Dublin Beekeepers’ Association to host Dublin Honey Show on 8th November

The Dublin Honey Show, the highlight of the beekeeper’s calendar, will be held on Saturday 8th November 2014 at Christ Church, Rathgar. As well as competitions for beekeepers there will be best quality natural Co Dublin honey for sale, free lectures, a craft fair and refreshments.

The County Dublin Beekeepers’ Association is one of the largest and oldest beekeepers’ associations in Ireland. It runs a popular beekeeping beginners’ course every year and hosts a number of activities for members.

The Dublin Honey Show is the highlight in the Dublin beekeeper’s calendar. Beekeepers compete for awards for different honeys, wax, mead, cakes, candles and other hive products.

  • At 12:00 noon, senior Dublin beekeeper Keith Pierce will give a talk on ‘Beginning with bees’. This will prove an excellent introduction to the craft for aspiring beekeepers.
  • At 2pm, ecologist and former TD Mary White will speak on the topic ‘Bees Work for Man but Does Man Work for Bees?’

The day will also include an Artisan Craft Fair in the hall where you can come any buy your Christmas gifts.

The Dublin Honey Show runs from from 10:30am to 4pm on Saturday 8th November and the entry charge on the door of only €2 goes to their chosen charity, the Royal Hospital Donnybrook.

For more see: www.dublinbees.org

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Specially Signed copies of Celebrity Cookbooks go under the hammer for Charity

Mark Bevin, Head Chef at the Maldron Hotel, is hosting a really unique charity event this Friday night, the 17th October, at the Europa Hotel in Belfast – a Charity Cookbook Auction!

The Charity Cookbook Auction is to raise funds for the Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership charity (NIRDP) and Mark has received hundreds of donations of specially signed copies of Cookbooks from Celebrity Chefs, Bloggers and TV Cooks from all over the UK and Ireland!

Mark Bevin, Head Chef at the Maldron, who has organised the Charity Cook Book Sale

“The whole idea started when I asked head chef Noel McMeel at County Fermanagh’s Lough Erne Resort, to send me a couple of copies of his new book signed for a special book auction I was planning,” said Mark.

Chef Noel McMeel from Lough Erne Resort

“Noel arrived at the hotel and handed me two signed copies. I was so taken back by the generosity of the man I decided to ask Twitter followers to help gather some more and the flood gates just opened up!”

Neven Maguire’s MacNean Restaurant Cookbook

The charity NIRDP are a not-for-profit organisation, bringing together those living with a rare disease and organisations representing them: clinicians and other health professionals; researchers and producers of specialist medicines and equipment; health policy makers and academics.

Marcus Wareing, currently Chef Patron of Marcus in Knightsbridge

The NIRDP work with similar bodies all over the Uk and Ireland including Genetic and Rare Disorders Organisation (GRDO).

Katy McGuinness with Pat Whelan, The Irish Beef Book

Mark has called in the help of his many friends over the last few months to build up a staggering collection of books for the charity auction and his catering collegues rallied around, calling in favours from chefs, bloggers, food critics, butchers, bakers and just about every other realm of the celebrity kitchen and restaurant!

Atul Kochhar’s Atul’s Curries of the World

Signed cookbooks from chefs Will Torrent, Atul Kochhar, Marcus Waring, Richard Corrigan,  Michael Roux Jr, Noel McMeel, Nigel Slater, Ching He Chuang, Theo Randall, Gok Wan, Tony Singh & Cyrus Todiwala and Mark Hix and many others, are up for auction on the night.

Derry Clarke’s Keeping it Simple

Chefs Peter Clifford, Neven Maguire, Ross Lewis, Derry Clarke, Kevin Dundon,  Conrad Gallagher, Catherine Fulvio, Gary O Hanlon, Paul Flynn, Rozanne Stevens, Domini Kemp, Edward Hayden, Clodagh McKenna and more, have all pitched in with signed copies of their cookbooks for the charity auction.

Jean Christophe Novelli’s Simply Novelli

Others who signed special editions of their cookbooks include TV Chefs Ed Baines, Franck Pontais, Jay Rayner, Antonio Carluccio, Tom Kerridge and Jean Christophe Novelli.

Paul Callaghan’s Calso Cooks

Bloggers, butchers and food writers who have their cookbooks in the auction include Cathriona Redmond, Susan Jane White, Sheila Kiely, Paul Callaghan, Sharon Hearne Smith, Lily Higgins, Rosanne Hewitt Cromwell, Fiona Dillon, Pat Whelan & Katy McGuinness.

Chef Mark is simply thrilled with the response saying, “People have been very generous and in the last two weeks more specially signed cookbooks keep arriving at the hotel every day! It should be a great night.”

Will Torrent author of Patisseire at Home

The Charity Cookbook Auction  takes place this Friday night, the 17th October, at the Europa Hotel in Belfast at 8pm. Get up there and help out while having a great night out!

If you want to help out, in any way, you can contact Chef Mark Bevin on Twitter at @Robuchon1

Great idea Mark, best of Success!


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The Tasty Tart Cookery School to Host a Craft Beer and Food Pairing Demonstration

On Saturday 8 November at 7pm, Tara Walker, owner of The Tasty Tart Cookery School in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth, will team up with food writer Kristin Jensen to host a craft beer and food pairing demonstration.

Kristin is a freelance editor and writer and has worked with many of Ireland’s top food writers and chefs. She has just released a book with Caroline Hennessy called Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider, published by New Island.

Tara Walker with Kristin Jensen,
co-author of “Slainte – The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider”

“The interest in craft beer has grown steadily over the last few years and I have noticed students at my cookery school asking about it quite a lot and wanting to know more,” said Tara Walker. “I wanted to introduce a craft beer and food demonstration that informs people on what beers to drink and what foods to accompany them. There is no one better than Kristin on the subject of craft beer and we are really excited about doing this demonstration together.”

Kristin will provide attendees with information on her picks of some of the best Irish craft beers available while Tara will cook several dishes to complement the beers. Attendees will enjoy a meal and a few glasses of beer and will leave with a recipe pack and some beer and food matching tips that they can try out at home.

Tara Walker learned about food from a very early age from her father who worked in the restaurant business. She attended cookery courses at Ballymaloe and Fairyhouse Cookery School. It was there she realised how much she would love to teach cooking. Tara left the family business to study professionally at the world famous Cordon Bleu in Paris to hone her cookery skills. Finally she completed a stage at the Michelin starred Chapter One restaurant in Dublin.

Tara with students at her “Tasty Tart Cookery School”
In 2010 Tara opened “The Tasty Tart” which is located in Termonfeckin in Co.Louth. The Tasty Tart offers a wide range of cookery classes which include “Foods of North Africa and the Middle East”, “Healthy, Wholesome and Hasty Cooking” and “A Taste of Asia- Thailand & Vietnam”. Classes can be hands on or demo only but either way participants get a chance to sit down, enjoy the dishes prepared and have a chat and a bit of fun! Tara also has a regular TV slot on The Late Lunch on TV3 and writes for various magazines and newspapers.
The cost of the Craft Beer and Food Pairing Demonstration is €45 per person.
For bookings contact Tara at The Tasty Tart, Sandpit, Termonfeckin, Co Louth.
Mobile: 087 98 93871 – email: tara@thetastytart.com and check out her website at www.thetastytart.ie
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Free Farmhouse Cheese events for October Month of Cheese 2014

This October, for the second year in succession, Bord Bia and the Discover Farmhouse Cheese campaign, will host up to 200 free farmhouse cheese events across the country for October Month of Cheese. It’s a great chance to learn about Irish Cheese, try new types, experience new flavours and textures, pair with craft beers, whiskey or wine and pick of lots of top tips from seasonality to storage.

Throughout the month, retailers across Ireland, big and small, as well as farmers markets and farm shops, restaurants and gastro pubs will host events and tastings, inviting consumers to try a huge variety of styles from the 50 farmhouse cheesemakers in Ireland. Over the month of October, the Discover Farmhouse Cheese campaign aims to boost the trial of farmhouse cheese and get more Irish consumers to taste and discover the huge variety of cheese available on the Irish market.

Speaking about October Month of Farmhouse Cheese, Eimear O’Donnell, Consumer Dairy Sector Manager, Bord Bia said: “Last year was the first year of October Month of Farmhouse Cheese and it was a great success, with events taking place throughout the country. This October, we will have almost 200 events for consumers to choose from and we are really excited about making this year even bigger and better.”

“From our recent survey into our cheese-eating habits, we found we are still quite conservative with our choice of cheese. All the activity and sampling around October Month of Cheese gives consumers a great opportunity to find a new variety that they love. Farmhouse cheeses are truly one of the most bespoke, hand-made foods in the entire world!”

Discover Farmhouse Cheese also organise a number of free farm visits – allowing the public to go meet the maker, see the farm where it is produced and learn the story behind the cheese.  Visit one of the farms and experience cheese-making first-hand, from the individual milk and dairy herds, the small batches and commitment to taste and quality, the maturing and dedication to making some of the finest artisan products.

Discover Farmhouse Cheese is an EU co-financed information and promotional campaign.  It is part of a three country, three year campaign in which Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany are working to increase the consumption of farmhouse cheese with consumers in those markets.

Farm visits are free to attend but you must book your place online.
For more information on events and sampling during October Month of Farmhouse Cheese, farm visits and farmhouse cheese, visit www.discoverfarmhousecheese.ie, check out Facebook for details www.facebook.com/discoverfarmhousecheese or follow them on Twitter on @Cheese_IE.


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Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer shows strong Tourism growth for 2014

74% of Irish tourism businesses are upbeat about their 2014 performance with business sentiment at a level not seen since 2007 according to the latest Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer which was published today.

The Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer is a survey of tourism businesses designed to provide insight into tourism performance for the year to date and prospects for the remainder of the season or coming year. It has been conducted regularly since 1999.

The survey of tourism businesses was carried out during August and September. The recovery in the tourism industry is now apparent across Ireland with all regions reporting strong increases on last year.

50% of restaurants report an increase in tourism custom on 2013. Overseas business is very strong, with 72% reporting an increase in customers. This is very positive news, as restaurants were hit particularly hard during the financial crisis. Dublin, which has been leading the recovery in tourism fortunes, continues to perform strongly and the South West has enjoyed an exceptional performance this year with 84% reporting business to be up on 2013.

The continued development and promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way is reaping benefits for the tourism industry in the west of Ireland. Around half (47%) in the West cite the Wild Atlantic Way as a positive, as do 43% in both the North West and the South West and 43% in the Shannon region. Comparatively only 6% in the South East, 4% in Dublin and 3% in the East and Midlands report the Wild Atlantic Way as a positive!

Shaun Quinn CEO of Fáilte Ireland

Commenting on today’s research, Shaun Quinn CEO of Fáilte Ireland said: “For now, tourism is back but this has been a very hard won recovery. It has taken a mixture of sacrifice and innovation by many operators – as well as far-sighted Government support for the sector – to make Ireland a competitive destination again. Fáilte Ireland initiatives such as ‘The Gathering’ and ‘The Wild Atlantic way’ have also strengthened our hand as we pitch for visitors from overseas.”

He added, “The danger now for tourism would be to allow complacency to creep back in. To sustain this year’s growth, we need to remain competitive, build on our appeal and continue to aggressively target those segments of our markets with the most potential”.

There is positivity among Hoteliers where own-marketing is the most mentioned positive factor, followed by repeat visitors. Irish people holidaying in Ireland is also cited as a positive factor by over half of hotels. Some hotels also cite that the retention of the 9% VAT rate is positively affecting their business this year while concerns over fuel and energy costs remain. Low-priced NAMA-owned competition was cited as bad for business and other operating costs remain significant issues for some in the industry.

Other points to note from today’s Failte Ireland survey of tourism businesses include:

• A strong majority (79%) of accommodation providers report an increase in visitor volumes so far this year, compared to the same period last year.

• As in previous years, hotels remain the strongest sector with 82% reporting an increase in visitors. However, 2014 has also proved to be a good year for guesthouses with 69% report increased visitors and B&Bs up by 60%.

• The overseas market has provided sharp increases for restaurants with 72% reporting their overseas visitor volumes to be up on 2013.

• So far this year, Germany, North America and to some extent Great Britain are becoming stronger markets and many also report greater volumes and spending within the domestic market.

• For those on the west coast, the Wild Atlantic Way continues to draw visitors and is strongly appreciated by operators along the route for helping develop new tourism businesses.

• For those not along the west coast they are keen to see something similar closer to their operations.

• Decent summers and signs of improved economies in Ireland and overseas are seeing operators becoming more optimistic, with some beginning to reinvest in their own products.

Read the full Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer report HERE


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Solis Lough Eske Donegal Food & Wine Festival Evening 5th October

Lough Eske Castle, is a five-star castle hotel located on a secluded lakeside estate just outside Donegal Town. It has a rich history dating back to the 1400s being associated with the O’Donnell Clan, one of the leading ancient clans in Donegal.

On the 5th October the Solis Lough Eske Castle again host their annual Food & Wine Festival and this is a unique way to experience the food and wine from the northwest and Donegal. Local food producers and wine suppliers will showcase their products and talents in an evening packed full of vareity of food and beverages.

Each food producer takes over a hotel room to showcase their own products and the guests explore the gastonomic delicacies of the region as they journey throughout the amazing interior of the 17th century castle.
The evening includes an impressive banquet of culinary delights from the hotels Culinary team who are joined for the day by some of Donegal’s renowned local Chefs from other local hotels and restaurants. Included in the day are exquisite wines from around the globe and some special Craft Beers by Donegal producers.

The Lough Eske Food & Wine Festival Evening kicks off with a cocktail reception at 7pm and Stations will be set up around the lobby lounge, Red & Green Rooms, Oak Bar and cedars restaurant offering Food and Beverages. Guests meander through the Castle finding a progression of Starter dishes, Soups, Meats, Poultry, Fish, Desserts, Cheese and Tea/Coffee on the route.
The main Kitchen will be showcasing two Local Eateries as the chefs all team up to provide local foods paired with local Donegal Craft Beers and the evening finishes with local musicians in the Gallery Bar.
The event €60pp including all food and beverage offerings.
Bookings in advance are essential and to make your reservation please contact (074) 97 25100
or Email: reservations.lougheske@solishotels.com (Book a Table of 10 and get 1 Free Ticket).
For more see: www.solislougheskecastle.ie  or their Facebook page HERE
You can Follow the Solis Lough Eske Hotel on Twitter on @SolisLoughEske
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Seafood in September this weekend in County Clare

Carrigaholt, in Co Clare, is one of the destination points on the Wild Atlantic Way and is a classic example of a traditional Irish fishing village. It is a perfect setting for a Celebration of Irish Seafood, on The Loop Head Peninsula. This beautiful location has been well recognised of late, winning the Irish Times Best Place to holiday last year and being named as finalist in Ireland’s Foodietowns 2014.

Every September the village celebrates its long history with the sea, with this “Seafood in September” food festival. The festival began as a gathering of local people at the end of a busy summer season but has grown into something that attracts tourist’s interested in seafood and a friendly atmosphere.

Irish Food writers and publishers, John and Sally McKenna, will open the festival

This year their Special Guests for the festival are John and Sally McKenna of the McKenna Guides, they will spend the weekend with us and will take part in many of the events such as the guided food trail and launch the festival with a Shellfish and Craft Beer night in the award winning Long Dock Restaurant. Sally McKenna will be signing copies of her book “Extreme Greens” on the Sunday of the festival as part of the food and craft fair.

There is nothing like the thrill of catching your first couple of Mackerel

Friday 19th September: 

Evening Mackerel Trip with Luke Aston of Fishandstay.com – boat departing from Carrigaholt outside pier 6pm. Price €25pp – fishing equipment included. Trip weather dependent contact 0876367544.

Cook Your own Catch in the Long Dock Restaurant – Bring in your catch after the trip and have it cooked and served with a choice of sides for only €10.

Festival Launch with John and Sally McKenna at 7pm followed by a Shellfish and Craft Beer party Price €30pp. Booking essential. Messy fun guaranteed. Crackers and bibs included.

Guided Foraging Walks on Saturday

Saturday 20th September: 

Guided Food Loopers Food Trail Meeting at Carrigaholt Outside Pier car park at 12am, come hungry. booking 0864099624, €25pp. Exploring the hidden gems which helped Loop Head to the finals of the Top 10 Foodie Towns in Ireland. Sample some tasty seafood treats at Sealyons Seafood and enjoy a filleting lesson from the experts. A trip to Brid Hettermans market garden Rahona roots. Tea and cake at Glencarrig Farmhouse bakery. Wild food foraging with the Long Way Round Guided walks.

Dolphinwatch Seafood Cruise – time to be confirmed. Dolphin and Nature Boat trip including delicious seafood supper served with a glass of wine. €60pp, €100 per couple. Booking essential contact 0659058156 Gala Seafood Buffet – arrive at the Long Dock to enjoy a bountiful display of fish and shellfish. The Gala buffet is always a fantastic event. Booking is essential 0659058106 Price €50pp (alternative menu available).

Sunday 21st September: 

Artisan Food and Craft Fair in Carrigaholt village 10am-4pm – Over 20 local stall holders will be attending with a range of locally produced crafts and delicious home made food. John and Sally McKenna will be signing copies of their books “Where to eat and stay on the Wild Atlantic Way” and “Extreme Greens – Understanding Seaweed”.

Cooking Demonstrations and Talks 11am – 4pm

Cooking demonstrations by members of Loop Head Food Circle throughout the day. Talks and demos include Local Seaweed and their uses, developing your Market Garden, Seafood Preparation and fish Filleting!

For more information see: www.facebook.com/seafoodinseptember and www.loophead.ie


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