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Thanks to its inspiring leaders, brilliant calendar of events throughout the year and enthusiastic support from producers, chefs ad the general public, Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016 was a huge success - and the legacy lives on.
Shrove Tuesday (28th February this year) is one of the best loved culinary landmarks of the year for many families, because the traditional image it conjures up is very hard to beat: simple and mouth wateringly delicious pancakes, hot off the pan.
The Euro-Toques EirGrid Food Awards are always special and 2016 was a vintage year, when they celebrated the 30th Anniversary of Euro-Toques Ireland and also marked Myrtle Allen’s legacy with a wonderful event at Ballymaloe House in high summer.
The traditional holiday period associated with the Chinese New Year is in full swing and, just as St Patrick’s Day gives us a unique opportunity to remind the world of all things Irish (or, in the unlikely event that it doesn’t already exist, create awareness), this is a time to celebrate Chinese culture everywhere. more...
China, The Cookbook by Kei Lum and Diora Fong-Chan
Just off the seafront, in what has become the ‘restaurant quarter’ of Clontarf, this atmospheric two-storey restaurant is an especially inviting place and full of character, so always likely to be busy.
For every traditionalist who loves the ritual of the turkey, ham, plum pudding and mince pies at Christmas, there is probably another who - for cultural, religious or dietary reasons - celebrates festive occasions differently. Vegetarians and vegans are no longer the small minority that they once were and, even in families where the turkey still takes centre stage at Christmas, there’s a good chance there will be a diner in the group who marches to a different drummer.
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without some sweet treats to hand round after dinner and you can’t beat good old fashioned fudge, made with pure butter.
The new books highlighted by Darina Allen in her column this month include Gather, by Gill Meller (Quadrille, £25) and, from it, she selected the lovely recipe for pheasant and quince
The indomitable Margaret 'Mags' Kirwan - who, with her husband, Ger, runs Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Thomastown, Co Kilkenny - has never been short of ideas. The idea of using their rainbow trout to produce Ireland’s only caviar is a recent, and very successful, example of the way she thinks - and she’s been at it again, this time with a charity cookbook, 'Fishwives', that was completed just in time to launch in Kilkenny Castle last month, at the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival.
Yellowman (aka Yellow Man, or Yellaman) is inextricably linked to the Auld Lammas Fair, which has been held in Ballycastle, Co Antrim on the last Monday and Tuesday of August since the 17th century, and is Ireland’s oldest fair. But, with the NI Year of Food 2016 calendar theme for November being ‘Legacy & Learn to…’, what product could be more appropriate to highlight this month?