Dishing Up the Nosebag at A Taste of West Cork Food Festival 2015

seafoodUilinn

Cold Smoked Loin of Tuna, Lemon Basil Aioli; Smoked Mackerel, Wasabi Crème Fraiche; Gin Gimlet Scallops, Cucumber Risotto, Pickled Samphire. (Photo: Trish Deseine)

It has taken The Swashbuachaill some weeks to recover from his recent foray back into the professional culinary world when he presented a nine-course menu in the magnificent surroundings of Uillinn, home of the West Cork Arts Centre, in Skibbereen, as part of the Taste of West Cork food festival. He was delighted and honoured to be invited by chairperson Helen Collins and the festival team to participate in this wonderful celebration of some of the finest food to be found anywhere in the world and it was billed as ‘The Menu Cooks The Menu” a nod to his epicurean alter ego and the title of his weekly food column, The Menu, in The Irish Examiner, the idea being to showcase some of the very splendid Irish produce he features each week in the aforementioned publication.

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Food fraud Ain’t Just Flogging Horse-burgers

Spinach & Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms' Shiitake Tart

Spinach & Mushroom Tart made with Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms’ Shiitakes

I find it truly disheartening when certain restaurants or retailers choose to exploit the integrity of fine growers and producers and, ultimately, the consumer by perpetrating food fraud—here’s a piece I wrote on the subject, now up on the Irish Food Writers’ Guild website, after yet another ‘episode’, this time involving Ballyhoura Mushrooms.

And in case the link doesn’t get you there directly … Continue reading

Porcini Dust – the new sundried tomatoes?

Fresh chanterelles from Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms

A few weeks ago, as I was leaving Mahon Farmer’s Market with little Isabel under my arm, racing off to collect Hector from playschool and already 15 minutes late, I spotted a tiny stall selling mushrooms. Lucy Deegan and Mark Cribbin are the owner/operators of Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms and this – on the community stall, a class of guest spot each week at Mahon – was one of their first real forays into the market world. Continue reading