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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

Zack

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

Zack

Mixing Irish Beer Cocktails at the Generator Hostel Dublin

Six months ago, European Bar Tender School launched their Ticket to the World competition offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for two lucky people to explore the possibilities of an international career in bar tending, with rigorous training in a number of cities across 5 months.


The European Bartender School (EBS) is the largest and most professional bartending school in the world. Throughout it’s 14-year history they have trained thousands of bartenders to be able to travel the world and work wherever they like. Alternatively, many former EBS students use their skills to comfortably finance their way through college and get to know as many people as possible during their shifts!


Jesper Rydberg is a 19-year old Swedish national and Skye Burkin, a 21-year old Australian are the two winners of this amazing competition and they will be mixing up some super new Irish Craft Beer Cocktails, with 8-Degrees Brewing, in the Dublin Generator Hostel, Smithfield Square, on Thursday 18th September from 6pm until late!
Jesper Rydberg and Skye Burkin - Mixing 8-Degrees Cocktails in Generator Dublin on the 18th September
The organisers of this yummy event would like to extend
 an open invitation to you all to come along for the evening!

The two winners of the European Bartender School Ticket to the World competition will be mixing two beer cocktails created especially for the event and for you to enjoy and to vote for. 


The Beer Cocktail, voted the winner by those present on the evening, will stay on the permanent bar menu at Generator Dublin.

Niall d'Arcy is currently a Resident DJ at Hidden Agenda and The Workman's Club

There will be some complimentary drinks and food, a cash bar throughout the night, live music and a performance from Niall D’Arcy from 9pm.

Generator Hostel Dublin, Smithfield Square, Dublin
Looks like the makings of a great night!

Zack

Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards 2014 Winners Announced

350 guests, entrants, judges and spectators came together last night to celebrate the achievements of Ireland’s best food and drink producers at the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards (IQFA). Held at the Round Room, within Dublin’s grand Mansion House and 57 products from the North and the Republic of Ireland were awarded the title of IQFA 2014 winners.


The awards were presented by popular TV chef and author Catherine Fulvio who congratulated the winners on their contribution to the Irish food and drink industry. The IQFAs represent a unique collaboration between Food and Hospitality Ireland (formerly SHOP) and the UK Quality Food and Drink Awards, which have been rewarding excellence in food and drink flavours, textures and aromas for more than 35 years. The awards are renowned among multiple grocery sectors and food producers for their trustworthy and rigorous judging process which provides truly honest winners. 

TV chef and Author, Catherine Fulvio, hosted the Irish Quality Food Awards event

The awards set out to recognise excellence in product development for food and drink producers, retailers and catering companies in Ireland.


Dunnes Stores and Tendermeats received the prestigious Overall Gold Q for their ‘Simply Better French Trimmed Connemara Hill Rack of Lamb’. The Gold Q is awarded to the one product that stands out among all the other entries and represents "the very best of the best". Awarded Gold Q Highly Commended was Roll It Pastry’s ‘Sweet All Butter Shortcrust Pastry’.

The Christmas Gold Q was awarded to Dunnes Stores and Wexford Home Preserves for its ‘Simply Better Ham Glaze’.

This year, for the first time, a panel of judges from Musgrave Retail Partners Ireland chose finalists for the Small Producer of the Year Award – designed to celebrate artisanal foods and drink in Ireland and sponsored by SuperValu. ‘On the Pig’s Back Chicken Liver Pâté with Garlic & Brandy’ beat off stiff competition to win the award and will see the range extended across SuperValu stores, as well as receiving significant sales and marketing support from SuperValu. Other finalists included Sweet BBQ Pulled Pork from Jack & Keith Molloy Bros and Scotts Irish Cider from Big Hand Brewing Company.

The Round Room at The Mansion House, Dublin
The Irish Quality Drink Awards were judged in Dublin for the first time this year, with the Irish Quality Drink Award Gold Q given to Aldi Clontarf Classic Blend Whiskey and its supplier Castle Brands Inc, beating Highly Commended Dundalgan Irish Whiskey from Lidl Ireland and Terra. Independent Stout won the Lagers & Ales category, ‘Tempted? Summer Sweet Irish Craft Cider’ from dj’s juice and cider won the Cider category and Lidl Ireland won the Sparkling Wine, Wine and Spirit categories with their Cremant d’Alsace Brut AOC, St. Emilion Gran Cru AOC 2011 and their Deluxe Irish Cream Liqueur. Suppliers were S.C.V.B, Union de Producteurs de Saint-Emilion and Terra respectively.


To ensure complete equality within the judging process, the IQFA’s kitchen team of home economists at Dublin’s Institute of Technology prepared all the products as per the supplied manufacturers’ instructions before presenting to the judging panel. Working through each delicious category across two weeks, one session at a time, a judging team of over 70 respected food journalists, chefs, producers, retailers, NPD specialists, cooks and bloggers from across Ireland tasted over 600 products.

Helen Lyons, organiser of the Irish Quality Food Awards 2014
Organiser, Helen Lyons, commented, “Last night was such a success for all involved. The whole process has been fantastic and I’m so proud of our team and the contestants. It’s great to be given the opportunity to truly congratulate those in the food and drink industry that make a difference in our everyday lives and ‘compliment the chef’ so to speak! Well done to all of the winners and commiserations to those who didn’t quite make it – we received an outstanding amount of high-quality entrants, so it certainly wasn’t an easy process.”

The awards are open to all retailers, food producers, wholesalers and food service operators across Northern and Southern Ireland. They are a unique collaboration between Food and Hospitality Ireland and the UK Quality Food and Drink Awards (now in its 35th year) and sponsored by top UK packaging manufacturer, Benson Group as well as Dairymaid, Invest Northern Ireland and MLS Labelling & Printing Systems.


All excess food from the judging was given to The Capuchin Centre for Homeless People, which provides warm food each day and more than 1800 food hampers a week to vulnerable people in Dublin, and FareShare. The table decorations at the awards dinner were provided by www.livingcolours.ie.

The awards repeat last year’s trade media partnership with Retail News magazine, while forming a consumer-media partnership with Easy Food magazine.

For more information visit the website: www.irishqualityfoodawards.com Follow them on Facebook: at www.facebook.com/IrishQualityFoodAwards or on Twitter @IrishQFAs Hashtag #IQFA14

Learn more about The Capuchin Centre for Homeless People here, www.capuchindaycentre.ie.



And so, The Irish Quality Food Awards Winners' List 2014 is...


Bagged Snacks

Sweet Chilli & Irish Red Pepper Potato Crisps – Keogh’s Crisps


Biscuits – Savoury

Dunnes Stores Simply Better Irish Wholemeal Crackers - Sheridans Cheesemongers


Biscuits – Sweet

Dunnes Stores My Family Favourites Milk Chocolate & Hazelnut Wafer - CKS



Bread - Small Breads and Rolls

Tesco Black Olive Roll - Panelto Foods


Bread - Large Loaves

Lidl Low GI Multiseed Cob - Mannings Bakery



Bread - Morning Goods

Tesco Finest Muesli Bread – Aryzta Bakeries


Bread - Speciality Breads

Four Cheese Loaf - Cuisine de France



Bread - Wheaten and Soda Breads

Toaster Wheaten - Genesis Crafty



Cakes and Morning Goods

Tesco Apple & Blackberry Lattice Bar – Golden Bake



Cereals

Aldi Kavanagh’s Luxury Fruit Porridge with Apple, Raisin & Cinnamon Dusted Cranberries – Stafford Lynch

Cheese

Lidl Irish Extra Mature Cheddar - Dale Farm Dairies


Chocolate and Confectionary

Lidl Irish Chocolate Selection - Lir Chocolates



Christmas Q - Christmas Cakes, Bakery and Desserts

Dunnes Stores 6 Deep Filled All Butter Mince Pies - Sargents Bakeries


Christmas Q - Christmas Chilled, Grocery Ambient, Meat, Fish & Savoury

Dunnes Stores Simply Better Ham Glaze - Wexford Home Preserves



Cold Beverages

Dunnes Stores Simply Better Valencia Orange Juice - Keeling F Juices


Dairy and Milk Products - Butters and Spreads

Dairy Manor Irish Creamery Butter - Town of Monaghan Co-Op

Dairy and Milk Products - Yogurts

Aldi Specially Selected Handmade Farmhouse Raspberry Yogurt – Killowen


Delicatessen – Antipasti

Tesco Pastrami Irish Beef - O'Brien Fine Foods


Delicatessen - Other Deli Counter Products

Musgrave Retail Partners Wiltshire Cured Ham on the Bone - O' Brien Fine Foods



Desserts and Puddings

SuperValu Signature Tastes Panacotta - Prestige Foods


Fish - Fresh Fish

Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon with Seaweed Marinade - Burren Smokehouse



Fish - Fresh Fish Dishes

Lidl Seafood Chowder - Galmere

Food To Go

Tesco Finest Open Salmon Sandwich – Freshways

Free From - Chilled & Savoury

Aldi ‘Has No' Delicious Soft White Bread - Gallaghers Bakery



Free From – Sweet

Aldi 'Has No' Lemon Muffins - Gallaghers Bakery



Fresh Meat, Game and Poultry – Bacon

Dunnes Stores Simply Better Dry Cured Irish Rashers - Callan Bacon


Fresh Meat, Game and Poultry - Beef Steaks

Aldi Specially Selected 28 Day Dry Aged Rib Eye - ABP Cahir


Fresh Meat, Game and Poultry – Poultry

Confit of Duck - Silver Hill Foods


Fresh Meat, Game and Poultry - Sausages, Burgers and Meatballs

Dunnes Stores Simply Better 6 Superior Honey & Mustard Irish Pork Sausages - Arthur Mallon Foods


Fresh Meat, Game and Poultry - Pork, Lamb and Other Joints: Retail Winner
Dunnes Stores Simply Better French Trimmed Connemara Hill Rack of Lamb - Tendermeats



Fresh Meat, Game and Poultry - Pork, Lamb and Other Joints: Catering Winner

Musgrave Wholesale Partners Butchers Select Lamb Rack French Trim - Kepak



Fresh Produce – Fruit

SuperValu Fruit Salad Mix - Freshcut Foods



Fresh Produce – Salad

Tesco Finest Irish Piccolo Cherry Tomatoes - Jim O'Rourke



Fresh Produce – Vegetables

Easy Cook 7 Minute Baby New Potatoes – Keogh’s

Frozen Food – Savoury

Aldi Specially Selected Irish Beef Quarter Pounders with Cheddar Cheese and Sweet Chilli - Kepak


Frozen Food – Sweet

Roll It Sweet All Butter Shortcrust Pastry - Roll It Pastry

Grocery Ambient – Savoury

Honeyed Fig, Rhubarb & Chilli Savoury Jam - Irish Bee Sensations


Grocery Ambient – Sweet

Lidl Blackcurrant and Rum Jam - Abbey Farm Foods


Hot Beverages – Coffee

SuperValu Signature Tastes Colombian Supremo Coffee Beans – United Coffee

Hot Beverages – Other

Aldi McGrath's Reserve Blend Tea - Robert Roberts


Pizzas

Pizzado - Choice Pizza

Ready Meals

SuperValu Signature Tastes Lamb Tagine – Ballymaguire

Sauces and Salad Dressings

Vine Tomato & Jalapeno Pasta Sauce - The Scullery



Seasonal Occasions

Aldi Luxury Irish Chocolates

Side Dishes

SuperValu Signature Tastes Braised Red Cabbage - Ballymaguire


Soups

Lidl Cream of Tomato Soup - Princes



Value Q

Dunnes Stores My Family Favourites Strawberry Jam - Histon Sweet Spreads


SuperValu Small Producer of the Year Award 

Winning a listing with SuperValu:
Chicken Liver Paté with Garlic & Brandy - On The Pig's Back




Ales & Lagers

Independent Stout 
Independent Brewing Company of Ireland
Cider
Tempted? Summer Sweet Irish Craft Cider - dj's juice and cider

Sparkling Wine
Lidl Crémant d'Alsace Brut AOC - S.C.V.B
Spirits - Liqueurs and Speciality Spirits
Lidl Deluxe Irish Cream Liqueur - Terra
Spirits – Whiskies
Aldi Clontarf Classic Blend Whiskey - Castle Brands Inc

Wine
Lidl St. Emilion Gran Cru AOC, 2011 - Union de Producteurs de Saint-Emilion


The Gold Q Awards




Drink Gold Q
Aldi Clontarf Classic Blend Whiskey - Castle Brands Inc

Christmas Gold QDunnes Stores Simply Better Ham Glaze - Wexford Home Preserves

The Overall Gold Q goes to...
Dunnes Stores "Simply Better" French Trimmed
Connemara Hill Rack of Lamb - by Tendermeats



There you go. A varied and diverse mix of Irish Quality Food products received awards tonight so get out and have a look for them in your local shop, tomorrow!

Zack

Euro-Toques launch search for Ireland's Young Chef of the Year 2014

The search has officially begun to find Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2014.

The most coveted culinary title in Ireland will this year focus on the theme “No Chef is an Island” and asks young chefs to embrace all the influences associated with their gastronomic adventures in the kitchen. 23 rising Irish culinary stars (including Neven Maguire in 1994) have held this coveted title since the competition began in 1990.



The overall talented winner will receive an all expenses paid stage, at the world-renowned The Square London, where they will work under the direction of two star Michelin chef Philip Howard – this year’s guest judge. 

Guest Judge, 2 Michelin Star Chef Philip Howard of The Square Restaurant in London

Young professional chefs between 18-26 from any catering background can enter online via www.youngchef.ie. Entry closes on Tuesday, September 30th at 12 noon. Candidates will later be notified if they have made it to stage two of the competition.

Euro-Toques Ireland is looking for three key ingredients when selecting candidates:
  • a passion for Irish produce and food heritage
  • outstanding cooking talent
  • the ability to showcase their creations as a sharing experience.
Ireland’s top 5 young chefs will compete for the title at a culinary skills test Final, on Sunday 23rd of November, in Dublin and will cook for guests at an exciting event that evening where the winner will be announced.


Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year 2014, in association with Fáilte Ireland and industry sponsor La Rousse Foods, is the perfect launch-pad for a fresh young chef to walk in the footsteps of Ireland’s most recognised culinary artists such as Myrtle Allen, Ross Lewis, Kevin Thornton or Derry Clarke.
The Euro-Toques Ireland judges are looking to be enthralled this year by exciting tastes, interesting traditions and refreshing experiences.

The 2013 Young Chef winner Mark Moriarty will be one of this year's judges

Successful candidates will be involved in a number of competition stages and events between now and the end of November and will be judged by some of Ireland’s most respected chefs including Wade Murphy, President of Euro-Toques Ireland, Domini Kemp.

The 2013 winner, Chef Mark Moriarty, will also be judging. Mark, in his role as Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year has cooked at Taste of Dublin, Electric Picnic and events in Paris and Boston this year. Mark is currently teaching in Cooks Academy having previously worked in The Greenhouse Restaurant.


Chef Wade Murphy, President of Euro-Toques Ireland
Speaking at the launch Wade Murphy, President of Euro-Toques and proprietor of Restaurant 1826 Adare, said: “Sourcing of top quality local and seasonal food is at the core of what Euro-Toques is about and that will always be there, but we also need to start recognising the huge culinary talent that exists in this country and that is creating a really exciting food scene across Ireland. I feel very passionate about passing on knowledge and skills to the next generation of chefs and nurturing their raw talent and ability – that is what the Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year is all about.”

Helen McDaid, Food Tourism Manager at Failte Ireland

“Ireland has long been recognised for the beauty of its landscapes, the buzz of its cities, and the warmth of its people" said Helen McDaid, Food Tourism Manager at Failte Ireland. "Now visitors are coming for its food and drink too. Ireland’s culinary reputation is growing both at home and abroad and so it is important to continually seek out young chefs who champion Irish cooking and nurture their talents. Fáilte Ireland is delighted to be involved with the Euro-Toques Young Chef for a third year as it provides the opportunity to identify and celebrate this new wave of inspired chefs who represent the future of Irish cuisine.”

This year's Industry Sponsor is La Rousse Foods


Closing date for entry is September 30th 2014 at 12.00 noon.

Watch & Share this Euro-Toques Young Chef 2014 Promo Video:



For more information on the competition and details on entry log onto www.youngchef.ie 
Follow Euro-Toques on Twitter @eurotoquesirl and check the #youngchef14 hashtag

Zack.

Failte Ireland announce Ten Top Tourism Towns in Ireland 2014

Fáilte Ireland has just announced their shortlist of the "Ten Top Tourism Towns in Ireland" which have been selected for the 2014 Tourism Towns Award. The shortlist was announced as part of the National Tidy Towns Awards, which were held in The Helix, Dublin, today.


The shortlisted towns are:

Ardmore, Waterford [small town]
Carrick on Shannon, Leitrim [small town]
Glengarriff, Cork [small town]
Kinsale, Cork [small town]
Lismore, Waterford [small town]
Portmagee, Kerry [small town]
Killarney, Kerry [large town]
Cobh, Cork [large town]
Westport, Mayo [large town]
Kilkenny, Kilkenny [large town]

As part of their shortlisting, the selected towns have already been subject (over the last few weeks) to a series of unannounced inspections from a crack team of independent ‘secret shoppers’ who visited each location and assessed the quality of visitor experience to be had.

The Tourism Town Award focuses on how participating towns have developed their local area in the following key tourism areas:
• Sense of Place – How the town tells its own unique story to visitors, what’s special about it and what distinguishes it from other towns.
• Tourism Experiences – What the town has to offer visitors.
• Local Involvement in Developing Tourism- How the local community works together to provide an authentic visitor experience.
• Development and promotion of the town – How the town takes a unified approach to marketing and developing the town into a “tourism town”.




Welcoming the shortlist, Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring emphasised the important premise behind the Award scheme: “This award is all about recognising those Irish towns, villages and communities which are putting their weight behind tourism and working hard to make their town even more attractive for tourists. I hope that the towns and villages shortlisted today will be an inspiration for other communities around Ireland”.

Fáilte Ireland - National Tourism Development Authority logo

Fiona Buckley from Fáilte Ireland, speaking at the launch today said, “This award provides a tangible recognition of those magic ingredients which give the Irish welcome a unique advantage – people, place and passion."

Two overall winners will ultimately share the ultimate accolade of Ireland’s top Tourism Town, one for the best large town and the best small town, when the winners are unveiled in November by Fáilte Ireland following further assessments from the independent panel of judges.

Kilkenny is Ireland's Tidiest Town 2014

Kilkenny City was today named Ireland's Tidiest Town, out of the 849 towns and villages throughout the country that entered this year’s SuperValu National TidyTowns competition.


The announcement was greeted by great celebration at today’s awards ceremony at The Helix in Dublin, which was packed with representatives of TidyTowns groups, from all over the country, eagerly anticipating the announcement of the winners.


Mr. Alan Kelly, T.D., Minister for the Environment, congratulated Kilkenney and all the winning towns. "I am very impressed by the enthusiasm of all those involved in the TidyTowns effort. The results of their efforts are obvious in the attractive, well cared-for towns and villages we see throughout the country.  It is clear that working together and getting things done increases peoples’ pride in where they live and helps to build vibrant communities," he said.

The TidyTowns competition has been sponsored by SuperValu since 1992 and Martin Kelleher, MD SuperValu added "The outstanding demonstration of community spirit shown by all volunteers is commendable. Their relentless commitment to working for the good of their local community is what makes this competition the success it is today."

Other main category winners are:
Ireland’s Tidiest Village went to Clonegal, Co. Carlow.
Ireland’s Tidiest Small Town went to Kilrush, Co. Clare.
Ireland’s Tidiest Large Town was won by Westport Co. Mayo.
Ireland's Tidiest Large Urban Centre also went to Kilkenny City.

To find out how your County got on in the SuperValu Tidy Towns Competition, check out the full resuts at http://www.tidytowns.ie/reports.php

Zack

Irish Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream

I love this time of year! Blackberries make a really tasty ice cream with their sweet and sometimes sharp flavour mixing well in this luscious, simple and fast homemade ice cream recipe. This recipe is adapted from my Blackcurrant Ice Cream recipe.






Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream


My Ingredients:

450g Blackberries
100ml apple juice
175g caster sugar
500ml whipping cream
400g sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla essence

My Method:

1. Put the Blackberries and the apple juice in pan, bring to the boil and turn down, simmering for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved and cook out for another 5 minutes, let it thicken a little. Cool. Leave 4 spoons of this fruit aside for garnish.

2. Rub the rest of the cooked fruit through a sieve to get rid of the seeds.

3. Beat the whipping cream until it makes peaks, pour in the condensed milk and vanilla essence and whisk back up to peaks again.

4. Pour the cream mixture into a freezer box and drizzle half of the Blackberry purée over the top. Stir the mixture gently to ripple the purée through it. Cover with a lid and freeze for 4 hours. 

5. To serve, mix the 4 spoons of saved fruit with the rest of the purée and spoon over the top of your Blackberry Ripple Ice Cream.

The same recipe & method can be used for Blackcurrant or Raspberry ice cream too.

Zack

The Irish Craft Beer & Cider Festival 2014 starts Thursday 4th September

Now in it's fourth year, the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival returns to the RDS in Dublin from the 4th – 7th September 2014. This year’s line-up consists of over 40 breweries and cider makers – totalling an astounding number of over 200 Irish produced beverages on offer! Irish Craft Beers truly have arrived!




The craft beer and cider industry in Ireland has witnessed explosive growth over the past 12 months and reflecting this this festival has witnessed a 300% growth in both brewers and attendees since its conception in 2011. The festival attracted over 11,000 visitors last year and the organisers are once again predicting a record turn-out with a record number of breweries and cider makers signed up to date. In comparison to last year’s 25 producers, this year has seen an increase of over 60% in the number of breweries attending, a reflection of the massive growth of this local Irish market sector.


Seamus O’Hara, Co-Founder of the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival

Seamus O’Hara, Co-Founder of the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival and owner of the Carlow Brewing Company, comments, “Having been through previous ‘renaissances’ of Irish Craft Beer, this feels different. This is market segment establishment. Working within the sector of Irish craft brewing is exciting. We are working in tandem with so many local organic markets, from the entrepreneurs and small businesses of the country, to collaborating with vintners, independent off-licences, retail outlets and some of the most creative marketing and distribution agencies in the around - every day is different in brewing in Ireland at the moment.”


This year the team also welcomes back two Irish distillers, Porterhouse and Teelings. Both distillers are at the cusp of what is now predicted to be the next huge development in the Irish drinks sector – spirit distilling and the opening of Irish distilleries.

Seamus’ colleague and Co-Founder of the festival, Bruce Mansour, adds, “Four years ago, when we opened the doors to Ireland’s first Irish Craft Beer Festival, we had just over 10 exhibitors. When we discussed craft beer with patrons, we were met by confused faces and excited palates. Now, four years later, we are being educated by our patrons on the diversity and constant growth and expansion of this unique and local industry. Brewed locally and distributed internationally, this industry is a story of success, creativity, perseverance and uncapped potential growth.”

This year’s festival promises to bring visitors an experience that is unrivalled throughout the country. It is the pinnacle of the year within the Irish craft beer and cider industries. For four days, each supplier sets up its own space within the venue and chats with consumers, enjoying discussions about the intricacies of each unique combination of flavours making every individual product stand out from the next.

Pictured at the launch of the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival 2014 were:
 Cathal O'Donoghue, Rascals Brewing, Michael Reddy, Teelings, Ronan Brennan, Galway Hooker,
Clementine Mac Niece, McIvors, Alan Wolfe, McGargles, Gabriel Corcoran, Teelings, Lisa Quilter, McGargles,
Gerard Costello, Costellos, Jonathon Scott, Soctt Irish Cider and Jamie Groome, White Gypsy.

Front row: Co founders of the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival:
 Seamus O'Hara, O'Hara Brewing and Bruce Mansour, Make it Happen.

Irish Breweries and Irish Cider makers participating include: 
5 Lamps, Armagh Cider, Black’s, Black Donkey, Blackstairs, Barrelhead, 
Bo Bristle, BRU, Costello, Dingle, Dj’s Juice and Ciders, Eight Degrees, Founders, 
Franciscan Well, Galway Bay, Galway Hooker, Hilden, Independent, Jack Doyle’s, 
Kinnegar, Mac Ivors, McGargles, Metalman, Mountainman, N17, Nine White Deer, 
O’Hara’s, Rascals, Scott’s Irish Cider, Stonewell Cider, Stone Barrel, The White Hag, 
Toby’s Cider, Trouble, White Gypsy, White Water, West Kerry. 

Distilleries include: Teeling Whiskey Co., Porter House & Dingle Spirits. 
(Guest breweries in attendance are Alltech, Brasserie Castelain, Founders and Lefevre Cidre)

Slainte - A Complete Guide to Irish Craft beer and Cider


The Festival will also play host to the launch, on Thursday evening, of "Slainte - A Complete Guide to Irish Craft beer and Cider", written by Kristen Jensen and Caroline Hennessey, the Co-Founders of the Irish Food Bloggers Association. This book is packed with everything you need to know and will guide you through a brief history of craft brewing and cider-making and introduce you to all the Irish producers. It is also a key resource for novices and connoisseurs alike in how to savour beer and cider, match them with food and even cook with them, all topped off with listings of relevant organisations and events and a glossary of key terms.

Some of the Dublin's favourite food producers will be cooking up a storm including Jane Russell Sausages, Cillian the Pie Man, Dave’s Wood Fired Pizza and Oisin’s Crepes in the City.

The festival will once again open its doors on Thursday evening at 5pm, showcasing festival brews and launching new products – an opportunity to experience the newest and freshest brews within the industry!

Win an Irish Craft Beer and Cider Hamper
VOTE for your Favourite Irish Craft Beer and Cider HERE: http://www.beoir.org/icbcf/awards.php 
Everyone who votes will be entered into a draw to win an Irish Craft Beer and Cider hamper. Closing date is the 3rd of September.

Find out more at www.irishcraftbeerfestival.com 
and follow the Irish Craft Beer and Cider Festival on Twitter @IrishBeerFest

Zack

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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

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