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

Launching the Bridgestone Irish Food Guide

Bridgestone Irish Food Guide

So, we are up in Dublin today, January 20th, to officially wave the 9th edition of the Bridgestone Irish Food Guide on its way, with a photo-call at Nick and Stephen's red-hot Pichet Restaurant in the centre of town.
A bunch of artisans will be on hand to wave it on its way, a sign that the core message of the book – that the speciality sector we have written about for 20 years is enjoying robust good health, despite the doldrums in the rest of the economy – is alive and kicking.

End Of Year Awards

New Discoveries

So, who makes the best cupcakes in Kilkenny? Who makes the best black pudding in Tipperary? What oil should you have on the table instead of extra virgin olive oil? Who makes the best salted caramels in Limerick? Which is the hottest restaurant in Leitrim? And which is the hottest restaurant in Longford?

Think Global, Think Local

Calf Island Mutton

Restaurants sourcing specialist foods from their own doorstep are in a win-win situation with their local artisans, and true provenance is becoming the way in which you establish a USP that no other restaurant can copy or emulate.

One of the great things about writing the 600 plus pages of the Food Guide is discovering just how many Irish foods remain local foods, things that you will only find in a particular town, county or region. We have used a logo – Only in County Clare, for instance, or Only in Ulster – to mark out these foods throughout the book.

The Greatest Accidental Chef...

Nick and Kathy Price

It's not so difficult to describe various people in the food world as “the greatest cook in the history of (choose the country you are writing about)”.

We once described Nick Price, of Nick's Warehouse in Belfast, as “the greatest cook in the history of Northern Ireland”. And we meant it. Others say it should be Paul Rankin, or Michael Deane, or the late Robbie Millar, and whilst we respect the work of these great chefs, Mr Price is the truly important guy, for he was the pioneer.

Cork’s Female Cookery Culture

Eat Good Things Every Day

When it comes to cooking, Cork is the women’s county. Elsewhere in Ireland, professional cookery is a man’s world, but in Cork, ever since Myrtle Allen opened Ballymaloe House a full 45 years ago and began to cook for dinner guests, Cork has been a stronghold of women’s food.
From east to west and in the city, women are not just participants in kitchens: they are the major players, and their work has defined what modern cookery is throughout the county.

Ear to the (Community Supported) Ground

Ella McSweeney

If you are interested in the noble idea of CSA – Community Supported Agriculture – then this evening's Ear to the Ground look at a CSA scheme in West Cork, and talks to John McKenna of the Bridgestone parish.
What, McKenna is a CSA farmer?
Well, no, but the sarpo miras he is feeding to his family – especially to Sam and PJ: just how much mashed potato can an adolescent boy eat? ! – were grown by the CSA scheme which McKenna signed up to.
The very sharp Ella McSweeney presents the story, 7pm RTE 1.

The Bridgestone Editors

Bridgestone Irish Food Guide

The 9th edition of the Bridgestone Irish Food Guide is making its way into the shops as I write, even though the official launch is not until right smack at the start of the New Year.
We think we are happy with it: at 100 pages longer than the 2007 edition it certainly contains a massive amount of new information and new entries, and we have tried to keep the design simple, with the entries punctuated by some of the brilliant Aoife Wasser's line illustrations.

At the movies for a decade...

Last time we promised to advert to Donald Clarke's Irish Times list of the best movies of the decade, but taking a look at Richard Brody's 10 Best list in The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2009/11/best-films-of-the-d...), I realised that where lists used to have value a couple of decades ago because they showed convergence regarding what movies really mattered to the critical canon, that no longer happens anymore.

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