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All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.
Yes, we know that all you ever read about Limerick is the Moyross Estate and drive-by shootings.
But elsewhere in the city, life goes on as normal, and Limerick, in fact, is a city getting it's culinary act together in many ways, not least in some good echt ethnic cooking, complete with ethnic hip-hop.
Herewith a report from our gal, Val, in Limerick, on the splendidly named Turquaz. Take it away Val:
Gwen from the excellent Stockwell Artisan Foods in Drogheda writes with an interesting new product that could put our obsession with bottled water to some productive use:
“I have just started to stock ONE water which is being distributed by Pallas Foods. It is a non profit organisation that uses water from Limerick and all profits from the sales go into building irrigation pumps in Africa. Simply buy a bottle of One water and all our profits, every last drop, go to building unique PlayPump® water systems in Africa which improve people's lives by providing free, clean water.
Our man in the Sunny South-East eats Italian: a concise review from Eamon Barret.
Did Belle Notte in Dungarvan last night and it was a pleasant surprise.
The menu is very run of the mill Irish-Italian, lots of dishes with cream but the execution of some of the dishes threw up some surprising authenticity. Caprese starter for me was just mozarella, basil and tomato, well flavoured and not mucked about with. Similarly a bruschetta was made with good toasted bread and nicely chopped tomatos.
When we were discussing artisan bakeries last week, yet another of the great specialist bakeries that we could have included was Aroma, Tom and Arturo's small and perfectly formed restaurant and bakery in the Craft Village just outside Donegal town.
Well, I didn't mention it on the grounds that Aroma is more of a café and restaurant than a bakery. Wrong!
“My brown bread is now going out at the rate of 600 per week at present and rising no doubt as the season kicks in”, writes Tom, an astonishing figure when you consider the tiny scale of the bakery.
Bord Bia's Organoleptic Cheese Seminar held this week was a marvel of discovery.
Kevin Sheridan of Sheridan's Cheesemonger's took us through a plate of six cheeses – 2 Gubbeens; 2 Cooleeneys, Mount Callan Cheddar and Coolea – showing how the Gubbeens were differentiated by two distinct rennets – animal versus vegetarian – and the Cooleeneys by virtue of raw milk versus pasteurised.
Yeah, Momofuku. I know what I thought it meant the first time I heard it – that impolite term rappers use to express themselves – but it seems it is actually Japanese for lucky peach.
Momofuku however, is today a small chain of the hottest New York restaurants run by David Chang, who is the hippest, hottest, most-critically acclaimed chef in the Big Apple. Chang mixes things up in a way no one else does – consommé with kimchee, anyone? – and it has made him famous, and good luck to him.
We had the great honour of launching the Robbie Millar Scholarship just over a year ago, when the title to commemorate the work of one of Ireland's most brilliant culinary greats was won by the ultra-talented Chris McClurg from Belfast's white-hot SHU restaurant.
A very interesting discovery and note from Michelle Rea:
comments: Hello John and Sally.
Just read your interesting article re. Bread in Irish Times today. You listed a few artisan bakers throughout the country, but did you know about a baker who is producing the most incredibly flavoursome bread. He is German, I believe, operates from Cobh, but supplies "Buns and Stuff", the daytime cafe in Macroom, Co. Cork.
Our Daily Bread
For the good of our health, we need to amend a little piece of scripture.
Instead of “And give us this day our daily bread”, we need to get a bit more specific.
We need to implore: “And give us this day our daily bread, but please make sure the flour has no “improvers”, and make sure it’s made by hand rather than by a machine, and with a long slow fermentation so that the good lactic acid bacteria can develop, and make sure it isn’t that gunky, gloopy stuff that real bakers call ‘water standing upright’. Amen”.
My thanks to a reader who sent in the following, which brilliantly shows how to alienate two generations of food lovers in double-quick time. And well done Ricky's Restaurant in 'Clon, who showed just how to capture two generations of food lovers in double-quick time.
Just a comment re a West Cork pub/restaurant which we visited recently on a visit to Clonakilty.
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