8 performances a week. That's the theatrical timetable for the culinary hoofers in Holywood's The Bay Tree. They revise the old Broadway maxim, however, giving seven daytime performances, and a nightly production on Fridays evenings.And like any theatrical endeavour, The Bay Tree is a machine: sleek; slick; polished; professional; designed to please.
My very best dining experiences of 2016—from simple rural café to Michelin-starred restaurant—all shared a common thread, a deeply-held commitment on the part of the relevant chefs to finest, local produce. No mere tokenism, no cynical ticking of the ‘provenance’ box, we’re talking total immersion, terroir colliding with technical ability and creative flair to yield distinctly and uniquely Irish cuisines.
If your chef can’t write your menu, you need a new chef.
I take great pride in my menu writing. I spent 6 long hard years with my mentor Tom Devlin in Boston getting put through the ringer every time I wrote one. He was a smart man who taught me the ins and outs of proper menu compilation.
Dan Ulrich checks the temperature of the water. He checks the weight of the coffee. He checks the weight of the water. He sets a timer as he pours the water on the ground coffee to release the bloom from the beans.
Dan Ulrich is making you a cup of coffee. This is CoffeeWerk & Press, in the centre of Galway city.
Zuni Townhouse is the kind of destination you’d hope to find in Paris, so exceptionally and cosily does it fit into Killkenny’s idiosyncratic Patrick Street.
This little boutique hotel is a definition of class, an institution which is confident in its modernity.
Veronia Steele, who created Milleens Farmhouse Cheese with her husband, Norman, on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork, has passed away.
In creating Milleens, Ms Steele not only made a farmhouse cheese, she also made a movement of artisan food producers, all of who owe their inspiration to this singular woman. Along with Myrtle Allen, of Ballymaloe House, Ms Steele created the big bang for Irish food. After her, nothing would be the same.
Music Venue of the Year - The Cookbook Cafe
Product of the Year - Irish Artisan Charcoal Company
In 2015 every single bag of charcoal sold in Ireland was imported. And virtually every bag of that charcoal was crap. And then, in 2016, along came Colin, Laszlo and James of the Irish Artisan Charcoal Company and, overnight, our three heroes transformed the world of Irish barbecue, with their peerless, sustainable, Irish fuel. If it ain’t IACC, it ain’t worth a squib. irishcharcoal.com
Festival Event of the Year - Waterford Harvest Festival brunch at The Granary
Cafe of the Year - The Farmhouse Cafe
The Farmhouse Café is on the Longmile Road, in Dublin. If that sounds surreal, it is. There are no farms on the Longmile Road. There are no houses. There are car dealerships, trade-only outlets, big box shops, petrol stations, and lots and lots of traffic. And, mercifully, there is Susan O’Sullivan’s inspired Farmhouse Café, with its inspiring cooking. You couldn’t make it up, but we’re sure glad Ms O’Sullivan did.
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