flaherty was selling Cork Distillers' whisky around the country. Quite a treat then on a Tuesday night!

And then came the new one, the Paddy's Share. I found myself making friends straightaway with this easy-drinking blend of pot still, grain and malt. It is triple distilled in Midleton and matured in sherry barrels. ABV is 47%. Perfectly balanced with a smooth slightly sweet palate and a lingering finish.

Sazerac, a privately held American company, has owned the Paddy brand since 2016 when it was purchased from Irish Distillers. It is still produced at the Midleton distillery and is currently the fourth largest selling Irish whiskey in the world.

Pictured at the event are Rory Mcgee and Philip Gillivan, both of The Shelbourne with George Roberts, Country Manager, Hi-Spirits.

Friday, May 14, 2021

Blasta Books are changing the way that cookbooks are published

 Blasta Books are changing the way that cookbooks are published in order to make more room at the table

Lily Ramirez-Foran

Kickstarter campaign is launched today

 Louth-based Kristin Jensen has been a freelance editor and food writer for 20 years, specialising in cookbooks and recipes and working with Ireland’s best-known chefs and authors. After two decades working in book publishing, she knows that traditional cookbooks – the kind with 100 recipes, 250 pages and sumptuous styling and photography – are incredibly expensive to produce. But what this often means is that only the most high-profile people and the most mainstream topics or trends tend to get published. Many voices and many parts of our food culture in Ireland are just not being represented.

‘I was convinced that there had to be another way,’ Kristin says, ‘one that enables more voices to be heard and more niches, topics and cuisines to be explored – and that puts more fun and experimentation back in the kitchen and on the table.’

How are Blasta Books different from other cookbooks?

‘Blasta Books are to cookbooks what street food is to restaurants,’ Kristin says. ‘They give people a fun, accessible and affordable way to eat exciting food.’

The first two books will be launched via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that starts today, with the aim of increasing that number to four per year to be a quarterly periodical. 

Chewing the fat! The Gastro Gays

Each book will be a hardcover, 72-page A5 cookbook illustrated by Dublin artist Nicky Hooper. They are all standalone small books, but as a collectible series they will also provide a more inclusive snapshot of Ireland’s modern and diverse food culture, from tacos to tapas, spice bags to sushi. They are little books with big voices.

Kristin says, ‘There are two things that connect absolutely everyone: food and stories. More people need to be able to share their food and by extension their story, which is why Blasta Books aims to prioritise new, previously unpublished voices.’ 


The Kickstarter campaign

The Blasta Books series will be launched through a Kickstarter campaign that goes live on today Friday, 14 May. 

The €25,000 goal will fund the first two full-colour, 72-page, A5 hardcover books. The authors for books #3 and #4 are also already lined up and ready to go, so if the target is exceeded and enough funds are raised to cover the launch of all four books in the first year, then one book will be released every quarter throughout 2022.

‘We're starting with little more than an appetite and a big idea,’ says Kristin. ‘The feast is nearly ready. Now we need you to pull up a chair and join us.’

The website is – join the mailing list for updates on Blasta Books.

Instagram @blastabooks

Twitter @blastabooks

 press release

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Viking Feast at Walsh's Bakehouse. Gastro Gays Demo Scandi Skills

Viking Feast  at Walsh's Bakehouse
GastroGays Demo Scandi Skills

It wasn't the best of days as we drove to Waterford last Saturday but the perfect antidote was waiting for us in the shape of a Viking Feast at Walsh’s Bakehouse. 
Dermot Walsh welcomes one and all

After a warm welcome at the door, we were in for an eye-opener: tables already laid out with colourful inviting food. “Sit where you like”, invited Avril and so we did, eagerly.

We resisted temptation during the short speeches by Michael and Dermot Walsh. The GastroGays, Patrick and Russell, who were the brains and the cooks behind the feast were introduced. All the while, that food was untouched!

Russell (left) and Patrick

And then, wisely perhaps, the signal to eat was given, the demos could wait! And we were off on the first of seven “courses”, the Gastro version of Gravadlax: Irish salmon cured the Scandinavian way (lemon, dill, beetroot) with a Blackwater Gin twist. Raw grated beetroot gave the fish an extra colour, Patrick told us during the later demo.

The platters were now moving up and down the tables, our plates filling. The Köttbullar, Swedish meatballs with Lingonberry Jam, were well appreciated. “These are iconic in Sweden, every family has its recipe”.

Every now and then something extra, including plates of salads, was introduced to the table. Janssons Frestelse was perhaps the most tempting. It isn’t called Janssons Temptation for nothing, this creamy potato, onion and pickled sprats bake.

Walsh make a series of Blaas, including a mini and this was the vehicle for Skagenröra or Toast Skagen, the not so little breads topped with shrimp. Delicious.
Hot Dog, Nordic style, with onions two way (soft and crisp)

Walsh also make a terrific brioche and that was put to good use in the Pølser or Pylsur. These are favourites at the Danish Pølsevogn (food trucks) and the GastroGays take on Hot Dogs, Nordic style, was yet another winner. As were those eye catching Knekkebrød, open crispbread sandwiches.

By now, the generous offerings of the first phase had been dispatched and the plates and cutlery were cleared away. Coffee, supplied by Coffee House Lane, was being poured. Dawn Meats and local brewery Metalman (with a special limited edition Blaager) also contributed to the excellent event.   

Mini Blaa with shrimp

While all this was going on, Patrick and Russell were doing a few demos and explaining some of what we had already eaten.  They also showed us how they preserve red onions and courgettes (they prefer these to the usual cucumber) in brine. 

The whole lunch-time experience was quite an eye-opener into how ideas in food can cross from one culture to another, how we can learn from other countries to make the best of what we have, how we can preserve and cut down on wastage. And have a good time while doing so. Big thanks to Russell and Patrick for bringing and spreading the message and the techniques.

And they were ready for the grand finalé, the unique Semblaa! In Sweden, in the run up to Lent, they gorge themselves on Semla buns. And, now in an exclusive collaboration between Walsh’s and GastroGays, we had the sweetest finish, a Waterford take on the Swedish classic, the Semblaa, packed to the detached (and then reattached) top with almond cream, more cream, all over jam, all under a coating of sugar enthusiastically applied by Russell. Munchious!

And there was one for everyone in the audience. Actually two for everyone as we all got one on the way out. The Walsh’s are a generous family indeed and it was great to meet them and their lovely staff. And thanks a million to Avril, who looks after Sale and Marketing, for the invitation.

The Semblaa Sensation!

Note on the Blaa
Over the centuries, there has been something of a religious twist in the story of the Blaa with both the Huguenots and later Christian Brothers involved. It is still something of a religion in Waterford with between ten and twelve thousand Blaas eaten each day.

In 2013, the Waterford Blaa Bakers Association succeeded in getting PGI designation for the Waterford Blaa. PGI *** stands for Protected Geographical Indication, which essentially means that only Blaas made by specialist bakers in Waterford city and county can be called Blaas. This guarantees an authentic heritage product, based on the traditional methods and the unique skills of the bakers. Waterford Blaas are now supplied by traditional family bakers operating since the 1800’s. The same time honoured recipe has been handed down from generation to generation.

Red onion in brine