Click here to visit our Irish Food Tours website

IrishFoodTours.ie - Arranging Food Tourism Visits to Artisan Food Producers all over Ireland for Tour Operators

Share This Story

Irish Chef warns about Salt usage after having Health Scare

Irish chef and cook book author Brian McDermott, who teaches community groups across Ireland how to cook healthily, today warned of the dangers of excess salt in the Irish diet as a new World Health Organisation (WHO) in Europe report entitled “Mapping salt reduction initiatives in the WHO European Region” is published.

Brian, aged 35 from Donegal, a chef for many years, who runs the communitychef.ie website is urging people in Ireland to reduce their salt intake to 5g per day (the equivalent of about one teaspoon) in order to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. He believes that in Ireland we use far too much salt, not only on our meals but we also consume foods which contain hidden salt.

Community Chef Brian McDermott is urging people to cut down on their salt usage

His comments come as WHO/Europe published this week a report entitled “Mapping salt reduction initiatives in the WHO European Region”- an overview of current initiatives in European countries. Several countries have already reaped significant results from measures including food and product labelling, consumer education, updating of national dietary guidelines and negotiating with food manufacturers to reduce the salt content in processed foods. 

Brian's warning to the public to reduce their intake of salt follows a health scare a few years ago when, after 17 years of working as a professional chef, he had to quit work suddenly because of severely blocked arteries and dangerous levels of blood pressure and cholesterol.


Reduce your salt intake to 1 teaspoon (5g) per day

According to Brian, citing the WHO research “By reducing salt intake to less than 5 g per day (the equivalent of about 1 teaspoon) it is possible to reduce the risk of stroke by 23% and the rate of cardiovascular disease by 17%. The daily intake of most people in the WHO European Region is about 8–11 g, far above the recommended level. But many people don’t realise how many foods contain hidden salt and that you should not gauge your intake by the amount of table salt you use." 


Mapping salt reduction initiatives in the WHO European Region
published this week by the World Health Organisation

He says that the latest report from the WHO shows that 80% of salt intake in the European Union comes from processed foods such as cheese, bread and ready meals. "Many people consume far more salt than they realize, with negative results for their blood pressure and general cardiovascular health. This is why you need to check the salt levels on the labels of all processed foods." he added.



According to the World Health Organisation the High Salt/High Risk foods which contain hidden salt are bread, meat products, cheese, ready meals, soup, breakfast cereals, fish products, crisps and savoury snacks, catering meals, restaurant meals, sauces, condiments and spices and processed potato products.

Brian says he will continue to promote awareness on keeping salt intake to a minimum. Through his cookery classes and demonstrations, people can learn how to take simple steps to reduce their risk of high blood pressure, stroke & cholesterol.




"By eating a balance diet, reducing salt intake to less than 5g a day, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, reducing levels of alcohol consumption and stress you can live a longer, better life," says Brian. "I believe my problems were all down to stress and diet. It's amazing how a few simple adjustments in your life can make you feel so much better.” 

Follow Brian on twitter @communitychef and to find out more check out www.communitychef.ie


Zack

WIN an IPad Mini with Knorr Create More Sauces

Challenge Knorr's Chef "Versatile Steve" and be in for a chance to WIN an IPad Mini!



The Challenge Steve competition was set up to celebrate the launch of Knorr’s two new ‘Ridiculously Versatile’ sauces as part of its popular Knorr Create More Concentrated Sauce range: Knorr Create More Spicy Tomato Concentrated Sauce and Knorr Create More Tomato & Basil Concentrated Sauce.


Knorr Create More rangeKnorr Create More rangeKnorr Create More range
The Knorr Create More range

Steve is asking chefs to log on to the Knorr Create More website and YouTube channel to challenge him to use the sauces in an innovative and creative way. He will record his favourite challenges for the YouTube channel, while the ten best challenges will win an Apple iPad mini.


Can you think of a Ridiculous Challenge for Steve the Chef?

By logging on to the Knorr Create More website and the dedicated Knorr Create More YouTube channel, chefs can see the Knorr’s Ambassador of Versatility, Steve, demonstrate different ways of using the recently launched Knorr Create More Spicy Tomato Concentrated Sauce and Knorr Create More Tomato & Basil Concentrated Sauce in their cooking

Knorr say that for use hot or cold, in pasta, pizza, soups, bread, curries, the options for using these ridiculously versatile sauces are endless.

Knorr has a limited number of full-size Knorr Create More Concentrated Sauce samples to give away. To request one, just log on to the Knorr Create More website, www.knorrcreatemore.ie, and follow the onscreen instructions.

To Enter go to:
http://www.unileverfoodsolutions.ie/professional-ingredi/create-more/challenge-steve


I received a free sample of these sauces to try out and must say their Tomato & Basil is pretty good. I also entered the competition and challenged Steve to rub the sauce all over a Dancing Pole and try to Pole Dance on it then!

Zack

Results and Links to the Munster Winners of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2013


The MUNSTER Regional Final of the Santa Rita/ LIFE Magazine Irish Restaurant Awards 2013 took place in The Imperial Hotel, Cork City last night and the chosen top restaurants in the region were named.

The Munster region covers the six counties of Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Waterford & Tipperary.

Over 350 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Munster turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.


In their fifth year now, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to go from strength to strength. Each year, the awards cast a spotlight on the brightest and best players on the Irish restaurant scene. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the awards everyone wants to win.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Adrian Cummins, CEO Restaurant Association of Ireland, said: "We celebrate the award winning cuisines and the great restaurateurs and chefs who are constantly bringing international recognition and accolades to the Irish restaurant scene."

He continued, "Restaurateurs are entrepreneurs, and that is reflected in the fact that the restaurant sector is the biggest employer within the hospitality industry. We provide employment to 64,000 people and the industry has annual sales in excess of €2 billion - tonight, everyone is a winner."

This year the nominations went online for the first time and they got a spectacular response from the public, nominations doubled and they received over 10,000 votes for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro-pubs, hotel restaurants and customer service experiences.



Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Kids Size Me, sponsored by Heinz, Engaging With The Gathering, sponsored by Tourism Ireland and Best Just Ask! Menu, sponsored by Bord Bia.

All County winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 10th June, 2013.

There are 3 components to phase two of the process and each element is independently assessed by KPMG. They are:

1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Prism Consulting headed by Hugo Arnold, independent food writer and consultant. All County Winners receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of April and May.

2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in May to Judge the County Winners.

3. Menu Judging (10%) All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging.


Voting in the Industry categories commenced on April 4th. Voting in these categories is exclusive to Restaurants Association of Ireland members only, with members competing for: Best Club Restaurant, Best Seafood Experience, Best World Cuisine, Best Newcomer, Best Café, Most Innovative Restaurant, Best Restaurant Design, Best Cocktail Experience, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Cookery School, Best Supplier & Best Digital Marketing.

The winners of the Industry Categories will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 10th June, 2013. Tickets are priced at €130 for the All-Ireland Event and can be bought directly from Sinead at the Restaurants Association of Ireland on (01) 677 9901 or sinead@rai.ie.

And the MUNSTER Regional Awards went to:

Best Customer Service
Clare- Noel's Restaurant, Bunratty Manor Hotel
Cork - Castle Hotel
Kerry - Ballygarry House Hotel
Limerick - Market Place Brasserie
Waterford - Bodega
Tipperary - Larkins Bar & Restaurant

Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Faustino
Clare- J P Clarkes
Cork - The Elm Tree
Kerry - The Bridge Bar
Limerick - Bobby Byrne's Bar
Waterford - Merrys Bar & Restaurant
Tipperary - The Derg Inn

Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Joseph Drouhin
Clare - L'Arco Restaurant
Cork - House Cafe Cork
Kerry - Sol Y Sombra Tapas Bar
Limerick - La Cucina
Waterford - The Copper Hen
Tipperary - Chez Hans

Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by Pallas Foods
Clare- Earl of Thomond Restaurant, Drumoland Castle
Cork - Ballymaloe House
Kerry - The Malton Hotel
Limerick - The Mustard Seed at Echo Lodge
Waterford - The Munster Room, Waterford Castle
Tipperary - The Old Convent

Best Chef – Sponsored by Tipperary Water
Clare- David McCann, Drumoland Castle
Cork - Denis Cotter, Cafe Paradiso
Kerry - Simon Regan, Hotel Europe
Limerick - Tom Flavin, Limerick Strand Hotel
Waterford - Paul Flynn, The Tannery
Tipperary - Dermot Gannon, The Old Convent

Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Santa Rita
Clare- Wild Honey Inn
Cork - Jacques Restaurant
Kerry - The Global Village
Limerick - The Cornstore Restaurant
Waterford - The Tannery
Tipperary - Chez Hans


Best Wine Experience - Sponsored by Thomas Barton
Hayfield Manor, Cork

Best Kids Size Me - Sponsored by Heinz
Cornstore Restaurant, Cork

Engaging with The Gathering Award – Sponsored by Tourism Ireland
Paddy's Bar & Restaurant, Terryglass, Tipperary
Just Ask! Award – Sponsored by Bord Bia
White Sage Restaurant, Limerick

For More information and Tickets for the Finals Event see http://www.irishrestaurantawards.com and follow the #FoodOscars hashtag on Twitter.

Zack

Results of the Ulster Finals of the Irish Restaurant Awards 2013

The ULSTER Regional Final of the Santa Rita/ LIFE Magazine Irish Restaurant Awards 2013 took place in The Merchant Hotel, Belfast, last night and the chosen top restaurants in the region were named.

The Ulster region covers the six counties in Northern Ireland: Antrim, Armagh, Down, Derry, Fermanagh and Tyrone & three counties in the Republic: Cavan, Monaghan & Donegal.

Over 250 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Ulster turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.


In their fifth year now, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to go from strength to strength. Each year, the awards cast a spotlight on the brightest and best players on the Irish restaurant scene. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the awards everyone wants to win.

This year the nominations went online for the first time and they got a spectacular response from the public, nominations doubled and they received over 10,000 votes for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro-pubs, hotel restaurants and customer service experiences.



Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Kids Size Me, sponsored by Heinz, Engaging With The Gathering, sponsored by Tourism Ireland and Best Just Ask! Menu, sponsored by Bord Bia.

All County winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 10th June, 2013.

There are 3 components to phase two of the process and each element is independently assessed by KPMG. They are:

1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Prism Consulting headed by Hugo Arnold, independent food writer and consultant. All County Winners receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of April and May.

2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in May to Judge the County Winners.

3. Menu Judging (10%) All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging.


Voting in the Industry categories commenced on April 4th. Voting in these categories is exclusive to Restaurants Association of Ireland members only, with members competing for: Best Club Restaurant, Best Seafood Experience, Best World Cuisine, Best Newcomer, Best Café, Most Innovative Restaurant, Best Restaurant Design, Best Cocktail Experience, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Cookery School, Best Supplier & Best Digital Marketing.

The winners of the Industry Categories will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 10th June, 2013. Tickets are priced at €130 for the All-Ireland Event and can be bought directly from Sinead at the Restaurants Association of Ireland on (01) 677 9901 or sinead@rai.ie.

And the ULSTER Regional Awards went to:

Best Customer Service
Antrim - Berts Jazz Bar at The Merchant Hotel
Armagh - Pot Belly Restaurant
Cavan - The Olde Post Inn
Derry - The Lime Tree Restaurant
Donegal - The Beach House
Down - The Old School House Inn
Fermanagh - Cafe Merlot
Monaghan - Nuremore Hotel
Tyrone - Grange Lodge

Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Faustino
Antrim - The Harbour Bar
Armagh - O'Tooles Bar
Cavan - The Big Apple at The Black Horse Inn
Derry - Marys Bar
Donegal - The Village Tavern
Down - The Dirty Duck
Fermanagh - Blakes of the Hollow
Monaghan - Andys Bar
Tyrone - The Brewers House

Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Joseph Drouhin
Antrim - Mournes Seafood Bar
Armagh - The Moody Bar
Cavan - The Oak Room
Derry - The Exchange
Donegal - Aroma Restaurant
Down - Coast Restaurant
Fermanagh - Dollakis
Monaghan - The Fiddlers Elbow
Tyrone - Deli on the Green

Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by Pallas Foods
Antrim - The Great Room Restaurant at the Merchant Hotel
Armagh - Newforge House
Cavan - The Courtroom Restaurant Cabra Castle
Derry - The Ardmore Restaurant at Beech Hill Derry
Donegal - Castlemurray House Hotel
Down - The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn
Fermanagh - Catalina Restaurant in Lough Erne Resort
Monaghan - Snaffles Restaurant in Castle Leslie
Tyrone - The Kitchen Restaurant Tullylagan Hotel

Best Chef – Sponsored by Tipperary Water
Antrim - Stevie Toman of Ox, Belfast
Armagh - Dean Coppard of Uluru Armagh
Cavan - Neven Maguire of McNean's Restaurant
Derry - Ian Oar of Browns Restaurant
Donegal - Derek Alcorn of The Mill Restaurant
Down - Joery Castel of The Boathouse NI
Fermanagh - Noel McMeel of Lough Erne Resort
Monaghan - Andrew Bradley of Snaffles Restaurant Castle Leslie
Tyrone - Brian McConagle of The Brewers House

Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Santa Rita
Antrim - James St South
Armagh goes to Uluru Armagh
Cavan - MacNean House
Derry - Browns Restaurant & Champagne Lounge
Donegal - Harry's Restaurant
Down - The Boat House
Monaghan - Courthouse Restaurant
Tyrone - Oysters Restaurant


Best Wine Experience - Sponsored by Thomas Barton
Nicks Warehouse, Belfast

Best Kids Size Me - Sponsored by Heinz
The Lemon Tree, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Engaging with The Gathering Award – Sponsored by Tourism Ireland
Harvey's Point, Donegal Town, Co Donegal

Just Ask! Award – Sponsored by Bord Bia
Sargasso , Letterkenny, Co Donegal

For More information see http://www.irishrestaurantawards.com and follow the #FoodOscars hashtag on Twitter.

Zack

Full Results of the Irish Restaurant Awards Connaught Finals

The Connaught Regional Final of the Santa Rita/ LIFE Magazine Irish Restaurant Awards took place in The House Hotel, Galway, last night and named the top restaurants in the West for 2013.

Over 250 restaurant owners and staff celebrated their hard work and achievements at the Awards, which saw many well-known restaurateurs of Connaught turn out to see if they had won one of the prestigious awards.



Speaking at the awards last night, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland Adrian Cummins said; “In their fifth year now, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to go from strength to strength. Each year, the awards cast a spotlight on the brightest and best players on the Irish restaurant scene. The Irish Restaurant Awards are the awards everyone wants to win. This year the nominations went online for the first time and we got a spectacular response from the public- nominations doubled and we received 10,000 votes for Ireland’s favourite restaurants, chefs, gastro pubs, hotel restaurants and customer service experience."




“We celebrate the award winning cuisines and the great restaurateurs and chefs who are constantly bringing international recognition and accolades to the Irish restaurant scene. Restaurateurs are entrepreneurs, and that is reflected in the fact that the restaurant sector is the biggest employer within the hospitality industry. We provide employment to 64,000 people and the industry has annual sales in excess of €2 billion; tonight, everyone is a winner.”

Michelin- Star restaurant Aniar took home the prize for best restaurant in Co. Galway, adding to its already-full mantelpiece of accolades.



Food outlets were nominated under the categories of Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Casual Dining, Best Hotel Restaurant, Best Chef, Best Restaurant, Best Wine Experience, Best Kids Size Me, sponsored by Heinz, Engaging With The Gathering, sponsored by Tourism Ireland and Best Just Ask! Menu, sponsored by Bord Bia.

All County winners now compete for the Regional and All Ireland Title which will be announced at the Irish Restaurant Awards in the Burlington Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 10th June, 2013.

There are 3 components to phase two of the process and each element is independently assessed by KPMG. They are:
1. Mystery Guest Visit (55%) This component of the awards is conducted by Prism Consulting headed by Hugo Arnold, independent food writer and consultant. All County Winners receive a mystery guest visit throughout the month of April and May.
2. National Awards Academy (35%) Our National Awards Academy is made up representatives from each of the regional judging panels and will meet in May to Judge the County Winners.
3. Menu Judging (10%) All County winners and the Dublin Shortlist in each category are asked to submit a copy of their food menu and wine list for judging.


Voting in the Industry categories commenced on April 4th. Voting in these categories is exclusive to Restaurants Association of Ireland members only, with members competing for: Best Club Restaurant, Best Seafood Experience, Best World Cuisine, Best Newcomer, Best Café, Most Innovative Restaurant, Best Restaurant Design, Best Cocktail Experience, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Cookery School, Best Supplier & Best Digital Marketing.

The winners of the Industry Categories will be announced at the All-Ireland event on 10th June, 2013. Tickets are priced at €130 for the All-Ireland Event and can be bought directly from Sinead at the Restaurants Association of Ireland on (01) 677 9901 or sinead@rai.ie.

And the Connaught Regional Awards went to:

Best Customer Service
Sligo- Source Sligo
Roscommon- The Abbey Hotel
Leitrim- The Courthouse Restaurant
Mayo- Market Kitchen
Galway- Renvyle House Hotel

Best Gastro Pub – Sponsored by Faustino
Sligo- Hargadons
Roscommon- The Purple Onion
Leitrim- The Oarsman
Mayo- Bar One
Galway- Eat @ Massimo
Best Casual Dining – Sponsored by Joseph Drouhin
Sligo- Source Sligo
Roscommon- Bruno’s Restaurant
Leitrim- The Riverbank Restaurant
Mayo- Café Rua
Galway- Il Vicolo
Best Hotel Restaurant – Sponsored by Pallas Foods
Sligo- Coopershill Country House Hotel
Roscommon- Douglas Hyde @ Kilronan Castle
Leitrim- Sandstone Restaurant @ Lough Rynn Castle
Mayo- Kitchen Restaurant @ Mount Falcon Hotel
Galway- Upstairs @ West Restaurant, The Twelve Hotel
Best Chef – Sponsored by Tipperary Water
Sligo- Seamus Thompson, Eala Bhán
Roscommon- Aidan Murray, The Yew Tree
Leitrim- Shamzuri Hanifa, The Cottage
Mayo- Philippe Farineau, Mount Falcon
Galway- Enda McEvoy

Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Santa Rita
Sligo- Eala Bhán
Roscommon- The Yew Tree
Leitrim- The Cottage Restaurant
Mayo- An Port Mór
Galway- Aniar

Best Wine Experience - Sponsored by Thomas Barton
The Twelve Hotel, Galway
Best Kids Size Me - Sponsored by Heinz
Sol Rio, Mayo


Engaging with The Gathering Award – Sponsored by Tourism Ireland
Wilde’s @ Lisloughrey Lodge, Mayo

Just Ask! Award – Sponsored by Bord Bia
Oscar’s Seafood Bistro, Galway



For More information see http://www.irishrestaurantawards.com and follow the #FoodOscars hashtag on Twitter.

Zack

Entries Wanted Now for 2013 World Irish Stew Championship


Entries are flying in for the fourth World Irish Stew Championship which takes place in St Angela’s College in Sligo on 1st and 2nd May and you can still enter!

The 1st of May will see professional and student chefs from kitchens and colleges all over the world demonstrate their skills to create the ultimate Irish Stew! The judging panel a team of chefs and competition judges, selected by head judge, Gabriel Mc Sharry, will decide who will earn the title in two categories – professional and student chef.




Entries can be made online www.worldirishstewchampionship.com where there are also application forms for other culinary competitions including the Sligo Signature Dish and a Mystery Basket competition.

It is not only professional chefs who can enter their stew! Home cooks can enter the competition by taking a photo of their stew and uploading it along with the recipe to their website. The best Irish Stew recipes will be selected and brought to beautiful Co Sligo to compete in the final on 2nd May and they will also be treated to a Sligo Gourmet Adventure!


The classic Irish Lamb Stew is still a favourite all over the world


The World Irish Stew Championship has been running since 2010 as part of Só Sligo Food Festival and this year thanks to the Gathering IBB Fund and assistance given by the Gathering initiative, it has become what is hoped to be an annual global event in County Sligo.


Joe Clinton, living in Donegal, was the 1st World Irish Stew Champion in 2010

Online Entry Forms can be filled in here on the SoSligo website at:




For more details see www.worldirishstewchampionship.com. Follow the competition on Twitter @WorldIrishStewC and tag your recipes with #worldirishstew - Check them out on  Facebook too at facebook.com/WorldIrishStewChampionship

Yum! Love Irish Stew!

More Irish Food Guide News...

The Irish Food Guide is...

My photo

The Irish Food Guide Blog www.IrishFoodGuide.ie 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 www.IrishFoodTours.ie

The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's Longest Coastal Route