Ronnie and Lyla Steele started Silver Hill Foods in 1973, originally intending to breed ducks and sell the day-old ducklings to Irish producers. Since then, they have indeed bred ducks - but for the table.
And their good husbandry has produced a unique breed of Pekin duck, with more breast meat, less fat and, most importantly, great flavour - good enough, in fact, to attract special praise from super-chef Heston Blumenthal; other accolades include an inaugural IFWG award in 1993, and another in 2005 (for their environmental contribution), while some fans including London's Chinatown - vote via their order books.
The ducks are fed on a special all-natural formula with no GMO products, and the entire operation is owned and controlled by Silver Hill Foods, allowing complete traceability.
Ronnie and Lyla's son, Stuart Steele, currently runs the business and has recently opened a farm shop, selling the full duck range and also the by-products for which this exceptionally green company is also known - luxurious feather and down products, for example, and manure pellets for gardeners - and other local artisan products. Very much part of the community, Silver Hill is also involved with an allotment scheme just across the road - well worth a look.
Shop open 9-6, daily; phone +353 47 87124 to order and collect.
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