The creation of an organic, vibrant and distinctive food culture in County Mayo over the last fifteen years has been one of the most joyful developments in Ireland’s wider food culture. And no one has done more to power that local culture than Aran and Colleen McMahon, the siblings who power the stylish and pioneering Rua and Café Rua. Aran and Colleen’s work is important because they not only participate in the Mayo food culture – they are players as chefs and proprietors – but because they also showcase the food culture, and thereby drive, inspire and elevate it. The sheer élan of the Spencer Street store, its hipness and boutique style, is something you might expect in a capital city, so its existence in Castlebar is even more provocative, more important. And to showcase the produce of the Mayo artisans in such an understanding and empathetic way, both on the shelves and on the plate, completes the circle of influence, importance and inspiration which Aran and Colleen gift to their county through their hard work, and their flawless good taste. They are mighty originators, and mighty originals.
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