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Guest Chef - James Richardson, owner and chef at Old Barn Steakhouse, in County Armagh

James Richardson is the owner/chef at Old Barn Steakhouse, in County Armagh and has recently won the Ulster Tatler Chef of the Year 2012. He began his culinary career at Newry and Kilkeel Centre of Excellence, where part of his work experience was a stint in the kitchen at Claridges, the famous 5 star London landmark hotel. 

James has cooked with some of the best in the business including Ainsley Harriott, Paul Rankin, Nevin Maguire and also spent some time at Rick Stein's Seafood School. He cooks using only the freshest of ingredients and says his motto is simply “Good, honest food”. You can follow James on Twitter at @oldbarn_mhill.

James Richardson, owner and chef at Old Barn Steakhouse, in County Armagh
James's Japanese Miso style Steak 
"This is a healthy, low calorie, and delicious steak recipe that is easy to make and really tasty. I have worked out that the approximate nutritional information is as follows: 
232 kcalories, protein 32g, carbohydrate 4g, fat 9 g, saturated fat 4g, fibre 0g, sugar 3g, salt 0.66 g."

2 tbsp brown Miso paste
1 tbsp dry sherry or sake
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 crushed garlic cloves
300g/11oz lean steak
Baby spinach , sliced cucumber, celery, radish and toasted sesame seeds.

1. Tip the miso paste, Sherry or sake, sugar and garlic into a seal-able food bag. Season with a generous grinding of black pepper, then squash it all together until completely mixed. 
2. Add the steak, gently massage the marinade into the steak until completely coated, then seal the bag. Pop the bag into the fridge and leave for at least 1 hour, but up to 2 days is fine.
3. To cook, heat a heavy-based frying pan, griddle pan or barbecue until very hot. Wipe the excess marinade off the steak, then sear for 3 mins on each side for medium-rare or a few mins longer if you prefer the meat more cooked. Set aside for 1 minute to rest. 
4. Carve the beef into thick slices and serve with a crunchy salad made with the spinach, cucumber, celery, radish and sesame seeds.

The Old Barn Steakhouse and Grill is located at: 
5 Mowhan Road, Markethill County, Armagh, BT60 1RQ, Northern Ireland.
Check out their website at

Miso paste is a thick paste used in Japanese sauces and for marinading vegetables or meats. It is made from soybeans which have been fermented with salt and a fungus called kōjikin, a mould which is used to make the Japanese drink Sake. If you can't get your hands on miso, you can make a rough substitute by mixing some soy sauce with tomato puree and tomato ketchup.

If you would like to Feature your Chef in the Guest Chef's Recipes Section send some bio details and your recipe to me at:


Winners of the Georgina Campbell Awards for 2013

Since its inception in 1997, the editorial position at Georgina Campbell Guides has always been fiercely proud of it's independent and no payment is received for their recommendations. They insist that "independence is at the core of our philosophy and we have always selected establishments for recommendation on merit alone."

Their annual assessment process is based on the principle of the ‘mystery shopper’, so their team make anonymous visits to restaurants, hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, cafes and other hospitality-providers and report back "without fear or favour". Their annual Awards are therefore coveted by those who receive them.

The Restaurant Of The Year went to The Greenhouse, Dublin 2, Co Dublin
Hotel Of The Year went to the Granville Hotel, Waterford City, Co Waterford
Chef Of The Year went to Chef Ian Orr, at Browns Restaurant, Derry City, Co Derry.

The 2013 Awards ceremony, which took place in Dublin today 
and the following received Awards:

B&B Irish Breakfast Award  - Archways B&B, Rosslare Strand, Co Wexford
Bed & Breakfast (B&B) Of The Year  - Archways B&B, Rosslare Strand, Co Wexford

Guesthouse Irish Breakfast Award  - Quay House B&B, Clifden, Co Galway

Hotel Irish Breakfast Winner  - Dunraven Arms, Adare, Co. Limerick
National Irish Breakfast Winner  - Dunraven Arms, Adare, Co Limerick

Farmhouse Of The Year  - Annaharvey Farm, Tullamore, Co Offally

Guesthouse Of The Year  - Drumcreehy House, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare

Country House Of The Year - Carrig Country House & Restaurant, Caragh Lake, Co Kerry

Natural Food Award of the Year - Glenilen Farm Dairy Products, Drimoleague, West Cork

Café Of The Year - The Wooden Spoon,  Killaloe, Co Clare

Ethnic Restaurant Of The Year - Michie Sushi, Dublin 6 

Atmospheric Restaurant Of The Year - West End House, Killarney 

Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year - The Beach House, Buncrana, Co. Donegal

Pet Friendly Hotel of the Year - Cromleach Lodge, Castlebaldwin, Co Sligo

Hideaway Of The YearMoy House, Lahinch, Co Clare

Family Friendly Hotel Of The Year - Hotel Westport, Newport Road, Westport, Co May

Newcomer Of The Year - East Cafe Bar,  Howth, Co Dublin

Pub Of The Year - Nancys Bar,  Ardara, Co Donegal

Wine Award Of The Year  - O'Brien Chophouse, Lismore, Co Waterford

Hosts Of The Year  - The Quay House, Clifden, Co Galway

Business Hotel Of The Year - River Lee Hotel, Cork City, Cork

Seafood Restaurant Of The Year 2013 sponsored by BIM - The Oarhouse, Howth, Co Dublin

Seafood Chef Of The Year 2013 sponsored by BIM - 
Billy Whitty, Aldridge Lodge, Duncannon, Co Wexfod 

'Just Ask' Restaurant of the Year 2013 
sponsored by Bord Bia -  Ardbia Restaurant, Galway City

The Georgina Campbell Chef Of The Year
Ian Orr, at Browns Restaurant, Derry City, Co Derry

The Georgina Campbell Restaurant Of The Year - The Greenhouse, Dublin 2, Co Dublin

The Georgina Campbell Hotel Of The Year - Granville Hotel, Waterford City, Co Waterford 

The Georgina Campbell Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Hospitality 
went to Eileen Dunne & Stefano Crescenzi for their long-time contribution to the Irish hospitality industry through their Dunne and Crescenzi restaurants.

Thanks to Bob and all at @IrelandGuide who were tweeting the results Live from the Awards today. I have made all the links to the winners connect back to relevant information on the Georgina Campbell website.


Start Your Own Artisan Food Production Business in Donegal

In line with the recently launched Donegal Food Strategy, Donegal County Enterprise Board plans to run a 10 week programme on Starting Your Own Artisan Food Production Business, beginning in November. As part of their recruitment process they are holding Information Road Shows over the next two weeks at 3 locations across County Donegal.

The Donegal Food Strategy sets outs an ambitious vision for food within Donegal and seeks to make Donegal a county famous for food and recognised as a pioneering region for its approach to fostering and growing new and existing food businesses. This new Programme is aimed at People who are thinking of starting their own artisan / food production business or in the early stages of start-up.

A study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that every €10 spent with a local food business is worth €25 to the local economy which further supports the rationale for creating a vibrant local food economy. A Taste Council of Ireland Report suggests that during the next 10 years, 650 new food entrepreneurs could be established resulting in the creation of 6,500 new jobs.

Donegal Chef Gary O'Hanlon is County Donegal's Food Ambassador
Gary O'Hanlon, Executive Chef at Viewmount House is now filling the role as Food Ambassador for the Donegal Food Strategy and he emphasises the importance and opportunities there are in sourcing and using local quality produce.

On successful completion of the programme participants should have a sound knowledge of the rudiments of food business start-up, including food safety and food technology and be in a position to go about their start-up in an effective way. Participants will hear about the structure of the programme from the trainers as well as the experiences of local artisan food businesses.

The Content of the Programme includes:

Workshop 1: Selecting and Researching Ideas

Workshop 2: New Product Development

Workshop 3: Legislation and Food Safety

Workshop 4: Food Technology

Workshop 5: Marketing and Branding

Workshop 6: Sales Growth

Workshop 7: Effective Food Packaging

Workshop 8: Product Costing, Pricing & Finance

Workshop 9: Food Distribution

Workshop 10: Business and Marketing Plan

In addition to the workshop element of the programme each participant will receive up to ten hours of one-to-one mentoring delivered in 2 hour sessions. It is intended that the programme will be delivered one evening a week for ten consecutive weeks with a total workshop time of 30 hours.

Where appropriate, participants on the programme will be able to apply for a range of Donegal County Enterprise Board supports in areas such as food safety, food technology, shelf life optimisation, product packaging and food labelling to assist them with the commercial realisation of their products. 

Cost & Contact Details
The Start Your Own Artisan Food Production Business Programme begins in November 2012 & the Cost is €120 which is also payable in instalments.

The Information Road Shows will be held at:
Letterkenny, Donegal County Enterprise Offices on Wednesday 17th Oct at 7pm
Donegal Town, Enterprise Centre on Thursday 18th Oct at 7pm
Moville, Community Chef Premises on Tuesday 23rd Oct at 7pm

To register or for further information phone 074 9160735
Or email Mairead at

Una's Gourmet Pies Win Supreme Champion at Blas na hEireann Food Awards

The Blás na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards again took place during the 2012 Dingle Food Festival over the weekend.

The Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards are now considered to be the ultimate benchmark of quality Irish produce, from the whole island of Ireland, north and south. Each category receives a gold, silver and bronze medal winner. In addition, there is a Supreme Champion, a Best of Gaeltacht winner and a Best Irish Artisan producer.

A group of Irish food producers and grocers started the Blas na hÉireann National Irish Food Awards, in 2008,to bring increased attention to the high quality of Irish foods, to overseas markets but especially to the Irish public. The judges look for extra special products that are made using top quality Irish ingredients, by passionate and talented producers.

The Supreme Champion 2012 at this years events was Una's Pies Chicken Leek and Cheese Pie. Una's Pies was founded by Una Martin from Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Una makes a range of savoury pies in a pastry crust and has been a rising start in the south-west selling her pies at farmers markets, fairs & food festivals. She won the Best Artisan Producer Award at the 2011 Blas na hEireann event.

Una Martin, of Una's Pies, with her Award Winning products
Una won Gold for her Chicken, Leek and Cheese Pie - Silver for Roast Veg, Ardsallagh Goats Cheese and Gubbeen Chorizo Pie and Bronze for her Thai Green Chicken Curry Pie in the 2012 Blas na hEireann Irish Foods Awards as well as Best in Farmers Market

Una's Pies are available at Mahon Point Farmers Market this Thursdays, Douglas Farmers Market and Midleton Farmers Market on Saturdays.

Other Special Awards were presented to:
Best Artisan Producer
Big Red Kitchen
Best New Product
Ballymooney Foods Rack of Wild Venison
Best Export Achievement
Hannans Meats
Best Emerging Kerry Producer
Sasta Sausages
AIB Business Diversification Award
Carrygerry House
Most Innovative Product
Gallaghers Bakery Plain Soda Bread
Rogha na Gaeltacht
Breizon Teo - Atlantis Seafood Surf N Turf-Smoked Scallops and Black Pudding

The Full list of Blas na hEireann Award Winners can be seen on their website HERE


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