Meet 2 Chocolatiers and 1 Chocolate Maker on 8th November


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

Venue: Highbank Orchard – 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 –

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:

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

and here are the 3 in person (together with a stray sister)


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.


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 :-)


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




Scratch My Pork (with thanks to Jaq)




UPDATE – Joe’s Farm Crisps



Natasha’s Living Food (ta to Tommy)


Wilkie, Bean and Goose and Hazel Mountain

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Wiltons (ta to Nassir)


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


Apple Juice



The Apple Farm (ta to Bernie)


Other snack things

Boilie Goats Cheese Pearls


Cherries – Bee Sensations


D P Connolly – all sorts (ta to Emily)

Screenshot 2014-09-14 17.21.37

Tastefully Yours Chilli Sauce for dipping into


Irish Craft Beers – so so many


UPDATE: Dee’s Moroccan Veg Pot


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!


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


Meet The Roasters. Brock, @badgeranddodo

Brock kicked off in 2008 and I have been a consumer of his beans for a couple of years (or longer). I do stray from time to time but keep coming back to his fair-trade and organic bean: Sumatra Aceh – Gegarang village.

He started at the front end of the trade (as a Barista and now a judge for the Irish competitions) and moved to roasting. Like our other two roasters at Meet The Roasters he’s proud of the end product and equally proud of the roasting that is part of the process that leads to an outstanding cup of coffee.

Here he is on his roasting machine…. “DOCTOR O”

Our customised cast iron, 30Kg roaster. Roasting entirely via a soft fluid bed of hot air, gives a smoother richer flavour. We coupled this a state of the art modulating profile system which allows us to develop ideal ‘roasting recipes’ (ie profiles) for every bean type. This profile system ensures precise repeat-ability – right down to the degree and second. In an industry where ‘consistency is king’ this is a vital piece of technology.

More information on the Saturday 20th Sept event and bookings here.



Meet The Roasters – Ferg, @roastedbrown

Back in 1996 I learned HTML in a premises on Curved Street in Temple Bar. I can’t remember if coffee was a thing for me then – I suspect it wasn’t and couldn’t have been given the lack of roasters and good coffee shops in Ireland.

It is now. And Curved Street is home to Roasted Brown, a small scale coffee roaster and coffee shop too. I’ve never met Ferg who is the owner/roaster so I’m looking forward to that on the 20th at Meet The Roasters.

Right now (and as far as I can tell from their Facebook and Twitter feeds, no website?) they roast for Love Supreme, Grove Road, The Happy Pear and Bias all in Dublin.

And a video of Ferg via The Happy Pear :-)

More on the event on the 20th here (which also features Brock, Badger & Dodo and Jennifer, Ponaire)


Theatre of Food – a lot of fun during Electric Picnic. Thanks to @McKennasGuides

This is a little different from my usual run of posts here. I was given the opportunity to help Sally McKenna out with the Theatre of Food element of MindField this year and jumped at the chance. Given that I enjoy running events (food most recently and non-food previously) it was an opportunity to see a 3 day packed schedule in action.

I enjoyed it so much and it was a privilege. Sally (and John, who plays a background role in this one) have, over the years, put together a team of people who are professional supportive and focused in their delivery of this event. Fun too :-).

For me, because I focus so much on food products and producers, this was a chance to see so many chefs in action and that was a real learning. 

I’m not going to name anyone here with one exception because I’m lousy at names and I’d leave far too many out. Exception is a thanks to Sam McKenna for working alongside of me on a/v for the weekend – he was great to work with :-)

This is a short video extract of bits of TOF.