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The "Just Ask" Restaurant for the Month of June is Good Things café in Skibbereen

The Bordbia Just Ask restaurant of the month for June goes to Good Things café at Dillon’s Corner, Skibbereen, Co. Cork.

Carmel Somers, Owner & Chef at The Good Things Café, Skibbereen, Cork
Good Things is the creation of chef, boss and mother extraordinaire, Carmel Somers, a passionate chef who cooks simple, fresh and tasty food.

“Good ingredients make good food", says owner Carmel Somers, owner & chef at Good Things café. "Therefore, at Good Things we make a priority of locally sourcing the best ingredients possible. In essence, whatever we cook, we like to ensure it’s something we would like to eat. Not only do our customers eat our food but also our staff, our family and our friends, therefore, we do our utmost to provide truly good food".

Their fresh meat is supplied by local butcher, William Walsh and Dave Louks of Sheehymore Free Range Farm supplies their chicken and eggs.

Fish and seafood are sourced from The Fish Station in Skibbereen and Ted Browne of De Brun Iasc Teo in Dingle. Additional suppliers include Sally Barnes of Woodcock Smokery for her smoked fish and the Ferguson family of Gubbeen Farmhouse for their Gubbeen cheeses and cured meats.

The Kingstons of Glenilen Farm are the suppliers for all their country butter, creme fraiche, clotted cream and yoghurts. Local fruit & vegetable suppliers include Steve and Aly of Grá Farm, Radical Roots of Bandon, grower Phil Walsh, Gubbeen Greens from Gubbeen House Gardens and Tim York of Lisheen Organics in Skibbereen.

Carmel also runs a successful Cookery School which continues with their tradition of cooking honest tasty good things to eat. For more details visit their website at or call +353 (0)28 51948. (pics @GoodThingsCafe )

Bord Bia’s Just Ask initiative was established in 2009 to recognise restaurants across the country that demonstrate best practice both in sourcing local produce, and profiling suppliers on their menus. Listing the local farmers and businesses involved with bringing a menu together can enhance the experience for diners and promotes better engagement with the farm to fork journey.

To date, there have been over 65 winners, selected by food writer Georgina Campbell in collaboration with Bord Bia. Each month, a Restaurant of the Month is selected for an eatery that exemplifies the principles of the campaign. A leading restaurant is chosen for the annual Restaurant of the Year award and Good Things cafe actually won the Restaurant of the Year 2017 at an award ceremony last September.


A Very Fast Soda Bread Pizza!

Summer time, gardens, children, friends, Barbeques & Pizza are some the main ingredients for a great day with the family! 

Pizza is so easy to make but some people are put off by the thought of getting the yeast, proving the dough and all that. So here is a simple soda bread dough that you can make in five minutes and the cooking of the pizza then takes another 10 minutes!

This is based on a traditional Irish white Soda Scone Bread with a wee twist and it works perfectly every time.

My ingredients:
For the dough -makes two 10” pizzas
800g plain white flour
½ tspn baking powder
A few twists of ground black pepper
A few twists of ground sea salt
½ tspn mixed Herbs
½ tspn finely chopped garlic
2 tbls olive or rapeseed oil
400ml cold water (approx)

You can buy Pizza Trays fairly cheap, in any hardware or discount shop.

My Method:
Heat your oven to 180ºC.
  1. Put all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir with a whisk to mix well. Add the oil and stir.
  2. Now add ¾ of the cold water and with your hand pull the mix into a dough. Add a little more water if you need to. When the dough comes together in the centre dust it with a little flour and turn it out onto your table.
  3. Cut in half and roll out into two thin circles the size of your pizza trays. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove, turn them over and leave aside in the trays.
For the topping
1x jar of Tomato Bolognaise Sauce
Thinly sliced peppers, Salami, onions, olives, bacon or any other topping of your choice
Chopped fresh Basil
150g grated Mozzarella cheese
Grated Irish Cheddar or Goats cheese

My Method:
Spread the sauce on the half-baked pizza base. Place your sliced meats, vegetables & herbs on top and finish with the grated mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Pop into the oven for another 6-8 minutes and serve immediately.

Experiment with toppings like prawns and cheese sauce, potato slices and chorizo, vegetables of all kinds sliced very thin, bacon and blue cheese or anything else you like!


The Deadline for Foodie Destinations 2017 Applications is July 13th

The deadline is approaching for entries to the  Foodie Destinations 2017 organised by the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI). This competition celebrates the best of  Ireland’s unique and wonderful food offerings and encourages local food tourism initiatives across the country. 

If your town, village, suburb or region believes you have a unique food tourism offering and would like to apply, head over to where you'll find the entry criteria and the application form. 

The Foodie Destinations 2017 winner will be a destination that actively promotes itself through joint promotional activities such as food festivals, gourmet trails or farmers’ markets as well as great dining experiences for locals and visitors alike. They will have established a local producer/supplier network which is utilised and promoted by local businesses. 

Plans for future growth and investment into the food and hospitality industry at a local level will also be taken into consideration by Foodie Destinations judges. Education, training, development and employment will be key components of the ultimate food Foodie Destination and collaboration is of utmost importance - they want to see communities working towards a common foodie goal.

This year the RAI welcome FBD Insurance as their official sponsor. John Reade, Head of Business Insurance at FBD Insurance has this to say: “For 50 years FBD Insurance has been proud to support local community initiatives and as Ireland's only indigenous Insurer we are delighted to see so many communities developing their own food culture offerings and contributing to the wonderfully diverse food culture in Ireland.”

The Boyne Valley was the winner of the 2016 Foodie Destination competition and it had successfully pitched itself as a region "synonymous with heritage and lush green landscape" with a concentrated effort on the marketing and growth of their fabulous artisan producers from Ireland’s only garlic farm, heritage potatoes, blue goats cheese to rapeseed oils.

The deadline for 2017 applications is 12 noon, Thursday 13th of July.

All final applications must be submitted online here at :

Follow the competition on Twitter @FoodieDest and hashtag #FoodieDestinations and check out the dedicated website

For all queries contact Emma at the RAI on +353 (1) 677 9901 or


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The Irish Food Guide Blog includes news, foodie chat, recipes, award results, links and other general information on the Food & Tourism Industry in Ireland.

It is written & curated by Zack Gallagher, Donegal Town, Co Donegal, Ireland.

“My Blog is a slice of the Irish Food ‘Network’. I’m a Chef with over 27 years experience and also have a background in media. I’m passionate about Irish Food Tourism and I believe that a rising tide really can lift all boats!”

Supporting Irish Food created by passionate producers and encouraging the Irish food & hospitality industry to use modern social media methods to increase their business.

Zack is building an all-Ireland Food Tourism network to assist Tour Operators bringing guests into Ireland to connect easily with artisan Irish food producers, so as they can experience the provenance and personality behind our Irish food Visit

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