Shop of the Year - O’Mahony's Butchers
The Megabytes Award - Seagull Bakery
Neven Maguire's Home Economics for Life (Gill)
Good Vibes Cookbook (Orca Publications)
Jane and Myles have made a cookbook with the excellent Good Vibes, but they have also, perhaps accidentally, done something much more: they have created a community, both in these pages, and with their work in the brilliant Shells café, in Strandhill, County Sligo.
Larder by Robin Gill (Absolute Press)
Joe Macken has always known how to put the funky into flavour, and how to mix fun into food.
His restaurant rooms are amongst the most clubbable, witty and exhortatory of Dublin dining spaces, and he works endlessly to polish and refine and contemporise his food offers. Macken is a self-critical restaurateur, which means his locations are always like works-in-progress, evolving to accommodate his latest discoveries, enthusiasms and obsessions.
Cork city has always attracted culinary maestros.
From great mavericks like Declan Ryan and Seamus O’Connell, through to contemporary masters such as Takashi Miyazaki and Gautham Iyer, cooks wash up on the shores of the River Lee and set to work doing creative things that succeed, even though they most likely wouldn’t spark a fire in any other Irish city.
John Reynolds was a crazy maverick who changed Ireland.
Before Mr Reynolds took his club and music promotion experience beyond the Pod in Dublin and into the festival world, most particularly the creation of Electric Picnic, festivals were big music bashes where the punters were treated like cattle.
The food was dire, the facilities were dire, and the sense of being ripped-off whilst being a captive in a big field never went away.
Anyone planning a visit to the Memorial Gardens in Phoenix Park on the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, might consider calling into nearby Storyboard, Laura Caulwell’s stylish café.
The cafe is well placed, also, for visitors to IMMA and Kilmainham Gaol – situated in Islandbridge in a minimal room that blazes with sunlight when the clouds part. The room feels like a cultural space, with its education-style chairs and modern museum-style architecture that exposes all the functional and structural elements of the room.
Here’s a prediction for you: we’re prepared to wager that there are folk who will become devotees of Eoin Cluskey’s Bread 41, and who will never, ever, buy a loaf of sourdough, the very bread that is the speciality of this Dublin city bakery.
Instead, they will join the queue – there is always a queue, always – and then they will happily ask for: a batch loaf.
That’s right: a batch loaf. Cotton wool bread personified. A big blob of blandness. Except...
Megabites Sign Up Here!
Sign up for our Megabites Newsletter, a blog which brings you all the latest contemporary news of the best food and food people in Ireland, including all that’s new on the Wild Atlantic Way.