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Opportunity to Purchase the last batch of Ireland's Glebe Brethan Artisan Cheese

If you’re looking for something special for your cheeseboard this Christmas, this is the year to give pride of place to one very special Irish cheese: the Comte-style Glebe Brethan Irish Artisan Cheese, made from the unpasteurised milk of a herd of Montbeliarde cows in Co Louth. 

The cheese was a Winner of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild Food Award in 2012 ( and for good reason: it’s creamy yet complex, with a nutty character coming to the fore as the cheese matures.

Other Awards for Glebe Brethan Cheese include:
• 2010 Gold Medal at Irish Cheese Awards
• 2006 Gold Medal at World Cheese Awards
• 2006 Gold Medal and Award for Best New Cheese at British Cheese Awards
• 2006 Euto-Toques Cavan Crystal Food Award
• 2006 Bridgestone Guides Megabytes Award
• 2005 Double Gold medal winner at International Food and Wine Exhibition

Sadly, its maker David Tiernan passed away in February 2013 and the cheese is no longer being produced. However the last of this precious cheese is still being sold in the lead up to Christmas, through Sheridans Cheesemongers, from La Rousse Foods (trade only) and directly from the Tiernan family farm.

The late David Tiernan, creator of Glebe Brethan Cheese

Glebe Brethan is a versatile cheese that is as happy on a mixed cheeseboard as it is in a sourdough sandwich (perhaps with some slices of smoked venison from Coopershill House, another IFWG Food Award winner), grated into a potato rosti or cubed onto salads. 

At the 2012 IFWG awards ceremony, Derry Clarke of l’Ecrivain choose to press it into a potato terrine and serve it with a cream of onion soup (see for menu). A nice idea for a Christmas starter perhaps? 

Irish farmhouse cheese is a sector that simply did not exist 40 years ago, and yet – thanks to the pioneering spirit of many single-minded cheese-makers – it has grown to become one of the leading lights of today’s Irish food story. David Tiernan will be remembered as having played a significant role in recent chapters of that story. And in a country that now boasts more types of farmhouse cheese per capita than our French neighbours, there is no other Irish cheese quite like Glebe Brethan. Savour some of this great cheese, while you still can!
More information on David Tiernan’s contribution to Irish food can be found at, and on Glebe Brethan cheese at

To order Glebe Brethan directly, contact Mairead Tiernan at tiernans (at) glebebrethan (dot) com on or Telephone on 087 693 6107


Dublin Beekeepers’ Association to host Dublin Honey Show on 8th November

The Dublin Honey Show, the highlight of the beekeeper's calendar, will be held on Saturday 8th November 2014 at Christ Church, Rathgar. As well as competitions for beekeepers there will be best quality natural Co Dublin honey for sale, free lectures, a craft fair and refreshments.

The County Dublin Beekeepers’ Association is one of the largest and oldest beekeepers’ associations in Ireland. It runs a popular beekeeping beginners’ course every year and hosts a number of activities for members.

The Dublin Honey Show is the highlight in the Dublin beekeeper’s calendar. Beekeepers compete for awards for different honeys, wax, mead, cakes, candles and other hive products.

  • At 12:00 noon, senior Dublin beekeeper Keith Pierce will give a talk on ‘Beginning with bees’. This will prove an excellent introduction to the craft for aspiring beekeepers.
  • At 2pm, ecologist and former TD Mary White will speak on the topic ‘Bees Work for Man but Does Man Work for Bees?’

The day will also include an Artisan Craft Fair in the hall where you can come any buy your Christmas gifts.

The Dublin Honey Show runs from from 10:30am to 4pm on Saturday 8th November and the entry charge on the door of only €2 goes to their chosen charity, the Royal Hospital Donnybrook.

For more see: 

Specially Signed copies of Celebrity Cookbooks go under the hammer for Charity

Mark Bevin, Head Chef at the Maldron Hotel, is hosting a really unique charity event this Friday night, the 17th October, at the Europa Hotel in Belfast - a Charity Celebrity Cookbook Auction!

The Charity Celebrity Cookbook Auction is to raise funds for the Northern Ireland Rare Disease Partnership charity (NIRDP) and Mark has received hundreds of donations of specially signed copies of Cookbooks from Celebrity Chefs, Bloggers and TV Cooks from all over the UK and Ireland!

Mark Bevin, Head Chef at the Maldron, who has organised the Charity Cook Book Sale
"The whole idea started when I asked head chef Noel McMeel at County Fermanagh's Lough Erne Resort, to send me a couple of copies of his new book signed for a special book auction I was planning," said Mark. 

Chef Noel McMeel from Lough Erne Resort
"Noel arrived at the hotel and handed me two signed copies. I was so taken back by the generosity of the man I decided to ask Twitter followers to help gather some more and the flood gates just opened up!"

Neven Maguire's MacNean Restaurant Cookbook
The charity NIRDP are a not-for-profit organisation, bringing together those living with a rare disease and organisations representing them: clinicians and other health professionals; researchers and producers of specialist medicines and equipment; health policy makers and academics.

Marcus Wareing, currently Chef Patron of Marcus in Knightsbridge
The NIRDP work with similar bodies all over the Uk and Ireland including Genetic and Rare Disorders Organisation (GRDO).

Katy McGuinness with Pat Whelan, The Irish Beef Book
Mark has called in the help of his many friends over the last few months to build up a staggering collection of books for the charity auction and his catering collegues rallied around, calling in favours from chefs, bloggers, food critics, butchers, bakers and just about every other realm of the celebrity kitchen and restaurant!

Atul Kochhar's Atul's Curries of the World
Signed cookbooks from chefs Will Torrent, Atul Kochhar, Marcus Waring, Richard Corrigan,  Michael Roux Jr, Noel McMeel, Nigel Slater, Ching He Chuang, Theo Randall, Gok Wan, Tony Singh & Cyrus Todiwala and Mark Hix and many others, are up for auction on the night.

Derry Clarke's Keeping it Simple
Chefs Peter Clifford, Neven Maguire, Ross Lewis, Derry Clarke, Kevin Dundon,  Conrad Gallagher, Catherine Fulvio, Gary O Hanlon, Paul Flynn, Rozanne Stevens, Domini Kemp, Edward Hayden, Clodagh McKenna and more, have all pitched in with signed copies of their cookbooks for the charity auction.

Jean Christophe Novelli's Simply Novelli

Others who signed special editions of their cookbooks include TV Chefs Ed Baines, Franck Pontais, Jay Rayner, Antonio Carluccio, Tom Kerridge and Jean Christophe Novelli.

Paul Callaghan's Calso Cooks
Bloggers, butchers and food writers who have their cookbooks in the auction include Cathriona Redmond, Susan Jane White, Sheila Kiely, Paul Callaghan, Sharon Hearne Smith, Lily Higgins, Rosanne Hewitt Cromwell, Fiona Dillon, Pat Whelan & Katy McGuinness. 

Chef Mark is simply thrilled with the response saying, "People have been very generous and in the last two weeks more specially signed cookbooks keep arriving at the hotel every day! It should be a great night."

Will Torrent author of Patisseire at Home
The Charity Cookbook Auction  takes place this Friday night, the 17th October, at the Europa Hotel in Belfast at 8pm. Get up there and help out while having a great night out!

If you want to help out, in any way, you can contact Chef Mark Bevin on Twitter at @Robuchon1 

Great idea Mark, best of Success!


The Tasty Tart Cookery School to Host a Craft Beer and Food Pairing Demonstration

On Saturday 8 November at 7pm, Tara Walker, owner of The Tasty Tart Cookery School in Termonfeckin, Co. Louth, will team up with food writer Kristin Jensen to host a craft beer and food pairing demonstration.

Kristin is a freelance editor and writer and has worked with many of Ireland’s top food writers and chefs. She has just released a book with Caroline Hennessy called Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider, published by New Island.

Tara Walker with Kristin Jensen,
 co-author of "Slainte - The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider"
“The interest in craft beer has grown steadily over the last few years and I have noticed students at my cookery school asking about it quite a lot and wanting to know more,” said Tara Walker. “I wanted to introduce a craft beer and food demonstration that informs people on what beers to drink and what foods to accompany them. There is no one better than Kristin on the subject of craft beer and we are really excited about doing this demonstration together.”

Kristin will provide attendees with information on her picks of some of the best Irish craft beers available while Tara will cook several dishes to complement the beers. Attendees will enjoy a meal and a few glasses of beer and will leave with a recipe pack and some beer and food matching tips that they can try out at home.

Tara Walker learned about food from a very early age from her father who worked in the restaurant business. She attended cookery courses at Ballymaloe and Fairyhouse Cookery School. It was there she realised how much she would love to teach cooking. Tara left the family business to study professionally at the world famous Cordon Bleu in Paris to hone her cookery skills. Finally she completed a stage at the Michelin starred Chapter One restaurant in Dublin.

Tara with students at her "Tasty Tart Cookery School"

In 2010 Tara opened "The Tasty Tart" which is located in Termonfeckin in Co.Louth. The Tasty Tart offers a wide range of cookery classes which include "Foods of North Africa and the Middle East", "Healthy, Wholesome and Hasty Cooking" and "A Taste of Asia- Thailand & Vietnam". Classes can be hands on or demo only but either way participants get a chance to sit down, enjoy the dishes prepared and have a chat and a bit of fun! Tara also has a regular TV slot on The Late Lunch on TV3 and writes for various magazines and newspapers.

The cost of the Craft Beer and Food Pairing Demonstration is €45 per person. 

For bookings contact Tara at The Tasty Tart, Sandpit, Termonfeckin, Co Louth.
Mobile: 087 98 93871 - email: tara(at) and check out her website at


Free Farmhouse Cheese events for October Month of Cheese 2014

This October, for the second year in succession, Bord Bia and the Discover Farmhouse Cheese campaign, will host up to 200 free farmhouse cheese events across the country for October Month of Cheese. It's a great chance to learn about Irish Cheese, try new types, experience new flavours and textures, pair with craft beers, whiskey or wine and pick of lots of top tips from seasonality to storage.

Throughout the month, retailers across Ireland, big and small, as well as farmers markets and farm shops, restaurants and gastro pubs will host events and tastings, inviting consumers to try a huge variety of styles from the 50 farmhouse cheesemakers in Ireland. Over the month of October, the Discover Farmhouse Cheese campaign aims to boost the trial of farmhouse cheese and get more Irish consumers to taste and discover the huge variety of cheese available on the Irish market.

Speaking about October Month of Farmhouse Cheese, Eimear O'Donnell, Consumer Dairy Sector Manager, Bord Bia said: “Last year was the first year of October Month of Farmhouse Cheese and it was a great success, with events taking place throughout the country. This October, we will have almost 200 events for consumers to choose from and we are really excited about making this year even bigger and better."

"From our recent survey into our cheese-eating habits, we found we are still quite conservative with our choice of cheese. All the activity and sampling around October Month of Cheese gives consumers a great opportunity to find a new variety that they love. Farmhouse cheeses are truly one of the most bespoke, hand-made foods in the entire world!”

Discover Farmhouse Cheese also organise a number of free farm visits – allowing the public to go meet the maker, see the farm where it is produced and learn the story behind the cheese.  Visit one of the farms and experience cheese-making first-hand, from the individual milk and dairy herds, the small batches and commitment to taste and quality, the maturing and dedication to making some of the finest artisan products.

Discover Farmhouse Cheese is an EU co-financed information and promotional campaign.  It is part of a three country, three year campaign in which Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany are working to increase the consumption of farmhouse cheese with consumers in those markets.

Farm visits are free to attend but you must book your place online.

For more information on events and sampling during October Month of Farmhouse Cheese, farm visits and farmhouse cheese, visit, check out Facebook for details or follow them on Twitter on @Cheese_IE.


Blast and Wilde Savoury Butters win Supreme Champions at Blas na hEireann 2014

For only the last eight months, Blast & Wilde, based in Monknewtown, Slane, Co Meath, have been working on and building up a range of innovative and gourmet diary products that they believe will delight and tantalize the tastebuds.
They proved to be as true as their word, when they won the Supreme Champion at the finals of this year's Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards, held today in Dingle!

Operated, from premises at their home near Slane, by Graham & Bernie Canning and their family, Blast & Wilde had earlier in the day scooped the 'Best in Farmers Market Award' for Meath, before going on to collect Gold (Wild Irish Herb & Roast Garlic Pesto Butter), Silver (Black Olive & Sundried Tomato Tapenade) and Bronze (Zesty Lime, Chilli & Coriander) Blas Awards for their butter products,.

Graham and Bernie Canning from Blast & Wilde, Supreme Champions at Blas na hEireann 2014

Their food is all about authentic flavour, made from quality, fresh, locally-sourced seasonal ingredients and created for the food connoisseur and kitchen rookie alike. Graham firmly believes that anyone can become a chef and by using their products they can bring the restaurant into the heart of every family home.

"We are absolutely delighted with the awards today, we knew our products were great but we didn't expect to be Supreme Champions", said Graham. "Our blended-by-hand products are easy to use and extremely versatile as a spread, in soups or casseroles or toppings. Using seasonal ingredients, we can produce a wide variety of flavours for specific occasions".

"As well as giving you a unique variety of choice there are no artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives so you know you are buying a 100% natural Irish product", added Bernie.

Currently on the market they have Wild Garlic and Pesto Butter, Lime, Coriander and Chilli Butter and Black Olive Tapenade Butter but several more varieties are in the pipeline.

For more see and find them on Facebook.
You can email Graham & Bernie at blastandwilde (at) gmail (dot) com


Neven Maguire named Irish Food Producers' Champion

Ireland's favourite chef, Neven Maguire, was last night crowned 'Irish Food Producers' Champion' at a ceremony in Dingle as part of the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards.

The award was presented to Neven, by Artie Clifford, chairman and founder member of the Blas na Eireann committee, during the final judging session of the prestigious  Irish food awards.

Neven Maguire receives the Producers' Champion Award

"The ingredient that underpins your inspiration is your own passion", said Mr Clifford at the presentation. "Your passion for Irish food and produce, your passion for cooking wholesome and healthy food, your passion for teaching others and your passion for your family. On behalf of so many people we'd like to thank you for being a fantastic inspiration to others."

"Thank you for this award," said Neven to the packed house. "I am humbled. It's a pleasure to receive it and it will be on display in my restaurant tonight".

Neven also paid tribute to his late mother from whom he learned his craft saying, "I got my love of Irish food from my mother and I'll never forget where it all started. To receive this award is
wonderful because we have great people involved in food now and the next five or ten years are going to be very exciting.

From a young age, Neven learned his trade by watching his mother cook and his pastime became his passion when he began experimenting with ingredients in the home kitchen at the tender age of 10. In 1992, Neven enrolled in Fermanagh College, Enniskillen, to study catering and received the Student of the Year Award.

"Thank you for this award," said Neven to the packed house. "I am humbled. It's a pleasure to receive it and it will be on display in my restaurant tonight".

Neven also payed tribute to his late mother from whom he learned his craft saying, "I got my love of Irish food from my mother and I'll never forget where it all started. To receive this award is wonderful because we have great people involved in food now and the next five or ten years are going to be very exciting

From a young age, Neven learned his trade by watching his mother cook and his pastime became his passion when he began experimenting with ingredients in the home kitchen at the tender age of 10. In 1992, Neven enrolled in Fermanagh College, Enniskillen, to study catering and received the Student of the Year Award.

"I love my job and I love to promote the great people that are involved in food in Ireland" said a delighted Neven. "This is a great time for me, as a chef, to be cooking and to be supporting these wonderful people. We have gone through a very difficult time here in Ireland, with the recession. We're not fully out of it but we're getting there!"

Neven trained in some of the highest profile restaurants in the world including Michelin Star winning Hotels Roscof in Belfast and the Grand Hotel in Berlin, the Lea Linster in Luxembourg (where he cooked for Lady Diana and Tony Blair) and Arzak, San Sebastian.

In 2001, Neven took over the family business and turned a local restaurant into a national phenomenon. Located in the village of Blacklion, Co. Cavan, MacNean House & Restaurant has become one of the most talked about and frequented restaurants in the country.

Known for his genuine approach to cooking and people, Neven is one of Ireland's best celebrated chefs and is also one of the country's best known Irish food ambassadors on the international scene.

This is the 7th year of the Blas na hEireann (Irish Food Awards) and 2014 saw the biggest number of entries to date.

"We want people abroad to recognise Ireland for the great food that we produce here. We have great chefs and hard working food promoters, but it all starts with our amazing food producers," said Neven. "And that's what awards like the Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards are all about".

Congrats Neven, what a great night in Dingle!


Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer shows strong Tourism growth for 2014

74% of Irish tourism businesses are upbeat about their 2014 performance with business sentiment at a level not seen since 2007 according to the latest Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer which was published today.

The Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer is a survey of tourism businesses designed to provide insight into tourism performance for the year to date and prospects for the remainder of the season or coming year. It has been conducted regularly since 1999.

The survey of tourism businesses was carried out during August and September. The recovery in the tourism industry is now apparent across Ireland with all regions reporting strong increases on last year.

50% of restaurants report an increase in tourism custom on 2013. Overseas business is very strong, with 72% reporting an increase in customers. This is very positive news, as restaurants were hit particularly hard during the financial crisis. Dublin, which has been leading the recovery in tourism fortunes, continues to perform strongly and the South West has enjoyed an exceptional performance this year with 84% reporting business to be up on 2013.

The continued development and promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way is reaping benefits for the tourism industry in the west of Ireland. Around half (47%) in the West cite the Wild Atlantic Way as a positive, as do 43% in both the North West and the South West and 43% in the Shannon region. Comparatively only 6% in the South East, 4% in Dublin and 3% in the East and Midlands report the Wild Atlantic Way as a positive!

Shaun Quinn CEO of Fáilte Ireland

Commenting on today’s research, Shaun Quinn CEO of Fáilte Ireland said: “For now, tourism is back but this has been a very hard won recovery. It has taken a mixture of sacrifice and innovation by many operators – as well as far-sighted Government support for the sector - to make Ireland a competitive destination again. Fáilte Ireland initiatives such as ‘The Gathering’ and ‘The Wild Atlantic way’ have also strengthened our hand as we pitch for visitors from overseas.”

He added, “The danger now for tourism would be to allow complacency to creep back in. To sustain this year’s growth, we need to remain competitive, build on our appeal and continue to aggressively target those segments of our markets with the most potential”.

There is positivity among Hoteliers where own-marketing is the most mentioned positive factor, followed by repeat visitors. Irish people holidaying in Ireland is also cited as a positive factor by over half of hotels. Some hotels also cite that the retention of the 9% VAT rate is positively affecting their business this year while concerns over fuel and energy costs remain. Low-priced NAMA-owned competition was cited as bad for business and other operating costs remain significant issues for some in the industry.

Other points to note from today’s Failte Ireland survey of tourism businesses include:

• A strong majority (79%) of accommodation providers report an increase in visitor volumes so far this year, compared to the same period last year.

• As in previous years, hotels remain the strongest sector with 82% reporting an increase in visitors. However, 2014 has also proved to be a good year for guesthouses with 69% report increased visitors and B&Bs up by 60%.

• The overseas market has provided sharp increases for restaurants with 72% reporting their overseas visitor volumes to be up on 2013.

• So far this year, Germany, North America and to some extent Great Britain are becoming stronger markets and many also report greater volumes and spending within the domestic market.

• For those on the west coast, the Wild Atlantic Way continues to draw visitors and is strongly appreciated by operators along the route for helping develop new tourism businesses.

• For those not along the west coast they are keen to see something similar closer to their operations.

• Decent summers and signs of improved economies in Ireland and overseas are seeing operators becoming more optimistic, with some beginning to reinvest in their own products.

Read the full Fáilte Ireland Tourism Barometer report HERE


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