Sarah Richards (Seagull Bakery, Tramore) and Rob Mosse (Kells Mill, Kilkenny) who will talk about their work in re-establishing local grain growing and milling.
Joe Fitzmaurice (Riot Rye Bakery, Cloughjordan) and Bruce Darrell (organic grower, Cloughjordan EcoVillage) who will share their joint project to grow grains in Cloughjordan and then make bread on the same site.
Emma Clutterbuck (Oak Forest Mills, Kilkenny) who are starting to grow and mill organic (in conversion) grains such as spelt, wheat, einkorn and barley.
There are many challenges as well as excitements in making Irish bread from Irish grains and we will get to hear about them all – and taste great breads too 🙂
The revitalisation of this sector has been fascinating me for the last number of years and when my close friends Rod and Julie Calder Potts set up their own organic distillery a couple of years ago I started learning a lot more about distilling, whiskey and the challenges around labelling and marketing.
Join us for 2 hours of passion, story telling and tastings as we chat with
– Jenn Nickerson – Chief Dogsbody, Tipperary Distillery
– Ned Gahan – Head Distiller, Waterford Distillery
– John O’Connell – Head Distiller, West Cork Distillers
and special guest Bill Linnane, freelance journalist with a very particular grá for whiskey.
We will absolutely talk about whiskey labelling, the provenance of brands and the terroir of barley. We will actively explore the various routes open to a new Irish Whiskey Brand and the importance of absolute clarity in how a new brand is positioned in the eyes of consumers.
Hosted as always by Highbank Organic Orchard who are distillers of distinction in their own right and a tour of the orchard and distillery is included with your ticket.
This will take place at 17.30.
It was too good to not repeat. Mid January we held the Magic of Fermentation and it was really popular and enjoyed by around 80 people.
So we are bringing 3 great food producers and 1 great nutritional therapist back to explore some more of the magic.
Mostly its liquid this time. We have Gerry Scullion, the King of Kefir alongside Adrian Hyde from Holo Organic (Kombucha) and then a man more known for his vegan chef’ing in Cornucopia James Burke. He is with us on this evening as he is launching a new food business making Tempeh initially and then branching out to other fermented foods….
Providing some observations on how fermentation helps our health will be Jemma Kehoe who was previously with us for the Fats evening in November.
Took the decision this evening (27th) to not risk people having issues or accidents trying to get to Highbank on Saturday to the event.
Next up we visit our breakfast and swerve rapidly to avoid what would be the traditional Irish fry up ;-). You can buy tickets here or read some more…
Oats, porridge, gruel (maybe not so much). A traditional grain which, if you are anything like me, gets consumed with a lack of imagination. So this evening we are joined by one previous guest and 3 new to use to explore the world of oats past, present and future.
Thats Saturday 3rd March at 6.30pm in Highbank Organic Orchard.
Jemma Kehoe, Nutritional Therapist will set the scene by exploring the benefits of this wonderful grain in our diets.
Kevin Scully, The Merry Mill is next with his story of how himself and his family moved from being farmers of oats to now growing and milling organically on their farm.
Maria Betts, Maria Lucia Bakes will share her journey from business woman and coach to being the founder of this granola business based in Dublin.
Finally John Flahavan, great-great-great-grandchild of the founder of Flahavan’s, will share a little on their heritage, their work with farmers around Ireland and how they are now using oats as the basis for a wide range of products.
Tickets available here.
See you on the night and be sure to explore the range of Highbank Organic Orchard products including the new fermented organic apple vinegar and the balsamic variant – both available to refill into your own container.
Keith (Biabeag) and Julie (Highbank Organic Orchard)
This evening is all about fermentation. “Fermentation is the process in which a substance breaks down into a simpler substance. Microorganisms like yeast and bacteria usually play a role in the fermentation process, creating beer, wine, bread, kimchi, yogurt and other foods.
Fermentation comes from the Latin word fermentare, meaning “to leaven.”
Our three producers & one nutritional therapist are:
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.
This is a round up of a couple of different things I have referred to across different accounts and media. Aimed at anyone who is considering starting a business but especially a food product one in Kilkenny.
You will want to test your product on real people. Farmers markets are the most popular and best way of doing this. Kilkenny has one every Thursday on the Parade outside the Castle. Here is Josephine, Spelt Bakers stall there:
With initial production likely to be in your kitchen at home (unless you have very specific requirements) after a while you will hopefully need to produce in higher volumes. There is a commercial kitchen available to rent in Kilkenny
6 ring industrial gas hob / oven
industrial glass washer
Upright stainless steel deepfreeze
Double drainer sink and separate hand washing sink
PVC clad walls throughout
Industrial wall sockets and tiled floor with stainless steel gullies
Electricity and gas supply metered
For more information contact Kevin Mahon on +353 (86) 828 6863
Not an problem initially but occasionally you might want to find a space to do your marketing and admin in. The newly launched (available from mid January) shared work space New Work Junction offers an affordable and professional working environment.
With a multiplicity of startup programs around 2013 saw the beginning of one that has gained a great reputation. The Food Academy is run by Bord Bia and the local Enterprise Offices with the Support of Musgraves. Right now I can’t find an up to date website for it but check this Fingal LEO link for some info and contact your local LEO office.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Decided to include it as a blog post 🙂
Some of the stats are kinda interesting.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 20,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
This Highbank Orchards Christmas Food & Craft Fair 13th and 14th December (Saturday and Sunday) promises to be a two day Christmas Extravaganza for all the family. It starts at 11am each day and finishes at dusk 🙂
At 12.00 Saturday 13th December Highbank Orchard will cut the ribbon to open Ireland’s smallest distillery and they will have for sale the first bottles of Highbank Orchard Spirit amidst a celebration of over 30 local food and craft stalls with hot and cold food, hot apple juice, Glasrai & Goodies hampers and toys – Christmas shopping made easy.
There is are also
puppet shows by Miriam Lambert,
Mid Winter Mini beast hunts with Monica,
Orchard Train rides
Ann Neary & Edward Hayden’s ‘Stress Free Christmas Cooking’ accompanied by Breda McDonald making butter.
Of course there will be an occasional appearance of Santa 🙂
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.
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 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 :-).
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 🙂