Food File: The weekly food news round-up

Trish Deseine’s Paris shopping tips, West Waterford festival of food, Food Writers’ Guild award winners, chocolate afternoon tea at Dylan, personalised tea and seaweed for cooking


With droves of Irish rugby fans hitting the streets of Paris this weekend, we asked food writer Trish Deseine for her shopping tips:

La Tête dans les Olives , 2 rue Sainte-Marthe A tiny, authentic treasure trove of Sicilian goodness. Taste and take away one of Cédric Casanova’s excellent (and beautifully packaged) olive oils.
Sebastien Gaudard’s La Pâ tisserie des Martyrs , 22 rue des Martyrs
Good start to the climb of one of the most satisfying foodie streets in Paris. Bring back a bar or two of his caramelised white chocolate studded with fleur de sel.
La Grande É picerie de Paris , 38 rue de Sèvres
This is the exclusive Parisian supplier of the famous St Remy de Provence chocolatier, Joel Durand. Don’t miss his pretty jars of salted caramel with mango and flavoured pralines.
Merci , 111 Boulevard Beaumarchais
The kitchen department has the coolest, most diverse collection. The ethically made bowls and plates for Asian food are irresistible and light enough to carry on the plane.

Pioneering women for food festival
Pioneering Women in Food is the theme of this year’s West Waterford Festival of Food which takes place in Dungarvan from April 10th-13th. Leading the posse of participants to whom that title could be applied are Trish Deseine, who will share her insider knowledge of her adopted home of Paris; cookery tutors Carmel Somers and Lynda Booth, who will be in action in the Tannery Cookery School; and Eunice Power, who will cook a Middle Eastern feast.

Talks will include “The Business of Food”, with Domini and Peaches Kemp of Itsa, Rachel Firth of Fallon & Byrne, Eileen Dunne of Dunne & Crescenzi and Esther Barron of Barron’s Bakery, and “Restaurants: Now and in the 80s” with a panel including Anita Thoma of Il Primo, Denise Munier of Pichet and Bernadette O’Shea, who ran the Sligo pizza restaurant, Truffles.

The Tannery restaurant will host A Taste of Aniar, a collaboration between the Galway restaurant and the Paul Flynn flagship, and there will be food trails, with each of three courses eaten in different restaurants. For the programme of events and prices, see

Food writers name their Corkers
Cork food producers were invincible at the Irish Food Writers’ Guild 2014 awards this week, claiming four product awards, including the new beverage category, in addition to the environmental award going to Frank Fleming of Responsible Irish Fish, and the lifetime achievement award being presented to Myrtle Allen of Ballymaloe.

Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms, Coolea Matured Farmhouse Cheese, Irish Atlantic Sea Salt and Stonewell Cider were the successful products and they were used by chef Derry Clarke in the Guild’s awards lunch at L’Ecrivain restaurant in Dublin on Wednesday.

The only non-Cork winners were Dermot Carey and David Langford who have cultivated and preserved more than 200 Irish varieties as part of their Heritage Irish Potato Collection project. See

Chocolate for tea
Milk, white or dark aren’t choices usually applied to the ritual of afternoon tea, but the Dylan hotel in Dublin 4 has teamed up with chocolatier Cocoa Atelier to offer a vamped up Easter afternoon tea that allows you to choose your favourite chocolate and they’ll style the offering around it. So, in addition to finger sandwiches and scones, you’ll be able to up your cocoa content with a selection of chocolate shots, mousses and macarons. The chocolate afternoon tea runs from April 12th to 27th, every day from noon til 5pm (€35). See

Sea the potential
Tom and Ria Jones are making seaweed easier to use in home cooking by producing dried ground kelp and milled dillisk. According to the couple, who also produce a seaweed brown bread mix, seaweed “deepens the taste, enhances the flavour and gives a healthy nutritional boost” to whatever you’re cooking. This is due to the presence of a naturally occuring glutamate, which gives seaweed its unami or savoury properties. The products are on sale in health food shops. See

Brew for one special person
Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s personal brew is Rooiboos tea with fruity notes, citrus and spice, according to Jörg Müller of Solaris Botanicals, who blended it for him when he visited Ballybane Enterprise Centre. Müller first blended a personalised tea last year when he made one as a Valentine’s gift for his wife, using three types of rose and her favourite bourbon vanilla. He is now doing customised blends based on customers’ preferences and also what he gleans from a short online questionnaire. The tea comes in a 200g gift tin, and the labels can have a personal message printed on them (€39.95 including delivery). See

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