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Sally's blog

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Special Awards - Philanthrofoodies

The Philanthrofoodies

We are lucky to have a band of brothers in our food culture who quietly campaign and contribute time and effort to make our food culture better. We like to think of them as philanthrofoodies, people who are dedicated to making our food and farming better. Here's a little shout-out to a few of the people who made a difference in 2015...

Restaurant Awards

Restaurant of the Year - Luna
Luna did something simple but special in 2015: it gave Dublin back its “The party is on!” vibe that vanished down the drain in 2008. John Farrell and his team have always striven to capture the mood of a cuisine, but with Luna they captured nothing less than the mood of the city, then they put it on a plate and gave it back to lucky old Dublin, clad in Louis Copeland finery. Luna

Hospitality Awards

B&B of the Year - The Stop, Galway
How cult can you get? However you assess cult status, The Stop tops it, and then some. Russ and Emer's modest house betrays their gallerist backgrounds with the precise and perfect placing of every object, and the result is some sort of feg shui hospitality heaven. The Stop B&B

Drinks Awards

Pub of the Year - Levis' Corner House, Ballydehob
Joe and Caroline have rebirthed the legendary Levis' bar in Ballydehob in the most sympathetic way possible. The O'Learys have somehow managed to retain the unique ambience that Joe's grand-aunts, Nell and Julia, blessed the pub with, whilst the addition of music sessions and craft beers has made the space contemporary and funky. Levis' is a template for the Irish country pub in 2016. Levis Corner House

Food and Retail Awards

Shop of the Year - Glasrai and Goodies
Glasrai & Goodies is a tiny tabernacle, and it is every food lover’s dream. Siobhan Lawlor's tiny shop is crammed to the joists – literally – with the best things Ireland offers to eat and drink, all of them selected and then presented with Siobhan’s expert aesthetic eye. There is no more beguiling a destination to shop in Ireland, the food room that is like a food womb. Glasrai & Goodies

Communications Awards

Communicator of the Year - Mark Moriarty
It’s one thing to be handed the job of “The Face of Irish Food”, as Mark Moriarty was following his win in the San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year competition. But to be given the mantle when you are 23 years old is breathtaking. Mr Moriarty didn’t let it phase him one bit, and he closed out the Food on the Edge symposium, following on from some of the world’s greatest chefs, as to the manner born.

Kitchen Mechanics by Gary O'Hanlon: Knives

Straight Board, Straight Knife, Straight Slice

I’ve been late in submitting this one. You’d think it’d be the easiest piece to write and topic to cover but as it turns out it’s anything but.

You see, everyone has different ideas on knives. I can’t think of another essential element of the kitchen that divides opinion more than knives.

Some Chefs are happy to batter away with a few essentials, others not so. I’m pretty convinced that Daniel my Sous Chef would prefer for you to run away with his girlfriend than to see you touch, let alone use, his knives.

The Crawford Gallery Café, Cork, review by John McKenna

When you have been around for what seems like an awfully long time, people take you for granted. That’s fine: that’s human nature. We seek the new and, then, occasionally, we recall the veterans and ask ourselves: what’s going on there, now?

If you have been around for well nigh three decades like, say, Cork’s Crawford Gallery Café, then it’s terribly easy to be overlooked, even in a city where culinary longevity is written into the constitution. But to overlook the Crawford, today, is a food lover’s error because the Crawford cooking, today, is a delight.

The Teeling Whiskey Company, by William Barry

The back story of the Teeling Whiskey Company will be familiar to many. In 1987 the mining and whiskey entrepreneur John Teeling founded the fledging Cooley Distillery, which over the years he grew into one of the world’s most respected distilleries, often flying under the radar in its home country.

Skip to 2012 and the Teeling family sold the business to drinks giant Jim Beam for north of €70 million.

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