Meet 2 Chocolatiers and 1 Chocolate Maker on 8th November

EARLY DETAILS

Timing
Date: Saturday 8th November 2014
Time: 6.30pm for 2 hours or thereabouts.

Venue: Highbank Orchard – http://www.highbankorchards.com. You will also be able to sample and buy from the wonderful range of Highbank Ciders – Proper, Medieval and Drivers.

Map showing entrance to Highbank – https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zFi7I69FJBfk.kkTe3qWzL_98

Link to buy tickets (only €8 to join us & €5 for Slow Food Members)

Who – and what?

There is a distinction at the making end of chocolate between making chocolate from scratch (from beans) and using couverture to make the finished product. We have (to my knowledge) only one two chocolate makers in Ireland (Wilkies & Hazel Mountain Chocolates) – one of those will be at an event with us in 2015 if I get my way :-).

Our 3 makers are here, Lyss, Mary and Karen

photo

Mary Teehan, Truffle Fairy

I’ve known Mary since she was experimenting with chocolates in her home kitchen and I had a personal interest in her expanding into a commercial setting because that capacity increase allowed her to introduce some vegan dark chocolate bars and truffles :-)

Mary truffles

Karen Keane, Bean and Goose

Karen is the co-founder of Bean and Goose together with her sister Natalie. They are based in Wexford and only kicked off last year (2013). It was their single origin bars that caught my eye – that and catchy branding.

Bean and Goose Chocolate

Alyssa Jade McDonald, Blyss Chocolate

Lyss is someone I have only “met” virtually. Known her for over 3 years and email, Twitter and Skype are how we have gotten to know each other. In one of those weird coincidences she works closely with someone who lives in Kilkenny! She is the first non-Irish based maker in the series and thats because she happens to be in Ireland in the week that this evening is on and her story is really interesting :-)

She is our Chocolate Maker and will share the story of bean to bar – from plantation to mouth.

blyss chocolate

Thats it – gonna be a great way to wind up the first year of Biabeag :-)

Tickets here for €8 – samples and a chance to buy more on the night.

Keith

Screenshot 2014-10-27 20.03.23

The 4 minute guide to Cacao Bean’s by @BLYSS_choc

As the Biabeag series of talks and sessions develops it is good to move further back and explore the provenance of the raw materials and the early processing that they are subjected to.

In this short video Lyss talks us through the word of cacao beans and helps us to understand how vital they are to the end product. Get them wrong (and we covered this a lot during the Roaster event) and you are guaranteed to fail.

You can meet, listen to and discuss cacao with Lyss, Karen from Bean and Goose and Mary from Truffle Fairy on Saturday November 8th. Click here for more info and to book.

Keith

Slow Food Gatherings and Food Writing Workshop – Events coming up

A couple that might be of interest to you.

Dalkey Creates: Food Writing Workshop: 18th & 19th October

October sees the kick off of an inaugural writing festival for Dalkey from Thursday 16th– Sunday 19th October 2014. Of relevance to people who enjoy food is the workshop being run by Aoife Carrigy.

prifile1

Aoife is Secretary of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild, and an experienced editor, food writer and freelance journalist. She is a regular contributor to FOOD & WINE Magazine, The Irish Independent, The Sunday Times and The Irish Times, and was employed as a local editor for the Zagat guide to Dublin restaurants.

In Dalkey Aoife is presenting a food writing workshop with a strong practical focus and designed to appeal to writers of all levels of experience. Spread over two morning sessions to allow for hands-on workshopping of written material, this unique event will include a Q&A session with entrepreneurial restaurateur Rachel Clancy, a skills-based demonstration from head chef, Hadi Fahes, and a convivial three-course lunch designed to get your creative juices flowing.

For more information download this PDF Dalkey Creates Press Release_Food Writing Workshop details

To book click here.

RiotRye – Sourdough and Introduction to Baking: starting October 18th

For anyone who wants to learn the wonders of home baking and #realbread check out Joe Fitzmaurice and his Saturday courses starting in 2 weeks time.

readbreal-23

Slow Food Northern Ireland – Learn “Sourdough Bread”: Saturday 11th October

For those of you closer to the North this is a one day bread course by David Semple.

Booking details and info underneath (interesting to note that the oven pictured as well as some of the breads, are RiotRye‘s!)

Microsoft Word - Sourdough Bread Workshop V1.docx

Wild And Slow: 8th & 9th November

This annual Slow Food event, held in Wicklow each year, celebrates everything that is good about Irish food: fresh, local, traditional and wild. With over 20 speakers and workshops and 5,000 people attending last year this is a great one to go to.

cropped-banner2014b

Keith

Thanks to @badgeranddodo @ponaire @roastedbrown for a great Meet The Roasters

Saturday evening was really enjoyable – between 55 and 60 people heard 3 passionate roasters talk about their businesses, their stories and what makes it work for them.

Some quick notes and video below – but first a couple of photos from the full set that Ken McGuire took on the night.

Jennifer Ryan, Ponaire

Jennifer opened and her main focus was on the work she has done on getting her supplies of beans certified. Interestingly, and this lead to discussion with the audience and also her fellow roasters, she found the Fairtrade certification to be extremely bureaucratic (17 page form not only for each bean but each size of packaging for the same bean from the same source). What was also revealing (and this was also said by Ferg) is that the premium paid in each case is not passed onto the consumer.

So more work and less margin. But she is adamant that it is so important to her personally and she also believes in it as a core brand value for Ponaire.

She also spoke about something that she does which is to buy the entire crop from either a small holding completely or a given area of it. All helping to build up the connection back to the grower.

Ferg Brown, Roasted Brown

This is a quiet man on the press and blog side so the majority of what he had to share on the night was new to me. He is “only” in business for a couple of years in his current location (having started off as a mobile coffee stand (#streetfood) and after an initial rocky start he bought from Brock for a while and learned loads from him!

When he moved into Curved Street he initially sourced from Hasbean and then, via a roasting course in the UK, came across someone who was about to invest in a roaster (Notes Roastery in London) and they came to a con-acre arrangement! So every 2 weeks Ferg goes to the UK and roasts half a tonne (this is from memory, I take zero responsibility for its accuracy) of coffee and bags it. They share the fun of sourcing green beans together from a Norwegian based direct trade supplier – Nordic Approach and he again learns loads from his roasting partners.

Ferg is growing the business slowly and does not yet want the pressure that his own roastery in Dublin will bring in terms of the volume required for payback on the investment. He expands by waiting for new business to come in (mostly from new cafes/coffee shops that are opening). As he puts it Dublin is too small to be poaching business off other roasters – it is not a game he wants to play.

He also wants to build up relations with one or two coffee farmers directly and to be able to visit them and work with them to develop and grow both businesses simultaneously.

Brock Lewin, Badger and Dodo

Brock got the chance to coffee-geek out a little as the last speaker and you could tell how much he enjoys it. He is the largest of the 3 with 150 trade customers and plans for his own place in Galway which is opening in October.

So he shared a little of his back story (with a sidebar on the strong coffee culture in Melbourne), and then spoke about the growth of his business and how he has changed and adopted to that growth. Stuff like being a judge in the Barista championship had to be stopped (because of time pressure) but the importance of Barista’s in the chain is carried through in the business through his insistence on his customers having fully trained barista’s on staff with training from Vin being provided as part of that.

On the geeky side of coffee brewing you will need to watch the video – wayyy too much detail to include here and if I got it wrong there is a chance he would hunt me down :-).

Thank you’s

Thanks to Jennifer, Brock and Ferg for coming to Highbank and sharing their passions. Thanks to the audience who came along (including a couple who travelled from Northern Ireland! They worked it into a visit to friends in Callan). And thanks to Ken for his pics and video and to our hosts Julie and Rod in Highbank Organic Orchards for the unseen work they put in each time to set the stage for this events.

Improvements for next time

A couple of things that will be done to improve the next one – Meet the Chocolatiers and Chocolate Maker. We will start at 18.30 and not 18.00 to give people a chance to finish off Saturday commitments and get in on time. And I will work harder to ensure that the sharing by the panel is opened up to questions and interaction with the floor :-)

Comments and feedback welcome as always.

Keith

Great @slowfoodhq video that explains Slow Food Movement clearly in under 2 minutes

This is worth a quick watch – really clearly communicated and executed by the team in Italy.

Slow Food South East will be briefly explained and introduced at Meet The Roasters on Saturday and we will have membership forms and be there to answer questions. Inbetween coffee imbibing :-)

keith

If you were in an Irish hotel room and snacky – what products would you like to see?

This request came in (great to see) from a soon to open Irish boutique hotel – they want to use Irish artisan long life food products in their mini bar.

So I’m thinking the following with addition of suggestions just now on Twitter (I will keep adding to this and please add comments too).

Crispy and Savoury

Keoghs Crisps

crisp-flavours-packs_salt

Veronicas

sour-cream-new

Scratch My Pork (with thanks to Jaq)

NEW_LABELS_bigger_text

O’Donnells

hickory1

UPDATE – Joe’s Farm Crisps

10525834_708965769170112_7120845412633482126_n

Sweetness

Natasha’s Living Food (ta to Tommy)

1974172_10152141395106492_134294588_o

Wilkie, Bean and Goose and Hazel Mountain

7063689 10499519_599271786856867_627319160992693618_o 35338b_e4547da33b124a4eb3cdbb203d87c780.jpg_srz_341_482_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srz

Wiltons (ta to Nassir)

Wilton_Macaroon_Bar

UPDATE – Foods of Athenry – Cookie Shots #gf #vegan

BxgelpLIAAAVZw5

Apple Juice

Highbank

box_juice_matte_380_470

The Apple Farm (ta to Bernie)

sparkling

Other snack things

Boilie Goats Cheese Pearls

CC_Pesto_Path_CutOut

Cherries – Bee Sensations

potcheen-265x265

D P Connolly – all sorts (ta to Emily)

Screenshot 2014-09-14 17.21.37

Tastefully Yours Chilli Sauce for dipping into

BxgbLYvCMAAXEPU

Irish Craft Beers – so so many

home1

UPDATE: Dee’s Moroccan Veg Pot

siwmsbpx2gd43s6zydkk

Thats it for now – please leave comments with other suggestions and I will pass onto the hotel concerned. Ta to all who helps on Twitter!

Keith

Meet The Roasters – the backstory of a @planetbeancafe coffee bean

On 20th September we will be looking at how to properly roast great coffee beans so that their magic can be tasted and enjoyed. But that taste starts with the grower and harvester. 

This 5 minute video (from Fairtrade company Planet Bean in Ontario, Canada) tells the story of their growers, pickers and dryers.

Thanks to them for sharing. For more on Meet The Roasters click here

Keith