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All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.
You read it, and want to weep.
“Ireland’s meteoric rise in economic strength is one to be applauded but given these stated behaviours one would have to wonder if it is at the expense of its workers, whereby commuting time, deadlines and other pressures are creating unhealthy and unsustainable food habits in its working community”.
And just what are the “stated behaviours” that Irish people confessed to Amarach Consulting as it carried out its second Food Futures Survey? In what ways are we nurturing “unhealthy and unsustainable” food habits in our working community?
Keen readers of the new Bridgestone Guide will have noticed that Valerie O'Connor is one of our contributing editors. But you may not have known that Valerie first came to our notice thanks to her sharply opinionated and funny writing on her blog, www.valskitchen.com
And, now that Valerie has relocated back to her native Limerick, it turns out she has joined up with the most bloggerful group of food lovers you can find anywhere: The Limerick Food Bloggers. Check these guys out:
Oliver Dunne is making his mark in Malahide. Caroline Byrne has a thoroughly wonderful time.
Out in deepest Fairview, Sarah Kennedy is doing the Good Thing. Leslie Williams catches up with the Fairest of Fairview, a shop/deli/restaurant that every neighborhood should have at the centre of its culinary culture.
Ann Dolamore is the sharpest food publisher on the block. She has a habit of snatching up neglected classics and turning them into smart new editions for her company, Grub Street, and her new edition of Jane Grigson's "Good Things" is one of the nicest reprints she has ever done.
Megabytes has often praised the work of Diana Henry, especially her classic first book, "Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons". Somehow, as well as writing for The Sunday Telegraph. Ms Henry is managing a cookery book each year, and her latest is another beauty. "Cook Simple" borrows it's name from Escoffier's dictum, "Faites Simple", and takes the idea of simple cooking to deliciously logical extremes.
When did you last come across a cookery book that had been conceived and executed as a work of art? Today, the majority of successful cookery books are works of pure commerce: Nigella, having done Feast, must now deliver Fast, because what else can constitute a framework for the next television series? Jamie, having delivered the Cookery Bible (the big book!) must now do The Good Life, because what else can constitute a framework for the next television series?
Dianne Curtin's first book could be described simply as a series of pen portraits accompanied by superb photographic portraits of some of the major players in Cork's rich artisan food culture.
The Waterfront Restaurant, Lord Bagenal Hotel, Main Street, Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow
This menu from The Waterfront was one of the most memorable meals of our restaurant-going year. It all started with an amuse of air-dried Connemara lamb with lavender honey…
Fillet of Red MulletChickpea fries, Lemon & Basil Tartar Sauce €13.50
Pressed terrine of Confit Duck & Foie grasApricot Compote, Warm Brioche €13.50
Roast Breast of QuailWild Mushroom Risotto, Salsify Crisps €14.00
Ever since Alison Pearson's heroine took a rolling pin to her M&S mince pies to distress them for her child's school open day in the brilliant novel "I Don't Know How She Does It", it has been impossible to pass off any professionally made cakes or biscuits as being from your own hand.
But fear not: a bag of Sweetie Pie cakes, pies and sweet loaves are so gloriously hand-made, so abidingly domestic, that you effectively could claim them as your own work. If you were a really good baker, that is.
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