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The Great Irish Food Quiz takes place on Thursday 26th May

The Great Irish Food Quiz takes place on Thursday 26th May at The Wyatt Hotel Westport.

Westport Food Festival has a brand new midsummer date this year, from 24-26 June 2016. There’s a cracking line up with many old favourites returning plus some exciting new events in the charming Co. Mayo town. One of the highlights is The Great Irish Food Quiz, a brand new event this year. It’s a festival and charity fundraiser and takes place a month in advance of the main festival on Thursday 26th May 2016.

For some years Áine Maguire of The Idle Wall has run the famous Great Irish Food Quiz in Dublin, where gourmands from all over the country came to pit their wits against one another. This is the food nerd’s event of the year and this year it has moved west, along with Áine, and takes place in The Wyatt Hotel Westport on Thursday 26th May. A selection of wonderful prizes includes vouchers and prizes from food luminaries such as L’Ecrivain, The Idle Wall, Saba, Rua, The Ice House, The Tavern Murrisk, Mescan Brewery and Kelly’s Butchers Newport.

The Quiz is a fundraiser for Westport Food Festival – a sort of aperitif - and will also support local charity Western Care. Tickets are €15 each (€60 for a team of 4) and with testing and tasting and tantalising, it’ll be a night to remember! Limited to 30 tables and they are selling fast.

Chef Áine Maguire, a native of Newport, Co. Mayo has recently returned to her roots to open The Idle Wall restaurant at The Quay in Westport.  After barely 9 months in business the restaurant was listed in the Sunday Times 100 Best Restaurant List and has received nationwide acclaim and great reviews. It won the Best Newcomer in Mayo award at the recent 2016 RAI Awards (Connaught), and Áine herself was crowned Best Chef in Mayo.

Chef Áine Maguire, founder of The Great Irish Food Quiz 
Áine was immersed in a rich food culture from her earliest days. This sparked her interest in Irish foodways which has moulded her career path, from starting up The Winding Stair to the table of the British Ambassador; from France to the Caribbean and back again. It is this culture which has ultimately brought her home. Though Áine takes inspiration from her travels, her abiding fascination is with all things Irish and local.

Full details of the 2016 Westport Food Festival are available on the website and Tickets for the The Great Irish Food Quiz can be purchased (Table of 4 for €60) on EventBrite HERE.


Zack's BBQ Sauce & Basting Stock!

With this wonderful weather upon us and the whole of Ireland pulling out their BBQs to take advantage of the sunny afternoons, I thought that I’d give you a tip that will help turn your Barbecue into something really special!

The first thing to note is that you should not coat your meat (any type) with the Barbecue sauce until it is almost finished cooking. The reason for this is that the sugars and tomatoes in the BBQ sauce will caramelise and burn on the outside of the meat before it is actually cooked on the inside!

Instead you use a Basting Sauce (aka basting stock) while it's cooking to keep it moist and add flavour. Use a 1” paintbrush to coat the basting sauce over the meat as it is cooking. 

When your food is cooked, brush the BBQ Sauce over the meat and give it another few minutes on the grill to glaze and finish the flavouring.

My Basting Sauce Recipe:
500ml apple juice
100ml olive oil
50ml malt vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Chicken stock cube
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tspn thyme
1 tspn rosemary
½ tspn paprika
½ tspn black pepper
½ tspn salt

Put everything in a pot and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and let it cool. Use this to moisten your meats as they cook.

My BBQ Sauce Recipe:
50ml olive oil
1 medium onion
5 cloves garlic
1 red chilli (deseeded)
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 green pepper
2x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
50g brown sugar
4 tbls honey
50ml soy sauce
300ml tomato ketchup
100ml brown sauce
1 tbls Treacle
1 tbls Sesame OIl
1 tbls Dijon mustard
1 tbls Worchester sauce
juice and zest of 1 lemon
juice and zest of 1 orange
1 tspn Tabasco sauce
½ tspn cracked black pepper
100ml water

Chop the vegetables roughly because your going to blitz the sauce in a food processor when it's cooked. Put them into a large pot and add all the other ingredients. Bring it all to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes. Blitz in a food processor or with a blitzing gun, you can make it smooth or leave it a little rough for a bit of bite. You can use this BBQ sauce straight away or you can put it in the fridge overnight to help the flavours develop. 

Simply brush the BBQ sauce over your meat, when it is cooked to your liking, give it another few minutes on the Barbecue and let it add that tasty, shiny, crispy glaze that will have your guests licking their fingers with delight!

Both sauces can be used for beef, chicken, ribs, lamb, Kebabs, burgers, sausages – everything really even fish!

My BBQ Sauce is also excellent for rubbing on Chicken Wings for roasting in the oven. Coat them well and cook, uncovered, in a pre-heated medium oven (around 150°C) for about 25 minutes. Finger Lickin' Good!

Both sauces can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy the Sunshine and insist on locally-sourced Food!


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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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