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Dublin Foodie Caroline Byrne is appointed new Secretary General of Euro-Toques Ireland

Caroline Byrne has been appointed as the new Secretary General of Euro-Toques Ireland. Caroline is taking over from Ruth Hegarty, who worked with Euro-Toques Ireland for the past 11 years. 

Caroline Byrne takes over as Secretary General of Euro-Toques Ireland

Caroline is best known in the industry as chief Dublin Editor of John and Sally McKenna’s Food Guides (formerly known as Bridgestone Food Guides) and for her involvement with the TASTE Council of Ireland, the steering committee for artisan food producers. Previously, Caroline was editor of food industry trade magazine ShelfLife and has experience in PR, Marketing, Business Development and Social Media through her work with small and medium size food businesses and consumer foods focussed PR agencies.

Commissioner General Wade Murphy and the Board of Commissioners welcome Caroline to Euro-Toques Ireland and look forward to working with her in the next phase of the organisation’s development.

Euro-toques – the European Community of Chefs – was established in Brussels in 1986 by the top chefs in the region. Their purpose was to form a network of chefs committed to quality local food sourcing and to be a voice for the industry to protect Europe’s traditional foods and culinary heritage.

Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House was one of the founding members and went on to found Euro-toques Ireland the same year. Euro-toques Ireland lobbies on a variety of food policy issues and is heavily involved in education, focussing on food education for children and skills training for chefs, in addition to organising food-related events and activities for both industry and the public. 

You can follow Caroline on Twitter at @DublinFoodie
For more info on Euro-Toques see:


Gerard Collier of Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead, wins BIM Young Fishmonger 2015

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), the Irish Seafood Development Agency, has named Gerard Collier of Fisherman’s Catch, Clogherhead, Co. Louth, as the winner of the BIM Young Fishmonger 2015 competition. The awards event was held yesterday, in the Radisson St. Helen’s Hotel, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin.

BIM Young Fishmonger of the Year 2015, Gerard Collier with Martin Shanahan

Gerard was selected as winner from a shortlist of five finalists, all of whom demonstrated to the judges, an exceptional high standard in technical expertise, product knowledge and customer service. Martin Shanahan, owner of Fishy Fishy Café & Restaurant, author and TV broadcaster was the guest speaker at the event, where he congratulated the finalists and commended their passion for the seafood industry.

This is the second year of the BIM Young Fishmonger Awards, developed by BIM to recognise and reward young fishmongers. Their aim is to encourage new entrants into the business and to ultimately raise the bar across the Irish fishing sector.

The judges were very impressed with the knowledge, skills
and commitment demonstrated by all the finalists

The other finalists in BIM’s Young Fishmonger 2015 competition were: Stevie Connolly, Connolly’s Seafood, Rathmines, Dublin 6; Neil Turner, Caviston’s Food Emporium, Glasthule, Co. Dublin; Mateusz Kowalik, Doran’s on the Pier, Howth, Co. Dublin and Gary Quinn, Stephen’s Fish Market, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.

Speaking at the awards ceremony today, Donal Buckley, Business Development & Innovation Director at BIM said; ‘Our role, as the Seafood Development Agency, is to develop the retail trade in terms of seafood presentation, training and food safety management. We see this initiative as an exciting component of this strategy." 
He added, "Congratulations to our worthy winner Gerard Collier and his colleagues at Fisherman’s Catch, I hope this experience and the competition prize fund allows you to further develop what is a very successful family business."

As overall winner of the competition, Gerard will be offered a study trip to France, a cheque for €1,000, a set of professional knives and a specially designed trophy. Along with the other finalists he will also benefit from a free placement on BIM’s retail development workshop. As part of their prize, all of the finalists have already enjoyed an inspiring masterclass in seafood cookery with Martin Shanahan.

Fishing Boats at Killybegs Harbour in Donegal

Throughout the competition, the judges put all the finalists through their paces with three different stages of scoring. This included  two unannounced visits to their shops to assess product knowledge and customer service and a practical test where they were asked to fillet and prepare a range of fish and shellfish for customer use, under time constraints. 

Finalists were also required to discuss their plans, opportunities and challenges for their business. Throughout all the stages, the judges were very impressed with the knowledge, skills and commitment demonstrated by all the finalists. Well done Gerard!


22 year old Matthew Logan is Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 2014

Matthew (Matt) Logan, a chef de partie at Chapter One restaurant, Dublin, was awarded the coveted 2014 Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year title earlier today. 

22 year old Matthew Logan is Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 2014 
The annual Euro-Toques Young Chef final took place today, at an exclusive pop up event on Capel Street and Matt was one of five finalists who battled it out over the past two months to win this esteemed title. His prize includes an all expenses paid work-period at the world-renowned The Square Restaurant in London. There Matt will work under the direction of two star Michelin chef Philip Howard, who was this year’s special guest judge. Philip is also co-proprietor of the Ledbury and Kitchen W8, both also in London.

The other four finalists were: Luke Ahearne, aged 22, Chef de Partie at Campagne, Co. Kilkenny, John Fitzmaurice, aged 25, Sous Chef at the Mustard Seed, Co. Limerick, Chris Fullam, aged 21, 3rd year Culinary Arts student at DIT, Cathal Brugha Street and Ian McHale, aged 26, Senior Chef de Partie also at Chapter One restaurant.

Euro-toques, the European Community of Chefs, was established in Brussels in 1986 by a group of top chefs in Europe. Their purpose was to form a network of chefs committed to quality local food sourcing and to be a voice for the industry to protect Europe’s traditional foods and culinary heritage. Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe House was one of the founding members and she went on to found Euro-toques Ireland the same year. 

In recent years, the Euro-Toques Ireland Young Chef competition has evolved, incorporating social media elements and exciting new event formats but the reason behind it has remained the same. The competition is a search for Ireland’s best young chefs, who show creativity, skill and superb cooking talent. The core value of all Euro-Toques chefs is a passion for local and seasonal sourcing of food product.

The competition is now in it’s 24th year and focused on the theme “No Chef is an Island”. Euro-toques, in association with Fáilte Ireland and industry sponsor La Rousse Foods, is a search to find a young Food Ambassador for Ireland, who can contribute to developing an identity for Irish cooking and to promote Ireland’s culinary reputation at home and abroad.

Guest Judge Philip Howard is impressed with Matt Logan's Euro-Toques final dish

Speaking after being crowned Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year, Matt said,“I am absolutely delighted with the result. The competition has been a huge challenge and has really tested my abilities in lots of ways. It’s been a very intense few weeks, but there is a lot of intensity to being a chef and that is what we thrive on. It has been a great buzz working with the other lads and a huge honour to cook for the judges. The whole experience has been great, tough work, but great. I am looking forward to representing Euro-toques and Fáilte Ireland over the next year and going to work with Phil Howard at the Square – and thrilled to have the opportunity”.

Chefs JP McMahon, Philip Howard, Paul Kelly and Euro-Toques Ireland President chef Wade Murphy

Commenting at the final, Wade Murphy, President of Euro-toques Ireland said, “The 5 young chefs here tonight have gone through a rigorous selection process and some very tough tasks. Their work ethic and passion for what they do is inspiring. I loved seeing the seriousness with which they approached each stage, but also the camaraderie between them and the enjoyment they clearly took in each challenge. They are all extremely talented chefs and they are the people who will build Ireland’s culinary scene and reputation in the years to come." He continued, "It's always very difficult to have just one winner, but the points decide it in the end. Matt consistently showed great skills, creativity and dedication to his craft throughout the competition and we are delighted to announce him as Euro-toques Young Chef of the Year 2014”.

Failte Ireland Food Tourism Manager, Helen McDaid

Helen McDaid, Food Tourism Manager at Fáilte Ireland said, “In the last few years, as Ireland’s food revolution has gathered pace, Fáilte Ireland has worked closely with Euro-toques Ireland and their Young Chef of the Year competition as a key means of identifying the new wave of inspired Irish chefs to establish and promote ‘Irish cuisine’ in both domestic and international markets.” This partnership has allowed the competition to reach new heights and new audiences ensuring it will provide an excellent opportunity for a future sponsor who shares these goals.

The event also gave the finalists the chance to tantalise the taste buds of Ireland’s most celebrated chefs and almost 200 other guests as they served out their own signature dishes. The five young chefs were assisted on the night by a professional team consisting of Declan Maxwell (Chapter One Restaurant) acting as front of house, Peter Everett (Restaurant Forty One at Residence) overseeing the kitchen and special guest MC’s for the evening David and Stephen Flynn from The Happy Pear.

Congrats to Matt on an excellent performance throughout the Euro-Toques Young Chef 2014 competition and we wish him a continued successful career as an award-winning Irish Chef.


The Simpsons co-creator, Sam Simon, saves Irish "Gay" Bull

Benjy, a clinically declared Gay Charolais Bull, from Co Mayo, Ireland, farmer, has escaped the butcher’s block after Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons cartoon, stepped in to pay the balance of the animals retirement home payments.

The bull had failed to impregnate any of the cows in a Mayo farmer’s herd showing more interest in the other bulls on the farm!

Mr Simon pledged to pay the €6,250 (£5,000) needed to save Benjy, after a crowd funding campaign was set up by the Animal Rights Action Network (Aran.) Another €5000 had already been raised through donations and Mr Simon offered to make up the balance.

Sam Simon, who is suffering from terminal cancer and is donating his $100m fortune to charities, is a long-time animal activist and his contribution will allow Benjy the Gay Bull to live out his days at the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in England. Plans are being made to transport the grateful bull to his retirement home in December.

Sam Simon, along with Matt Groening and James L Brooks created the cartoon series, The Simpsons, in 1989. He led the original team of the popular animation's writers.

Mr Simon was diagnosed with colon cancer two years ago and was given only three months to live, though he continues to fight the disease. He is well known as a philanthropist with a special interest in animal protection.


Help make sure our local Irish Seafood is named correctly

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) are inviting input into Ireland's Fishery and Aquaculture Products Commercial Designation List. All EU Member States are required to publish a list of the commercial designations together with their scientific names of fishery and aquaculture products, accepted in their territory.

This list must indicate the scientific name for each species, its name in the official language or languages of the Member State and, where applicable, any other name or names accepted or permitted locally or regionally.

Commercial designations must be used when marketing fish in the EU and are provided to consumers at the point of retail.

The inclusion of the common names or local names of fish or aquaculture products in the commercial
designation list helps ensure that consumers are provided with accurate and consistent information and are then able to make informed choices. This is where we can all help out as there are many different names used for the same species of fish, in different parts of Ireland.

Sprat, also know in Donegal as "Sprit"

For example, here in Donegal we use both the names "Sprit" and "Sprat" for that small tasty oily fish, Sprattus sprattus, which is a member of the Clupeidae family that includes Herrings and Sardines. It may only be a small variation in the name but if these local names are not recorded, they will get lost.

Irish White Fish, Oily Fish and Shellfish, in Gaelic. pic

On the 13th December 2014, the current legislation S.I. 320 of 2003 and its associated list of commercial
designations will be replaced as EU Regulation No. 1379/20131 will apply from this date. Therefore this is
now an appropriate time to ensure that the commercial designation list includes all the relevant
species. See Articles 35-37 for name references.

The FSAI invites all interested parties to submit their comments on the draft Fishery and Aquaculture
Commercial Designations List that accompanies this consultation.

Submissions to the Consultation
If you are making a submission, please state whether the views expressed are personal or are
being made on behalf of an organisation. If the views of an organisation are being submitted it
should be made clear what organisation is being represented.

The Closing Date for Submissions is 26th November 2014

Submissions may be e-mailed to:
or may be posted to:
Consultations, Food Safety Authority of Ireland, Abbey Court, Lwr Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
See also


Six Irish Cookbooks shortlisted for the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2014

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner will be held on Wednesday 26th November and this year six Irish Cookbooks have been shortlisted for the Avonmore Cookbook of the Year award.

The Irish Book Awards and dinner has become a major event in the Irish literary calendar, bringing together the entire literary community – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and even librarians!

The six Irish Cookbooks shortlisted for the Avonmore Cookbook of the Year 2014 are:

The Happy Pear - David and Stephen Flynn
(published by Penguin Ireland)

All Things Sweet - Rachel Allen
(published by HarperCollins)

The Nation's Favourite Food Fast - Neven Maguire
 (published by Gill & Macmillan)

From Lynda's Table - Lynda Booth 
(published by DCS Publishing)

Back to Basics - Kevin Dundon
(published by Mitchell Beazley)

The Extra Virgin Kitchen - Susan Jane White
(published by Gill & Macmillan)

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner will be held on Wednesday 26th November 2014 in the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel, Dublin 4. For more info see

Good Luck all!


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