Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Butchers keep it in the family, salmon worth seeking, breakfast by candlelight and food writing classes


Masters of their craft
The milk churns standing guard at the entrance to the smart new McCann’s butchers in the Merrion Centre in Dublin 4 originally came from proprietors Thomas and James Nolan’s grandfather’s farm in Dundrum, aeons before it became a city suburb. John McCann was a butcher as well as a farmer, and his grandsons are continuing the tradition with their new business. Beef reared at the foot of Mount Leinster is one of the shop’s specialities, and the house-made breakfast sausages already have a loyal following.

Fine food from Dunnes
This organic smoked salmon with dill and honey from Dunnes Stores is really delicious, and at €9.99 for a 160g pack (five or six slices), it’s good value. It’s made for Dunnes by the Burren Smokehouse in Co Clare, and the salmon comes from Clare Island. The Simply Better range also includes chocolates made for Dunnes by Skellings Chocolate in Co Kerry, which are available in 300g and 150g boxes (€20/€10). The salmon, which is one of the best products I’ve come across this year in this price range, is available in all Dunnes branches, while the chocolates are in selected stores only.

Candle lit breakfast
Scones are the house speciality at Two Rooms in Dublin, a small (as the name implies) B&B in Dublin 1 run by Garvan Gallagher and Kevin Downey. Since opening in 2012, Two Rooms has become a darling of booking websites, regularly receiving rave reviews from guests smitten by the house’s decor, the lavish breakfasts served by candlelight and, most of all, by co-host Fred the Schnauzer. No surprise then that Fred features on the cover of a beautifully designed 500-edition cookbook called Breakfasts & Brunches that has recipes for some of the guesthouse’s most popular dishes. You can buy it from (€22.50) or from retailers including the Irish Design Shop, Article, Designist and Avoca, and it should, if you’re being really thoughtful, come with a voucher to stay the night.

Write about food
If your New Year resolutions include taking on a new challenge, you might be interested in a four-day course in food writing which takes place at University College Cork on March 6th-9th. It will be taught by Darina Allen, Regina Sexton, John McKenna and Denis Cotter, and will cover publication in print, broadcast and digital media. The closing date for applications is January 31st. It costs €500 (

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