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Chef Network and BIM team up to encourage the use of more Fish and Seafood on Irish Menus

Ireland’s seafood development agency, Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), has teamed up with Chef Network to promote the seafood experience of Taste The Atlantic. Chef Network is a professional community which connects chefs across Ireland.



This particular partnership also aims to showcase the enormous potential for visitor seafood experiences, to promote and encourage the use of local seafood on menus by other chefs/hospitality operators and to encourage the partnership between producers and chefs to deliver this.

The first initiative, which took place this week, was a tour of north Connemara where a group of Chef Network member chefs toured, visited and met with local seafood producers.



Ruth Hegarty, who coordinated the trip on behalf of Chef Network, said: “Working with BIM presents an opportunity for Chef Network to broaden the knowledge of chefs, encourage mutual support between local businesses (producers & restaurants) which is needed now more than ever. This is important networking and peer-learning opportunity for chefs and they jumped at the chance to get together in this safe outdoor environment and to connect with local food producers, which is one of the things chefs are most passionate about.”



The tour which took place on Tuesday 22nd September, had 10 chefs travelling and visiting DK Oyster Farm Letterfrack, followed by a visit Killary Harbour to meet with Tom Doherty of Curraun Fisheries. They then went on to Killary Fjord Shellfish to visit their production of rope mussels, oysters and clams etc. The tour finished with a spectacular seafood lunch overlooking the fjord.

A spokesperson for BIM, Máirtín Walsh, said “We are delighted to be working with Chef Network and some of the most talented chefs in the industry. The passion Irish chefs have for local produce is world-renowned and this partnership allows us to ensure Irish seafood plays a part in the development of menus across the country. By educating chefs and introducing them to our seafood producers gives a deeper understanding of our often misunderstood resource of seafood. Ireland’s food heritage is intrinsically linked to seafood and the Taste The Atlantic initiative gives both the chefs, but also the public in general, an opportunity to experience this.” 



BIM and Chef Network intend, through a series of events, to increase the profile of Irish seafood and increase awareness among Ireland's chefs to encourage more inclusion of it on menus throughout the country. The tours which will take place throughout the country (this first one being in Connemara) is also hoped to increase awareness on the food tourism element of visiting seafood producers by the public in general. 

You can find out more and keep up to date with the latest news by following Chef Network at @ChefNetworkIRL on all social media or visit www.ChefNetwork.ie.


How to make Beetroot Crisps - Step by Step with pictures

Beetroot Crisps are delicious and really easy to make, so here is a step-by-step on how to make them from scratch! It takes a little time to do but the results are really worth it. 


You can use this same method to make crisps out of other similar vegetables like parsnips, carrots, potato or sweet potato and because you use Cornflour to dust them, they are also gluten-free.

First thing to do is put on a pair of food grade gloves because the beetroot juice will be really difficult to get off your hands! 

Cut off the top and the bottom of the beetroot and then cut off the rest of the skin. Now you're ready to go.

How to make Beetroot Crisps.

1. Slice the beetroot with a sharp knife (or a food mandolin) as fine as you can, the thinner the better.


2. Toss the beetroot slices in Cornflour in a bowl. Make sure each one is completely covered.


3. Rub each dusted beetroot slice to press the cornflour into them.


4. Using a pastry brush (or a small new paint brush) rub each beetroot slice to remove as much cornflour as possible. This is the bit that takes the most time but it is important that you clean them off as best you can.


5. Continue cleaning the cornflour off each slice until you have them all done.


6. Fry the beetroot crisps in vegetable oil or rapeseed oil at 170°C (335°F) in a deep fryer (or what ever you use to make your chips in at home) and cook them until they stop bubbling completely. You can also cook them in an Air Fryer for 15 - 20 minutes until completely dry.


7. The crisps will stop bubbling in the oil when they are ready to take out.


8. Spread the cooked beetroot crisps on a dry cloth for 5 minutes to cool and they are now ready to eat!


Remember, you can use the same method to make your own homemade crisps out of all sorts of similar vegetables and there is a great pleasure you get when sharing them with someone and saying that you made them yourself! 

Enjoy your crisps and do share this post if you wish!

Zack

New NeighbourFood Market for Connemara

A new online farmers market will launch this week in Baile na hAbhann in Connemara. Called NeighbourFood, it's a fresh new way to do your weekly shop. Its aim is to create a link between local producers and local people, and it will run every week at An Tulach (Coláiste Chamuis), next door to the Irish-language television channel TG4, which has its headquarters in the village.



NeighbourFood is a really easy way to get the best local produce and at the same time support local producers near you,” says chef Diarmuid Ó Mathúna, who will be running the market. “Each week members can place an order on neighbourfood.ie and then collect a basket full of goodies on the following Wednesday evening.”


A wide range of produce will be available from the An Tulach NeighbourFood market, including delicious leaves and veg from Garraí Glas, award-winning meat from McGeough's butchers and some of Sullivan's Country Grocers famous breads. If you feel like you've earned a treat, The Wine Buff will also be selling their amazing wines.


Chef Diarmuid O Mathuna who is launching the new NeighbourFood Market in Baile na hAbhann, Connemara


There are over 50 NeighbourFood markets across the country now and Diarmuid worked at one of the first: “We saw huge demand for the service from the start. People loved getting such great products so easily and at the same time  knowing that they were putting plenty of money back into the pockets of small local producers.”


NeighbourFood gives 80c out of every €1 spent on the site back to the producers, whereas many large supermarkets give them less than 50c. Because the producers get the orders ahead of time, they can produce what's needed and no more, reducing food waste. There's also a strong focus on seasonal and organic products and packaging is avoided as much as possible. NeighbourFood saw a huge increase in demand during lockdown because it is so well suited to safe COVID 19 practices.



The first step is registering for NeighbourFood, which is completely free. Then each week members have until midnight on Monday to place an order on the site. From then until Wednesday evening the producers will work hard to get everything ready for collection between 4 and 6pm that day. NeighbourFood – An Tulach will host its first collection on Wednesday, 26 August, which means customers need to be registered and have their orders in by midnight, Monday 24 August.


To register visit www.neighbourfood.ie/antulach 

An Dúlamán - Bringing the Magic of the Sea to You for World Gin Day

In a week that begins with World Ocean Day and ends with World Gin Day (this Saturday 13th June 2020) you could treat yourself to one of the world's most unique gins, An Dúlamán Irish Maritime Gin, which is flavoured with five locally harvested seaweed and six other botanicals!


Sliabh Liag Distillers' Gin Distiller, Moira Doherty, has created a spirit as unique as the rugged Donegal coast that inspires it - An Dúlamán. It is produced in a custom built 500 litre hand-hammered copper still, named Meabh (which means "she who intoxicates"), which has a vapour extraction basket for placing the seaweeds and botanicals into, which create the magical flavour.

"The coast around the mighty Sliabh Liag Cliffs hold an extraordinary bounty for local sea foragers like us, who use centuries-old knowledge of harvesting and harnessing the qualities of natural seaweeds," says Moira. "For example, we can only harvest the tiny , shy pepper dulse seaweed that grows in the cracks and crevices of the rocky headlands, when the moon is full and tides are at their lowest."



Due to the delicate nature of the botanicals sourced from the sea, they take an incredibly narrow cut of the distillate which helps mix of flavours shine through at precisely the right levels.

On the palate, there is soft bright juniper, which subsides as the complexity of An Dúlamán is revealed in rich umami, brisk salt and then a buttery oyster smoothness with hints of chestnut. Given time, sweet notes of peach and even Turkish Delight appear!

The unique bottle created by the distillery, is based upon those found along the Donegal coast, after ships of the Spanish Armada were wrecked on the rocks. The Spanish Armada was an enormous 130-ship naval fleet dispatched by Spain in 1588 as part of a planned invasion of England, but which encountered problems from the start and many ran aground along the Irish west coast.

The label of An Dúlamán Santa Ana Gin is an old map showing where the Spanish Armada Ship was wrecked

Last year, the distillery released a new "navy strength" style Gin, called An Dúlamán Santa Ana, Armada Strength Gin,  inspired by one of the many ships of the Spanish Armada, La Duquesa Santa Ana, which ran aground off the Loughros Mór Point, near Ardara.

In this new gin, they take the same seaweed-based spirit distillation and age it in Rioja wine barrels for up to 12 weeks! This adds another layer of flavour and a rose gold colour to the gin. It is then taken down to 57% abv, known also as "navy strength" and bottled into similar iconic bottles, sealing it with a deep red wax, all done by hand.

Though strong in alcohol, An Dúlamán Santa Ana is superbly smooth with a slight natural fruit sweetness adding to the complexity of the maritime flavours!

Celebrate your World Gin Day with An Dúlamán Santa Ana from the Sliabh Liag Distillery

Sliabh Liag Distillery also produces Silkie Irish Whiskey and are currently planning to build another brand new distillery in Ardara, County Donegal. You can purchase An Dúlamán Gin at most good off-licences nationwide and also directly from the Sliabh Liag Distillery website at www.SliabhLiagDistillers.com. Enjoy #WorldGinDay!


Zack 

Aldi to sell over 75 new Irish made products as part of "Grow with Aldi" Supplier Development Programme

45 artisan food & drink producers win a new contract with Aldi, which has to date invested over €1.5million in Irish suppliers since the programme began in 2018.

45 of Ireland’s most innovative Irish food and drink producers have won a new contract to supply Aldi’s 142 stores through its Grow with Aldi Supplier Development Programme. Over 75 exciting Irish-made products will now go on sale nationwide as part of an Aldi Specialbuys event, kicking off on Sunday, 31st May for two weeks only. Aldi is investing €500,000 in the Grow with Aldi programme this year, and to date, has invested over €1.5million with small and medium Irish suppliers since it began in 2018.


A diverse range of products have been selected for 2020, including  Cordials, Artisan Chocolate, Baking Mixes, Piedmontese Beef Sausages, Irish Farmhouse Cheeses and Frozen Pizzas. The new artisan additions will compliment Aldi’s existing portfolio of Irish products. Aldi already works with over 200 Irish suppliers and will sell over €750 million worth of Irish goods this year.

 Developed in partnership with Bord Bia, Grow with Aldi supports small and medium Irish suppliers in listing with a national retailer. Suppliers receive tailored mentoring, workshops from the Aldi Buying Team and Bord Bia technical experts, teaching them the skills to help grow and develop their product, brand and business.



Five of the Grow with Aldi suppliers will then be given a further opportunity, winning a contract for their product to be sold in Aldi’s Irish stores year-round. In 2019, All About Kombucha, Galway (Kombucha), Funky Monkey Foods, Dublin (Curry Mix and Salt & Chilli Mix), Walls Honest Chips, Cork (Chips), Ballyvourney Pudding, Cork (Black and White Pudding), Pizzado Pizza, Co. Down (Fresh Pizza Bases) and Mama Bear Ketchup, Cork (Low Sugar Ketchup) all won a core listing in all 142 stores nationwide.

 Commenting, John Curtin, Aldi Group Buying Director, said:
“Now in its third year, Grow with Aldi has consistently delivered for everyone involved. Small and medium sized Irish suppliers get the opportunity to have their product sold nationally, shoppers get to enjoy the best Irish-made products being created and Aldi gets to work with even more Irish suppliers. With everything that has happened worldwide over the past few months, we couldn’t think of a better time to be supporting Irish suppliers more. These fantastic products that represent the very best of Ireland’s food industry.”

Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, said:
“As a nation, we love to purchase locally sourced products; recent research from Bord Bia showed that 76% of people use Irish produce where possible and over two thirds of those surveyed agreed that food of Irish origin was worth paying a little more for. Now more than ever this is hugely important, and Grow with Aldi not only helps meet consumer demand for Irish products, but also supports small and medium Irish suppliers as they develop the skills and capabilities their businesses need in the current climate.”

The full list of Irish products is as follows: 

County
Supplier
Product
Price
Antrim
Mezze Magic
Smoked Black Olive Tepenade
€2.49

Mezze Magic
Smoked Sundried Tomato Pesto
€2.49
Armagh
Burren Balsamics
Black Garlic Infused Balsamic Vinegar
€4.49

Burren Balsamics
Blackberry and Thyme Infused Balsamic Vinegar
€4.49

Burren Balsamics
White Balsamic Vinegar
€4.49

Meadow Farm Foods
Orchard Smokehouse Smoked Chicken Wings
€3.49
Cavan
Ice Cream Treats
Yomega3 Greek Style Frozen Yogurts
€4.99
Clare
Inagh Farmhouse Cheese
St. Tola Divine Artisan Goat Cheese
€2.99


Magic Mayan
Vegan Fresh Mint Dark Chocolate
€3.99

Magic Mayan
Vegan Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate
€3.99

Magic Mayan
Vegan Zesty Orange Dark Chocolate
€3.99

Meere’s Pork Products
6 Dinner Sausages
€2.99

Mrs. Doyle’s Tea
Irish Blend Tea
€4.49
Cork
Bó Rua Farm
Original Irish Farm Cheddar
€2.99

De Roiste Foods
Ballyvourney Tomato and Herb Sausages
€1.99

Finders Foods
Rocket Salad Dressing
€2.99

O’Neill’s Irish Atlantic Sea Salt
Aromatic Garlic Sea Salt Flakes
€2.49

O’Neill’s Irish Atlantic Sea Salt
Pure and Natural Sea Salt Flakes
€2.49

Mella’s Irish Butter Fudge
Salted Caramel Irish Butter Fudge
€4.49

Mella’s Irish Butter Fudge
Irish Butter Fudge Selection
€4.49

Saturday Pizzas
Margherita Pizza
€4.99

Saturday Pizzas
Pepperoni Pizza
€4.99

Union Hall Smoked Fish
Smoked Mackerel Pâté
€3.29

Union Hall Smoked Fish
Smoked Salmon Pâté
€3.29
Derry
The Popcorn Company
Blue Raspberry Candy Floss
€1.29

The Popcorn Company
Green Apple Candy Floss
€1.29

The Popcorn Company
Pink Vanilla Candy Floss
€1.29
Down
Hellbent
Coiled South African Sausage (Boerewors)
€3.99
Dublin
Dan & Monstro
Homemade Curry Sauce
€3.49

Dan & Monstro
Homemade Pasta Sauce
€3.49

Mama Nagi’s
Exotic Coconut Cook-in Sauce
€3.29

Mama Nagi’s
Fruity Tomato Cook-in Sauce
€3.29

Mama Nagi’s
Sweet Mango Cook-in Sauce
€3.29

Meltdown
Hot Stuff Sauce
€3.79

Nicky’s Plaice
Oak-Smoked Salmon
€2.99

Safco Fine Foods
Fresh Falafel
€2.49

Safco Fine Foods
Falafel Burger
€3.49

Vada Pow
Croquette Tikka Masala
€3.49

Vada Pow
Mumbai Potato Pie
€3.49
Kildare
Prokulture
Organic Kombucha – Ginger & Lemongrass
€2.99

Prokulture
Organic Kombucha – Wild Berry
€2.99

The Grill Shack
Original Hot Sauce
€3.29
Leitrim
Dromod
Irish Homemade Boxty
€1.99

Jinny’s Bakery
Irish Stout Bread Mix
€3.65
Louth
KooKee
Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cookie Mix
€3.59

KooKee
Gluten Free Spotaí Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix
€3.59
Mayo
Furnace Green
Meat Free Black Pudding
€2.29

Furnace Green
Meat Free White Pudding
€2.29
Meath
Adriatic Taste
Grill Sausage – Extra Hot
€4.99

Adriatic Taste
Grill Sausage – Spicy
€4.99
Monaghan
Hempful
CBD Infusion Health Bar
€2.99

Hempful
Natural Hemp Original Hemp Bar
€2.99

Hempful
Protein Boost Health Bar
€2.99

Kahawa Coffee
Cold Brew Latte
€2.49

Kahawa Coffee
Cold Brew Original
€2.49
Offaly
Biltong Chief
Chilli Beef Biltong
€2.85

Biltong Chief
Traditional Biltong
€2.85

O’Donoghue’s Bakery
Dairy Free Soda Bread
€1.45

Mossfield Organic Farm
Natural Yogurt
€2.29
Tipperary
Blackcastle Farm/Irish Piedmontese Meat Company
6 Irish Gourmet Piedmontese Beef Sausages
€3.99

Lisduff Fine Foods
Cajun Turkey Grills
€2.79

Lisduff Fine Foods
Sage & Onion Turkey Grills
€2.79
Tyrone
Quinns
Hazelnut Gelato
€3.49

Quinns
Vanilla Gelato
€3.49
Wexford
Jimmy’s Kitchen
Potato Cakes in Golden Batter
€3.89

Jimmy’s Kitchen
Potato Cakes in Herb Breadcrumb
€3.89

Naturally Cordial
Wexford Blackcurrant Cordial
€3.99

Naturally Cordial
Lemon and Lime Leaf Cordial
€3.99
Wicklow
Guastalla
Italian Prosciutto
€3.99

Guastalla
Salami Antipasto
€3.99

Porter & Nash
Caramelised Onion & Balsamic Sauce
€3.29

Porter & Nash
Original Gravy
€3.29

Pure Treats
Berry Burst Mini Cake
€2.99

Pure Treats
Lemon Drizzle Mini Cake
€2.99

The Piccolo Pizza Co.
Basil & Garlic Pizza Sauce
€1.99

The Piccolo Pizza Co.
Herb & Spice Pizza Sauce
€1.99

The Piccolo Pizza Co.
Smoky BBQ Pizza Sauce
€1.99

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