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Photos: Real Bread Ireland Launch, Meet The Makers #biabeag

Biabeag Meet The Bread Makers 2 & Real Bread Ireland Launch. Photo: Ken McGuire

Biabeag Meet The Bread Makers 2 & Real Bread Ireland Launch. Photo: Ken McGuire

So tonight so the first of the 2015 Biabeag events take place at Highbank Orchards along with the launch of Real Bread Ireland.

The first half of the night was given over to a catchup with Declan Ryan (Arbutus), Joe Fitzmaurice (Riot Rye) and Josephine Plettenberg (Speltbaker) to see how they’ve progressed over the past year. All three were involved as the first producers with the Biabeag series kicked off in January 2014 so it was interested to see how things have moved and expanded, in particular around Joe Fitzmaurice and his transition from the Cloughjordan Wood Fired Bakery to Riot Rye. Continue Reading →

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5 Food Resolutions For 2015

 Food Resolutions in 2015

January first is not the day to be making food resolutions for the year ahead. Or, at least, not the day to be acting on those resolutions. You need a warm up period, that adjustment window that lets you get ducks in a row, shop for what you need, and go from there.

Especially too when you’ve a wedding anniversary to contend with. I was married 4 January last year so I’ve opted to push everything out to 5 January to get the last of the drinks, crisps, dinners, snacks in – you name it.

That said, I’ve made my food plans for 2015, from the basic dietary ones to the richer ‘have to visit this restaurant’ ones and as a start, they look like this. Continue Reading →

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Finding Irish Food Online Just Got Easier

Biabeag Online

Biabeag Online

Finding Irish food online, or more specifically, Irish artisan food producers who retail in the online space, has just gotten easier thanks to an extension of Keith Bohanna’s Biabeag.com.

Over the Christmas period, Keith has just turned the keys on Biabeag Online as a way of aggregating data on Irish food producers and online stores where you can buy Irish food related products.

This site is an attempt by me to bring together a kinda structured listing of all the places online that you can buy Irish small scale food products. With the exception of multiple retailers who don’t need the assistance of this or anyone else.

Small scale food production is hard and routes to market are tough once you get beyond the food markets which are thankfully more plentiful now. While shopping for food online is not really my personal thing I do live in Kilkenny where we have a multiplicity of great independent food retailers. Not everyone is as lucky.

A growing resources that’s also accepting suggestions for inclusion, you can browse over 40 entries online now.

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Irish Food Co-op Launches

The Tastefully Yours team pictured at the launch of the Irish Food Co-op in Kilkenny on Friday 25 July 2014.

The Tastefully Yours team pictured at the launch of the Irish Food Co-op in Kilkenny on Friday 25 July 2014.

The idyllic setting of Butler House in Kilkenny was the backdrop for the launch of the Irish Food Co-op on Friday last.

With a physical presence in Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, the newly established Irish Food Co-op brings together seven producers from the south east region under a mantra of “one invoice, one contact, one delivery”. Continue Reading →

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Kilkenny Double Winner at Irish Restaurant Awards

Campagne, Kilkenny

Campagne, Kilkenny, winner of Best Restaurant in Ireland at last night’s Irish Restaurant Awards

When I mentioned on Twitter last night that we really do have some kickass restaurants in Kilkenny, that may have been before Campagne continued its winning streak since the its doors opened locally, by being named Best Restaurant in Ireland at last night’s Irish Restaurant Awards or “the food oscars”. Continue Reading →

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National Vegetarian Week Gets Underway

National Vegetarian Week 19-25 May 2014

National Vegetarian Week 19-25 May 2014

National Vegetarian Week kicks off today and Dee’s Wholefoods are sponsoring the week again in a drive to promote vegetarian meals and cooking over the course of the week by spurring people – presumably the non-vegetarians – to pick up the challege of trying a vegetarian dish for a single meal, a day or the full week.

At Chez McGuire, I’m the meat eater in the house, though being married to a vegetarian has seen a real increase in us cooking and prepping vegetarian dishes at home, particuarly over the last few months as we turn more to home cooking than eating out during the week.

In truth, after a week of mixed lunches and dinners out and Saturday and Sunday spent consuming goodies picked up at Litfest over the weekend, I could do with a couple of days of homecooked meals and this seems like a good time to hit it as well. I’ve a few Japanese and French recipes I’ve been looking to try as well off the back of some new books I’ve picked up so if they make it to the kitchen, I’ll keep track of them here.

There’s an #irishvegweek hashtag to follow on Twitter and you can check out Irish Vegetarian Week on Facebook or pick up a few menu ideas on the website.

National Vegetarian Week Recipes 2014

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Any Given Food Podcast, Now on iTunes

Any Given Food Podcast on iTunes

At the start of the week I published the first of a series of recordings from Outstanding By Design, held in Kilkenny last weekend. Rather than release the audio as straight downloads, I’ve decided to package them up as podcast releases and distribute them via iTunes.

This, marks the first outing for Any Given Food Podcasts, and while the first chunk of audio that are going to be released are recordings from sessions from Outstanding By Design, I’ll be adding regular podcasts as a mix of chat and music over the coming weeks and months.

As a background to this, I began podcasting through KilkennyMusic.com back in 2006, won the Best Podcast award at the Irish Web Awards in 2008 for work on The Playlist Mix (a weekly music show over two years) in 2012 and 2013 returned to music podcasting with a short series called the Stereo Mixtape.

In 2012 however, the podcasting turned to broadcasting when I took up the reigns of a weekly arts talk show on KCLR, The Arts Show, which has drawn to a close in recent weeks. While I still contribute arts for broadcast several times a week, the idea of producing a food-oriented podcast has been bubbling away for a few months.

With that in mind, over the coming weeks and months you’ll hear me calling out for features, looking to speak with those who have a food story to tell, an event or festival coming up, a new product to launch, come what may. Keep an eye on the blog, Twitter and Facebook for those callouts or if you fancy a chat yourself, feel free to drop me a line at any time.

For now, it’s time to nip to iTunes to subscribe to the podcast, or you can add http://feeds.feedburner.com/anygivenfood/podcasts to your favourite podcatcher or podcast app.

Also, if you’ve got any questions about getting into podcasting, audio recording, getting set up on iTunes, Amazon S3 (my preferred host for audio podcasts), feel free to shout!

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Still Time To Enter All-Island Schools Cookery Competition

With over 600 entries already in the bag, this week is your last chance to enter the Fine Dine at Mine All-Island Cookery Competition 2014.

It’s running with the Restaurants Association of Ireland in partnership with St. Angela’s College, Sligo and is open to all students in post-primary schools on the island of Ireland and Youth reach Centres in the Republic of Ireland.

5pm this Friday is the last chance for entries, the competition extended from its previous deadline. Continue Reading →

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Food & Drink Exports Near €10bn in 2013

Irish Food & Drink Exports Infographic

Judging by the figures released from Bord Bia today, 2013 was a bumper year for Irish food and drink exports, with export value nearing €10bn for the first time.  This represents an increase of 9% on the previous year and 40% in the last four years with revenues almost €3 billion higher than in 2009. Almost half of exports make their way to UK markets with other EU markets increasing by 11% over 2013. Ireland’s largest export type continues to be dairy products and ingredients, with exports increasing roughly 15% in 2013. Beverages and seafood exports declined marginally on 2012 but you’ll find the full details, facts and figures, right here.

Download infographic.

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Mr. & Mrs. Any Given Food

Three years ago she said yes. On Saturday, it was “I do”.

This one’s a short and sweet post just to say thanks a million to everyone over the past few months, weeks, days and hours for making the #alltimewedding an All Time Wedding. The setting, the day, the weather, the food, the people, all making something unreal happen.

For the past few years she’s been referred to as Mrs. Any Given Food-to-be, so I’m guessing I’ll need to do away with the ‘to-be’ part.

For now, I’m off to have some wedding cake for breakfast, only because I can. And maybe because we didn’t really think this far ahead and we’re out of milk. We’ve a whole load of new food adventures ahead, and I’m pretty sure we haven’t stopped eating since Friday.

Normal service shall resume shortly, but for the moment, my sincerest of thanks to everyone who’s been involved, sent their wishes, greetings, texts, updates, tweets, mails, and all the rest. Ye’re all legends.

Also, if anyone has a few eatery tips for London next week, they’d be very much welcome!

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