Meet The Brewers, @cooksacademy 15th June

After a great initial evening with the Real Bread Ireland bakers on 27th April the next Biabeag event in Cooks Academy is on 15th June when I will be chatting to 3 superb craft brewing brands.

You can book tickets here.

Caroline (first below) helped us put the lineup together and we have deliberately gone for a spread of experience so that, amongst other things, we can contrast the changing landscape for craft brewery startups over the last 4 or 5 years.

Caroline Hennessy, 8 Degrees (founded 2011)

Caroline has been closely involved with 8 Degrees since day 1 and she is also the co-author of Slainte, The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider.

Daire Harlin, Brú Brewery (founded 2013)

He left his job as a solicitor to co-found Bru Brewery and that cost €250,000 for the kit out.

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Photo courtesy of the Irish Times

 

Barry O’Neill, O’Brother Brewing (founded 2015)

Three brothers, hows that going to work out? Barry (pictured here with his siblings Brian and Padhraig) will let us know.

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Photo courtesy of the Irish Independent

 

For more information and to book tickets click here.

Keith

Irish Food and Drink Producers worth getting to know @unakavanagh

Úna-Minh Caomhánach has a series of posts that I’d be proud of right here.

Short informative listings of food producers who catch her eye. And 18 of them so far makes this a consistent update for her. They started in September 2014.

Here’s a list of the producers in the last 3 to give you a sense of them:

Part 18:

Tynedale Goats
Wild About
Toby’s Cider
Vera Miklas
Rake of Cakes

Part 17:

Ayle Farm
Duncannon Smokehouse
Joe’s Farm Crisps
Delish Melish
Blast and Wilde

Part 16:

Irish Wagyu Beef
Burren Free Range Pork
Ballybryan Bronze Turkeys
Mr Crumb
Naturally Cordial

Screenshot 2015-05-03 19.37.34

Thank you Úna-Minh ;-)

Keith

Next Biabeag event is in Cooks Academy, Dublin – Monday 27th April

With a lull in the Highbank Orchards series because I want to focus some time on Real Bread Ireland an opportunity came up to do a couple of events with Cooks Academy on South William Street in Dublin.

It is owned and run by Vanessa and Tim Greenwood and their genuine passion for great food is what drove them to open up 10 years ago. So I was happy when they asked me to bring some of the Meet The Producer conversations to their place of work.

We are kicking off on Monday 27th with a chat with 3 Real Bread Ireland bakers.

  • Thibault (Tibo) Peigne, Tartine
  • William Despard, Bretzel
  • Eoin Cluskey, Firehouse Bakery

will join us and share the deep passion that each of them have for proper bread and baking. It will be the first outing for Eoin who apparently has been carrying Patrick Ryan for years now and is finally going to emerge from under his bosses shadow :-)

You can find out more about the evening and book tickets here.

Look forward to seeing you on the night.

Keith

 

 

A day with Joe Fitzmaurice, Riotrye on his Sourdough Course

I spent a day with my son last weekend learning to bake sourdough bread with Joe Fitzmaurice of RiotRye Bakery in Cloughjordan. I know his family for years (having been a customer a long time ago of Blazing Salads when it was in Powerscourt) and got to know him over the last 4 or 5 years as he reestablished his business in Irelands most famous eco-village. He is also a founding member of Real Bread Ireland.

The course was 7 hours long and it flew. Over the course of the day we made 6 loaves each – 2 each of wheat, rye and spelt sourdoughs. The wheat needs the most loving so we started on that and worked it each 30 minutes until it was ready for the oven.

The other two we mixed and prepared straight away :-)

I am mostly going to tell this story with the photos I took – keeping in mind that for most of the day your hands are covered in dough/flour so there is no way to take your phone out and snap!

There is also a video towards the end where Joe explains more about his (slightly famous in bread baking circles) wood fired brick oven.

Strongly recommend this to anyone who wants to learn and enjoy bread.

Keith

We start in a working bakery with 8 places prepared

We start in a working bakery with 8 places prepared

Locally grown biodynamic rye. Joe talks about this a lot during the course.

Locally grown biodynamic rye. Joe talks about this a lot during the course.

 

This is some of that rye sprouting,

This is some of that rye sprouting,

 

A small hand mill for preparing tiny amounts of flour

A small hand mill for preparing tiny amounts of flour

  

At scale Joe uses organic flours from Shipton Mill in the UK. Has bought directly from them since he started.

At scale Joe uses organic flours from Shipton Mill in the UK. Has bought directly from them since he started.

    

When you are working with a deep oven you need mechanical help!

When you are working with a deep oven you need mechanical help!

     

Courses don't run themselves and Julie, Joe's partner, is around for a lot of the day helping him.

Courses don’t run themselves and Julie, Joe’s partner, is around for a lot of the day helping him.

 

For participants who prepared their own starters (fermented flour) Joe gave feedback on each of them.

For participants who prepared their own starters (fermented flour) Joe gave feedback on each of them.

 

A free coating of flour goes with the day

A free coating of flour goes with the day

Joe spends time both explaining the essence of bread and also sharing his views on food and people. Its great :-)

Joe spends time both explaining the essence of bread and also sharing his views on food and people. Its great :-)

Take local timber, burn it and this is what you get.

Take local timber, burn it and this is what you get.

This is the end result, in this case a white wheat sourdough

This is the end result, in this case a white wheat sourdough

A full basket of tasty real breads was ours to take home

A full basket of tasty real breads was ours to take home

thanks to Joe and Julie for the day. Much enjoyed, much learned. More here and book a course for yourself online.

Keith

My first published work – restaurant reviews of vegetarian meals in 1988

A couple of years before John and Sally McKenna’s guides started (I think it was 1991, the earliest I have is 2001) I was training as an accountant in KPMG in Limerick and through the internal grapevine heard about a guy in the Dublin office who had written a Vegetarian guide for Ireland.

This is 1988. So choices were few and far between. It was before I became vegan and I was happy to contact a number of restaurants around me and ask for a meal in return for a review and inclusion.

They were:

  • The Mustard Seed, Adare
  • Riverrun Gallery, Limerick
  • Foley’s Seafood & Steak Restaurant, Killarney
  • Mac Closkeys Restaurant, Bunratty

The guide has long since disappeared and I can’t even find a photo of the cover on the internet. Neither do I know what became of Brian and Carol!

But I do have a copy and finally got around to a clumsy digitising of it. This is it as uploaded into Scribd. Blazing Salads, Cornucopia and Quay Coop caught my eye as I scanned it it :-)

enjoy it, a tiny piece of the recent food history of Ireland

Keith

Biabeag Online update – now up 67 online sources of great Irish food products

I’ve put up another 8 online stores today – all websites based in Ireland and run by small to medium businesses where you can buy Irish artisan food products online. The full listing is also on a single page and I’ve reproduced below.

Enjoy browsing and shopping – either in this online stores or in your local independent food shop.

/Keith

Food Producers

3fe

Abernethy Butter Company

AlgAran Seaweed

Badger & Dodo

BeeActiv

Big Red Kitchen

Burren Smokehouse

Castlemine Farm

Chocolate Garden

Comeragh Mountain Lamb

Chez Emily

Connemara Smokehouse

Crowe Farm

Delicious Bakery

Diva Bakery

Donegal Rapeseed Oil

Duncannon Smokehouse

Eight Degrees

Foods of Athenry

Goatsbridge Trout Farm

Good Food Ireland

Green Saffron

Griffins Bakery

Herterich Artisan Meats

Highbank Organic Orchards

Irish Piedmontese Beef

Iswari Superfoods

James Whelan Butchers

Kerry Fish

Kettlyle Irish Foods

Kingfisher Tea

Kinvara Smoked Salmon

Knockdrinna

Leaves Pure Food

Maria Lucia Bakes

McCarthy’s of Kanturk

McGeough’s Artisan Butcher

Mileeven Honey

Natashas Living Food

Newgrange Gold

Ponaire

Real Italian Foodies

Rebel Chilli

Roscommon Chocolate Company

Seagull Bakery

Seymours Biscuits

Sprout & Co

Stript Snacks

The Apple Farm

The Cookie Jar

The Truffle Fairy

Ummera

Wild Irish Sea Veg

Wyldsson Elite Nutrition

Pure Online

Absolutely Organic

biabox

Bite To Savour

Indie Fude

Made to Savour

Manna Organic Store

Plant Goodness

Offline and Online

Ardkeen Quality Food Store

Bradley off-Licence

My Mexican Shop

O’Briens Wine

Sheridans Cheesemongers