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For Café Europe - a cultural initiative held as part of Austria’s EU presidency in 2006 – Ireland offered scones, and France offered the Madeleine. While very different products, scones and Madeleines have some things in common – flour, sugar, butter, and social ambition.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche


The New World basil will be sweet and tart and plentiful… it will brighten my sauces and sing in my salads and if we’re ever sad I’ll pass a spring under our noses, we’ll be cured. Listen, Leda, there are bound to be demons…. if they ever arrive at your house, use basil. Eat it. Smell it. Cover bad things with it. Dip a sprig in water and sprinkle it in every corner, and sing a song, any song, the happier the better, so the evil eye will go away.  Continue reading »

It’s that time of year when our thoughts, well mine anyway, turn to what we’re going to whip up in the kitchen over the festive season. Last year I put together some of my favourite festive recipes, and my wonderfully clever son, Jack, brought them together to create a mini Christmas eBook.  Continue reading »

This classic recipe is one of my absolute favourites when I want to treat myself. If you ask me, this is the perfect way to cook a steak but everyone has their own preference when it comes to how they like it done. Choose the best steaks you can afford and try and make sure that they have been aged. It makes all the difference.  Continue reading »

Trish Deseine, an Irishwoman living in France, has come home.  After many years writing about food in French including her sublime book “Je Veux du Chocolat”, having children and immersing herself in all things French, it was time for a change.  Trish has written a tribute to the often unappreciated and underrated food of Ireland.  Continue reading »

Lustau Dinner at BallymaloeSherry with every course. Of Course!

Paco, Scott and Manolo

Jerez came to Ballymaloe on Wednesday night and Lustau oenologist, Manolo Lozano, who has been named “Best Fortified Winemaker of the Year seven years in a row by the International Wine Challenge of London” brought some delicious wines with him and they were well matched by Ballymaloe chef Scott Walsh.  Continue reading »

Hard graft

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

It’s quite a few months since Rye River announced they were making two new beers especially for Dunnes. “Easy,” I thought, “I’ll just swing by Dunnes and pick some up.” And I did the first bit, several times, but on each occasion the cupboard was bare. Only just a few weeks ago, in Henry Street, did I finally succeed. Dunnes has got quite good in recent years at providing well-chosen Irish beers at highly competitive prices.  Continue reading »

White Across The World
Chardonnay-Riesling-Gruner Veltliner

El Grano Chardonnay 2013 (Chile), 13.5%, €14.30 Le Caveau
Sun, the snow capped Andes, and the Pacific Ocean have all influenced the character of this El Grano Chardonnay. So too has the French father and son winemaking team of Denis and Gregoire Duveau. Chile is their Pays de Rêves, their country of dreams, and their organic wines are known for their very pleasant roundness.

Colour is quite a pale gold.  Continue reading »

GOOD NEWS!! FRESH is now available for worldwide delivery right here on my website! So many of you got in touch from all over the world (which is crazy!) asking when it would be available so I’m delighted that you can order a copy to wherever in the world you are. If you’re hoping to have it before Christmas, final postal dates for parcels below.  Continue reading »

The Sea Gardener

Interest in seaweed rising

Marie, busy at her market stall

Amazing how seaweed, so long out of the Irish diet, has made such a comeback in recent years.
Now the natural produce of the seashore is being used in all kinds of things. Samphire is everywhere there’s fish. Fenn’s Quay chef Kate Lawlor uses Carrigeen Moss in a dessert. I’ve eaten Nori crisps in West Cork. You may buy Nori Bake from Galway company Connemara Food Ventures.  Continue reading »

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Taste of the Week
Elbow Lane Meeting House, Vienna Lager 5.4%, Bradley’s of North Main Street

Elbow Lane may have “breached” the German Beer Purity law here but when that extra ingredient is love, well it is easy to forgive! And this Vienna Lager, a collaborative effort with the famed Bradley’s of North Main Street, is a winner, copper in colour, rich in flavour, well balanced and with a pleasant smoothness all through. It is a seasonal offering, brewed for the festival on the horizon.  Continue reading »

When the colder months roll around, I find myself moving away from fresh, vibrant salads and starting to crave comfort food. There’s something about the winter months that leaves me wanting soup, stews and all kinds of cosy dishes. This doesn’t always have to be the way though. When it’s freezing cold outside, why not warm up with some proper sunshine food instead?  Continue reading »


A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

I’m looking at some German beers today, ones that are a little, but not too much, outside of the normal run of things for brewers there.
Störtebeker Atlantik-Ale offers no explanation as regards a style, only that it’s 5.1% ABV and brewed with a mix of German and American hops. It pours out a pale hazy yellow with a big fluffy head, looking for all the world like a witbier. The smell isn’t far off either, with lots of fresh lemons and a hint of herbs too.  Continue reading »

Firstly I’m sorry these shopping tips weren’t published yesterday. As you probably know by now, I broke my wrist a few weeks ago, and I’m in a cast for a while. They might not be as detailed as you are used to, or there may be typos; I’m using dictation software to get my work done and it’s not the most reliable.
This week it’s a special shopping tips as I’m ditching the fresh fruit and vegetable options for one week only.  Continue reading »

Riedel at the Grainstore
The Glass that Surprises

A rather special decanter.

Maximilian Riedel, representing the 11th generation of the Austrian glass-making firm, says Riedel are always up for a challenge. He was speaking during last Thursday’s comparative wine tasting event in the Grainstore at Ballymaloe House.

And Maximilian found a new challenge during his brief visit to East Cork. He enjoyed a tour of the local Irish Distillers facility.  Continue reading »

The bi-annual O’Briens wine fair was held recently in the Mansion House Dublin, and for the first time, in the Clarion Hotel Cork. It’s a great way to taste some of the hundreds of wines sold by O’Briens as well as meeting the producers, who man the stands and are only too happy to talk you through their wines. 

As Christmas is starting to draw ever near, I’ve selected six of my favourites from the tasting.  Continue reading »

Irish Food Companies Honoured at Bord Bia Awards 
~ Bord Bia Food & Drink Awards 2015 ~
@Bordbia #BordBiaAwards

Pictured are Michael Carey, Chairman, Bord Bia (left) and Simon Coveney TD, Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (right) with Tim Ryan and Eoin Doyle from  Glanbia’s Avonmore Supermilk, Ireland’s leading milk brand, which was named the Branding Award winner. For more details on the winners, see www.bordbia.ie/awards .  Continue reading »

A.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche


When .. Revlon….sponsored a Folk Sound program on CBS in 1960…..Variety’s television critic summed it up as “the kind of folk music I associate with far-out Bohemian types. I mean the kind who wear leather thong sandals and entertain you after dinner (a casserole of garlic bulbs and goats hearts, stewed in a bad wine) with their scratchy old recordings of blues songs by Leadbelly and Blind Willie Johnson.”

from Dylan Goes Electric by Elijah Wald (2015).  Continue reading »