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Just an hour from Dublin, the O'Flynn family’s romantically rambling country house has a wonderfully away-from-it all atmosphere - and this quietly luxurious place has always been renowned for good food. Long before ‘local and seasonal’ came into its own on a national basis, that was just the way things were done around here, with food from the farm and the walled garden taking its rightful place on the table along with the best of other Irish foods.
Fish smoking has a long history in Ireland, with traditionally smoked fish a staple on our tables until relatively recently. It is still held in affection and many people have fond memories of locally smoked fish enjoyed on childhood holidays - all of which helps to create a positive mindset for contemporary shoppers when they see modern versions of these traditional foods on display, take note of their healthy eating credentials and (in the case of Atlantic Treasures mackerel) spot the familiar Great Taste Awards logo, which is a respected independent indication of quality.
Pork is one of our most traditional and most versatile foods and, while the introduction of refrigeration made a big change to attitudes as fresh pork was no longer seen as being ’just for winter’, there is something wonderfully comforting about it and many of the great pork dishes seem to have a secret ingredient that brings warmth to the chilliest of days.
This month Marilyn Bright talks to Frankie Mallon, chef- proprietor of the acclaimed An Port Mor seafood restaurant in Westport, Co Mayo
This is a wonderfully warming casserole, perfect for cold February days. Red wine gives a lovely richness to the dish, the chilli warmth and the thyme an aromatic quality. The cooking aromas are wafting from the kitchen as the boys arrive in from school cold and hungry.
Dee Laffan talks to the fourth and fifth generation butchers, McCarthys of Kanturk, about their business - and their hugely popular Pig in a Day courses
In the first of a new series, Aileesh Carew introduces the Year of Irish Design and its importance for tourism. 2015 has been designated as the year of Irish design. Irish Design 2015 (ID2015) is a year-long programme which will promote and celebrate Irish design on all forms. It is an all-island initiative and will showcase the best of Irish design at home and abroad through events and exhibitions.
This month Darina talks about one of the most anticipated restaurant openings in London for several years, a place where “beautifully fresh ingredients shine through with the minimum of interference”. How good is that.
The famous foodie who’s flying the tricolour for us in Texas shares a Twitter success story, of converting social media interaction into business. There are many social media sceptics among us, and who can blame them for being that way...
Barbara Collins looks at the way trends are going, as seen in two very different - but equally popular - restaurants… It’s a case of one extreme to the other when it comes to what two eateries are doing to drum up business this month. Simply Crispy Café started as a joke on a website, but when people started asking where they could get crisp sandwiches in a Belfast café it became reality.