Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Marie-Claire Digby with all the latest food news


The Lodge at Doonbeg in west Clare has been voted number one resort hotel in Europe and 20th in the world by readers of Condé Nast Traveler, 80,000 of whom took part in the magazine’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey. The hotel was the only Irish inclusion. The kitchen at Doonbeg is now headed up by Heiko Riebant (below), who has joined the team from Sheen Falls Lodge, where he had been executive chef since 2009.

The makers of a range of infused vinegars; the producers of lean, low-cholesterol beef, and extravagant desserts are the winners of The Irish Times competition to have expenses paid stands at the National Craft & Design Fair at the RDS in Dublin 4 (December 4th- 8th). Wildwood Vinegars, Irish Piedmontese Beef, and Greddy Puds will be showcasing their products at one of the busiest food fairs of the year. The vinegars, infused with wild berries and blossoms, herbs and home-grown plants, are made by Fionntan Gogarty in Co Mayo and come in blackberry, elderberry, elderflower, heather, samphire and dill, wild garlic and rosemary varieties. Michael Fennelly and John Commins have a herd of Piedmontese beef cattle, known throughout Italy and the US for their lean, lower-cholesterol, low-calorie meat, which they raise on their farms in Laois and Tipperary. They sell direct to consumers. Brian French’s Greedy Puds are technically challenging, molecular gastronomy-inspired desserts that promise the consumer “an element of illusion or suprise”, with double centres, unusual presentations and interesting textures.

Cavistons Seafood Restaurant, next door to the landmark food shop, fishmonger and deli in Glasthule, Co Dublin, is extending its evening opening to include Thursday as well as Friday and Saturday, from November 21st. Until the end of November they’re offering two main courses of Kilkeel scallops, with a half bottle of Montaudon champagne for E60, available at lunch and dinner.

Graham and Saoirse Roberts’ Connemara Smokehouse has been named as the recipient of one of 12 Coq d’Or awards given each year by the French Guides des Gourmands to food producers, restauranteurs, and delicatessen owners. The awards are usually claimed by businesses in France, however occasionally an international winner is announced. Representatives of the Guide visited the smokehouse in Ballyconneely, watched Graham and thefull and part time team of 13 at work, and sampled its smoked salmon.

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