Showing posts with label General. Show all posts
Showing posts with label General. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


The importance of diversity in Food Plants and Animals

Have you heard of the Lumper potato? Probably not, but it was the variety of potato, apparently the only variety (a prodigious one), grown in Ireland in the years immediately before the famine. If we then had more varieties, the famine may have been avoided or at least may not have been as serious.

"A crisis is looming: To feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production. Yet crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough, and climate change and new diseases threaten the limited varieties we’ve come to depend on for food. Luckily we still have the seeds and breeds to ensure our future food supply—but we must take steps to save them."
This paragraph is taken from National Geographic Magazine which has highlighted the looming problem in a brilliant article in its July Issue: How Heirloom Seeds Can Save the World. If you can't get your hands on the magazine, you can get some of the same info here. Lack of diversity in our "food" animals is also attracting the same kind of attention.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


 Government moves in right direction for the Irish restaurant sector in crisis.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland today welcomed the many positive measures in the jobs initiative and the decisive way in which the government has moved to support the tourism sector, boost confidence and get people back to work
 The Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI), representing some 700 restaurants with over 63,000 employees in the restaurant sector, welcomed the jobs initiatives announced today to assist revitalise the tourism sector.
 Vat reduction from 13.5% to 9%
Brian Fallon, President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said “Many of the initiatives announced today will have a positive impact on the Irish Tourism Industry. The cut in vat by 4.5%  will provide a significant boost to the tourism and hospitality sectors. It is a sensible approach to have a meaningful VAT reduction of a targeted nature, rather than a very small cut spread more thinly. I will instruct my members to pass the VAT reduction on to consumers from 1 July 2011 in line with the introduction of the new VAT rate. The tourism sector can make a substantial contribution to our economic recovery.

Joint Labour Committees
Brian Fallon also said “the Irish Restaurant Sector will create 4000 new jobs if Joint Labour Committees are Abolished. The absence of a government decision on the outcome of the independent review of ERO and REA wage setting mechanisms is disappointing and needs to be taken as a matter of great urgency.”
 Air Travel Tax reduction to €0
 We also welcome the plans the abolishing of the €3 travel tax. The reduction of the air travel tax to €0 will further enhance Ireland’s offering. The airlines must also play their part in making Ireland as attractive a destination as possible for overseas tourists.”

Lower PRSI rate 
The Restaurants Association of Ireland also welcome the 50% reduction in the lower PRSI rate from 8.5% to 4.25% on jobs paying up to €356 per week with effect from 1 July 2011.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


WHERE TO EAT is the website of the Restaurants Association of Ireland and quite a handy one.

Home Page highlights Special Offers, Latest reviews, and a Featured Restaurant.
Tabs here also for Gift Cards, Events, Places to Stay, Recipes and Cookery Schools.

I had a run through and there is quite a lot behind the various tabs. Take the Recipes for instance. Here you can find everything from Rhubarb Crumble to Beef Wellington, dozens of good ideas and all suited to the local scene.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Are you passionate about food and love to cook? Do you constantly impress your friends and family with your culinary skills? Are you an amateur cook with amazing talent? If so, you might have what it takes impress our judges, Nick Munier and Dylan McGrath to become Ireland’s first ever MasterChef Champion!
Don’t miss out, APPLY NOW for the chance to win the coveted title of Ireland’s first MasterChef Champion and a cash prize of €25,000!          
For further information and to apply go to:

Application deadline is 27th April 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Mr Brian Fallon, Restaurateur, Fallons of Kildare is the newly elected President of the Restaurants Association of Ireland. With over 20 years experience in the restaurant sector, Mr Fallon  is the 16th President of the Association and his term will be for two years. His father Frank Fallon also served as President over 20 years ago.
He succeeds Mr Paul Cadden. The Restaurants Association of Ireland  is the premier representative body in Ireland, and the national organisation representing over 600 restaurants employing over 64,000 people.
During his presidency, Mr Fallon  plans to

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The Luncheon by Caroline McCarthy
Click to enlarge
Appetising? Maybe not! Find out more at

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Easter Ideas all on one page!

Thanks to Diana Moutsopoulos,  Editor of, we have this handy dedicated 'Easter guide' this year, with loads of ideas from how to make chocolate eggs to Easter cupcakes and roast lamb.

Win loads of luxury chocolate!
Diana Moutsopoulos  Editor of AllRecipes: “We just launched a competition with The Chocolate Trading Co., with 21 chances to win! Just submit a recipe to enter. All those who enter get 15% off their next Chocolate Trading Co. purchase, too!” has just launched its Clodagh McKenna Big Deal offering. With the Big Deal coupon service, consumers can buy coupons at significantly discounted prices. Clodagh is offering 36% off a selection of €140 courses at the Village of Lyons Estate. Essentially you can buy any 1 of 4 day courses for €90 instead of €140. Offer ends April 4th 2011. More details can be found on the link below.

  •  Treyvaud's is a restaurant in the middle of Killarney. They have been out in the national park  recently hunting for Wild Garlic – “It's everywhere and so tasty. Watch this and you'll know what to look for if you are out walking around forests or rivers. Its around for the next few weeks and I'll have some cooking videos up soon just to show you exactly what can be done with it. Enjoy.”

·         Recipe 1: Moroccan Spiced Orange Cake

A simple but nice rhubarb compote 
1 bunch of rhubarb washed & chopped 
75g castor sugar 
2 oranges juiced 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put in a pot and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or until rhubarb has softened 
Its yummy with custard !

Monday, March 28, 2011


“Best County Restaurants and Chefs in Connaught to be announced tonight .”

The Connaught Regional Event for The  SANTA RITA Irish Restaurant Awards will take place tonight Monday 28th March 2011 at 7.30pm in The House Hotel, Spanish Parade, Galway
County Winners in the following categories across the province will be announced
Best Chef
Best Restaurant
Best Gastro Pub
Best Hotel Restaurant
Best Customer Service
Best Wine Experience.
The event will begin with a prosecco, wine and light finger food reception, for over 200 guests. Also in attendance will be local food producers with tasting stalls for guests

Linnalla Ice Cream:
Killary Harbour Mussels:
Smokehouse:       Cheese: of Athenry:
Since their inception, the Irish Restaurant Awards have cast a spotlight on Irelands hottest restaurants and chefs.
They have become a byword for quality, class and achievement… The awards everyone wants to win. As a testament to their success, the entries have doubled since last year, with 6,000 nominations made for Ireland’s favourite Restaurants, Chefs, Gastro Pubs, Hotel Restaurants and Local Food Heroes throughout the Country.
We celebrate the award winning cuisines and the great restaurateurs and chefs who have brought international recognition and accolades to the Irish restaurant scene.  We are the economic engine rooms in every town in Ireland, creating and maintaining much needed local employment.  Our industry has annual sales in excess of €2 billion and we employ 64,000 people.  In fact, we are the largest employer within the Irish Tourism Sector’  Paul Cadden, President, The Restaurants Association of Ireland.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Restaurants Association of Ireland announce its line-up for Annual Conference

Restaurants Association of Ireland announce its line-up for Annual Conference

Gibson Hotel, Point Village, Dublin 1

Tuesday, 12th April 2011.

The Restaurants Association of Ireland announce the line-up for the 2011 annual general meeting, taking place in the Gibson Hotel, Dublin on April 12th.

This year’s theme is “Brand Ireland, it’s in our hands” and Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive for the Restaurants Association of Ireland states that it is very important that we should focus in on the year ahead and drive as much business as possible into the restaurants using tourism as a vehicle for the economy.

We have a superb line-up  of speakers including the

The guest speakers are:

  • Cyril McAree, Conference Chair.
  • Norah Casey
  • David McKernan
  • Bill Cullen
  • Damien Mulley
  • Fionn Davenport
  • Linda Leonie Prager

The speakers for the annual general meeting are as follows:

  • Cyril McAree

Cyril McAree is the founder and publisher of Hotel & Restaurant Times. Established in 1998, the magazine is now considered an essential read for those involved in the hospitality sector. The publication is circulated bi-monthly, on a controlled circulation basis to named individuals. The magazine has an exclusive agreement with both the RAI and the IHI to feature member specific content, including newsletters. Hotel and Restaurant Times is circulated on a named basis to members of the Irish Hotel Federation; Fáilte Ireland Approved Hotels, Irish Country Houses and Restaurants, Catering Management Association, Hotel marketing groups, selected Architects and Interior Designers and can also be sourced in leading newsagents. Cyril is also a founding partner of the SMILE Hotel Marketing Conference and more recently was appointed to the Irish board of HSMAI (Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International).

  • Bill Cullen

Bill Cullen is a successful entrepreneur. Listed as one of Ireland’s top 100 businessmen. Bill was born in the inner city tenements of Dublin. One of fourteen children whose mother, Mary Darcy was a fruit seller, Bill was selling on the streets from the age of six. Bill went on to set up his own motor business, which became the biggest Ford dealership in Ireland. In 1986 he took over the troubled Renault Car Distribution franchise from Waterford Crystal. His turnaround of that company is a business success story well chronicled in his memoirs “It’s A Long Way From Penny Apples”. Of course, he is better known today as the boss of The Apprentice.

  • Linda Leonie Prager

Linda Prager started her studies in business administration in Zurich, after which she worked for several years at a Zurich-based consulting company. The decision to obtain her Master’s degree at the Ecole hoteliere de Lausanne was made following a prolonged period of time abroad in the United States. In 2008, she spearheaded the opening of mixed-use, multi-concept property in the north part of Switzerland. The company she currently manages with her mother, prager. gastronomie SA, includes a classic fine-dining venue as well as the trendy and popular concept restaurant, “Güterhof” which has come to be very well known in Switzerland. Linda continues to come up with innovative events and ideas for her company, and stays on top of restaurant and hospitality trends. It is no surprise that she comes from a lineage of hospitality professionals, as her grandfather was the founder of Mövenpick.

  • Damien Mulley

Damien is from Cork and asks this to be mentioned at the start of every bio. He is also in a 5 year battle with Damien Rice, Damien Dempsey and Damien The Omen to be first for his name on Google. Everything else he does, so he says, comes after that. He runs Mulley Communications, has a client base of multinationals to one person operations and is obsessed with food. He is known to rise people on Twitter by taking pics of great dishes and tweeting them out marked with the tag #foodporn. When he’s not winding people up online he works with his clients to design online marketing plans and/or designs ways for them to get attention and do something with it. Damien can’t cook but has the vernacular of one.

  • Fionn Davenport

Fionn Davenport has been a travel writer for 20 years, writing about far-flung places for the likes of Lonely Planet, Fodor’s Travel Publications and a host of travel magazines. He’s also devoted an enormous amount of words to his own country, which he critiques as only someone in love with a place can. You can hear him dispense travel advice every Tuesday on George Hook’s The Right Hook programme on Newstalk 106, as well as hosting his own show, Davenport After Dark, every Thursday at 10pm.

  • Norah Casey

Norah Casey is CEO (and owner) of Harmonia, Ireland’s largest magazine company printing over four million magazines annually for the Irish, British and US market. Harmonia’s stable includes strong women’s brands: Irish Tatler, U, Woman’s Way and; and specialist titles like Food&Wine, Auto Ireland and Ireland of the Welcomes (aimed at the Irish Diaspora with over 80,000 USA-based subscribers). She is a member of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, the London-based Women’s Irish Network and The International Women’s Forum. She was awarded The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Award for 2007/8 and has won The Publisher of the Year Award in 2006, 2007 & 2008. Most recently Norah has been announced as the newest Dragon in the Irish version of Dragons Den.

  • David McKernan

Entrepreneur and Founder of Java Republic Roasting Company
David McKernan culminated the world’s first purpose-built carbon-neutral coffee roastery and brand house 16 years ago known as Java Republic. Recently recognised as one of the most ethical coffee companies in Europe by its industry peers, they give 11% of nett profits to coffee growing communities to help develop micro-businesses so that the coffee farmer is not reliant solely on coffee for his livelihood. Education and enterprise form part of the philosophy too as the company has teamed up with Focus Ireland and the Fingal Enterprise board to challenge students to raise funds for a local charity whilst learning about business. David’s forthright manner will get you thinking and motivate you to look at life, your business and your vision.

Full Conference Details:

Monday, February 21, 2011

YR SAUCE. Ask yer mammy. Ask yer granny. Might be worth a €1,000.00!

Calling all foodies!

A little something to brighten up your Monday we hope! YR are on the look out for the best recipe involving YR original sauce with €1,000 to the winning dish! All you have to do is post your favourite original recipe using YR to their facebook page - ideally upload a photo as well. A highly experienced tasting committee here in Dublin will choose the winner. Closing date end of March '11. You’d be mad not to throw your chef’s hat in the ring!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


West Cork’s Charlie Costello (@charliecostello), restaurant owner and hotel manager, is never short of an idea or two and lately he has been thinking about expanding the interaction of food and wine people on twitter, especially producers and suppliers.

“What about meeting up with your tweeting suppliers. We could feature their food & wines.” 

Just been wondering what form this could take. And duration? 

Perhaps, it could it start off with a tasting night? Something like that evening when launched their service in the English Market. Should it take place in a restaurant with the menu for the night drawn from the suppliers?

Should it be a weekend festival? There are so many suppliers in the Cork area that I suspect more than one restaurant might be needed. Hold the event in a town or area, like Clonakilty for example, where there is a cluster of restaurants. First course here, second course there, dessert over there. Maybe erect a marquee?

I know there are some very enjoyable food events around the city and county but don’t we need a really grand showcase? One that would draw the punters in from near and far, especially now that the reputation of Irish food is so high.

Any ideas out there?  Here is a link to some American food and wine festivals. Have a look and let us have your comments in the facility below or via twitter!

Thanks to @ Jacqueline Stedman, via Twitter, you can see how they do it in one part of Australia here

Friday, January 14, 2011



Seems to be the time of year for making lists: top 10, best 20. Let us be different here and go for the top 31. Simply because I like prime numbers and 31 is one of my favourites. A prime number can only be divided by itself and one, as you all know. So what is my number one? Well, overall that would Augustine's. In the county, it is Nautilus.

I have been to all 31 (and others) over the past 12 months and have been happy enough with the result. Huge differences, of course, in styles and comfort over the range but I'd have no problem in going back to any of them. The list below is alphabetical.

Just be aware also that there are some really good ones that I haven't been to in 2010, notably Les Gourmandises and Cafe Paradiso which would certainly merit places in any top list. Must also try and get out to the county more next year, to Kinsale, Midleton and Clonakilty for example, even if I'll have to cut the wine! Had noted Over the Moon in Skibbereen last year but that unfortunately has ceased to operate.

Control and click on the names below for reviews and further info.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Good Food Ireland has 30 members businesses selling their own artisan food produce at the Craft Fair in the RDS which started yesterday and runs till Sunday. With the extreme weather conditions I am asking if you could spread the word to anyone living in the local area and it is safe for them to travel to the RDS to please go and support and meet these amazing local food heroes, the people behind these indigenous food businesses.

They have travelled from the four corners of Ireland from as far away as Lisdoonvarna, Kanturk and  Enniskillen and selling at this show which would normally be a huge sales platform and key calendar event, is integral to their continued survival in this current environment.

The Craft Fair is the sharpest, hippest and most wonderful event in Irish gift shopping. Customers will feast their eyes on a huge range of local Irish produce, the perfect Christmas shopping. Of course not only is the show about Good Food Ireland businesses there are fabulous Craft producers there too so overall it is really well worth the trip.

Monday, November 15, 2010



Dine in Cork Well may be officially over but you can still have your three course meal plus tea or coffee for €25.00. Washington’s Liberty Grill is the place to go. They have decided to keep the offer open for the rest of the month.

Twenty five euro will get you six courses at Augustine’s. This is their regular tasting menu (fantastic). But do hurry as it will be taken off before Christmas (though it will be re-installed early in the New Year).

If twenty five euro is your target spend, then check out the early bird offers. Quite a few of them are at or near that figure, e.g. The Cornstore  and Jacques . If you want to see more, check the restaurant websites or get your hands on Whazon magazine or check their website here

Milano's  are combining a good value Christmas menu with fund-raising for Oxfam and offer Intro, Starter, Main Course and Dessert all for €25.95 with a donation going to Oxfam’s goat-herd fund.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Restaurants Association of Ireland Pre Budget 2011 submission

Adrian Cummins
Chief Executive Officer
The Restaurants Association of Ireland

For full details of today's pre-budget submission click here

Monday, November 1, 2010


Mark your calendar ‘Evening Echo Dine In Cork-Restaurant Week’ running from Friday 5th  November to Sunday 14th November

What’s On Offer In Restaurants?

Devised by the Restaurants Association of Ireland ‘Dine In Cork-Restaurant Week’ will see over 25 of the city’s top restaurants offering a special promotional rate of €25 per person for traditional three course dinner menus with tea and coffee – representing a 20% saving on traditional prices! From 7.00pm each evening customers will be presented with a three course special ‘Dine in Cork’ menu.
To see the menus and reservation details click here

Friday, October 29, 2010


 Leading chefs Rachel Allen and Andrew Rudd are holding an exclusive cooking demonstration to help support Concern’s work with women in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Haiti. 

Don’t miss out

The event will take place at The Metropole Hotel, Cork on Thursday 4 November at 7pm. Tickets cost €40 each and all proceeds will support vulnerable women in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Haiti through Women of Concern. Tickets are selling out fast so book early to avoid disappointment.

Book now

Get your ticket here. Or you can email or Alternatively, call 01 417 7700.