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A touch of summer magic comes into play this month, as we look at a couple of quirky cookbooks from original cooks in Clare and Kerry - and also an unusual supermarket magazine, Fresh, which has the focus very clearly on local Irish producers and suppliers, some of whom are graduates of The Food Academy, a collaboration between Bord Bia, Local Enterprise Offices and SuperValu that provides support for start-up businesses. And, with that in mind, we're thinking ahead to the 'new school year' time, when we're all in the mood to learn and begin new projects - whether that is starting a new food enterprise or re-energising your business, 'Money For Jam' and 'Sales Tales' are sure to inspire you.
Although this is her own first book, food stylist Sharon Hearne-Smith's name will be well known to aficionados who read the credits on the major TV food shows and ogle the gorgeous food shots that she sets up for magazine features and cookery books by many of Britain and Ireland's most famous chefs. more...
NO-BAKE BAKING Easy Oven-free Cakes & Treats by Sharon Hearne-Smith with Photography by Donal Skehan (Quercus, £16.99 Hardback).
Bread on the Table, Baking Traditions for Today, by Valerie O’Connor
(O’Brien Press, hardback 160pp, €19.99/£17.99).
Wholesome: Feed Your Family Well for Less, by Caitriona Redmond
(Mercier Press, paperback 256pp, €19.99).
Two more cookery books from well known Irish food bloggers this month - anyone who thinks print is dead should take a look at the avalanche of food bloggers’ books that have appeared since Donal Skehan broke the mould with his Good Mood Food. more...
A sort of Irish ‘Julie & Julia’, the aim of this new collection of recipes from the late Theodora FitzGibbon’s many books is to introduce the Irish grande dame of cookery writing in the 1970s and ‘80s to a new generation. And this it should achieve very well, thanks to the choice of one of Ireland’s most popular young TV cooks and writers, the charismatic Donal Skehan, to perform the introduction.
There may be nothing new about black (and white) pudding in Ireland, it’s been a great everyday food for generations. But this traditional pork product did slip a bit in the popularity stakes for a couple of decades while we were getting used to the idea of ‘being modern’ and enjoying international cuisine - and eating less of the full Irish too.
“Sinfully delicious recipes for wheat-free, sugar-free and dairy-free eating” are the promise in this handsome and very timely book from Susan Jane White, a well known specialist writer who has earned a following for her entertaining and insightful column in the Sunday Independent’s Life magazine.
The number of cookery books published each year is mind boggling, but there is a depressing sameness about most of them.
Perhaps it is a reflection on the relative ease with which a book can be published since the digital revolution, that so many of them are unoriginal and do little more than re-package a predictable collection of all-too-familiar recipes. Happily, this handsome hardback from one of Northern Ireland’s best known chefs, Noel McMeel, bucks the trend.
You'll have to read About the Author to work out who Jonathan Mite is, as this wacky little book is actually by 'scribe and oysterman' (and, as it happens, marine biologist) Alex Blackwell and his 'editor and oyster gourmand' wife Daria, who live in Co Mayo and produced and sold oysters in Ireland and abroad for many years.
They came to the beautiful Lough Inagh Lodge Hotel in their hundreds to enjoy the December launch of Mairin Ui Chomain’s new book, as they had done to Sallynne & Derry Clarke’s iconic restaurant L’Ecrivain for the Dublin launch in November.
Stunning is a word that’s overused these days, but first sight of this beautiful and long anticipated book simply took my breath away. It is big, very big (weighing in at around two and a quarter kilos in fact) but, even before you open it, the subtle, enigmatic cover design flags an original and thought provoking approach.