There is a great food community in Ireland and I consider myself very lucky to be part of it! Last week I went to the Foodie Forum in Galway and spent the day catching up with people and learning lots. Thanks to Cormac & Jacinta for organising the event.
One of the things that I always find funny is how many us know each other by our twitter names rather than our ‘real’ names – in fact it was suggested that in future name badges should carry both handles!
For me the highlight of the day were the MasterClasses by Stefan Matz of Ashford Castle , Michael Viljanen of Gregans Castle Hotel (still at time of writing!) and Wade Murphy of Doonbeg Lodge. If I could produce food like theirs I would die happy!
I was lucky enough to get a taste of Michael’s chocolate tart with avocado & lime purée and celery sorbet – sublime! I hope he remembers to send me the recipe………
Following these masters Bryan McCarthy of Springfort Hall introduced us to his philosophy on head -to-tail use of his home reared pork – we got to taste sausages, ribs, pate, pork belly…………..I’m now really looking forward to his 9 course tasting menu next month!
The final class of the day was from one of the grand masters of the Irish Food world – Sir Jack of McCarthy’s of Kanturk. Jack dazzled us with his array of puddings or boudins including the Midleton whiskey one that was served to the Queen on her Irish visit last year (which tasted very nice!) He has even developed a n ice crean using his chocolate, pistachio and mint pudding – it’s interestingly good!
Jack gave me a present of a beetroot and black currant boudin which I couldn’t wait to get home and try.
Jack told me that the pudding is an ancient Irish fertility symbol and I believed him!! So I decided to try it as a starter that could be served for Valentine’ s Day!
I heated slices of the boudin in the oven while I caramelised some beetroot and apple slices in some butter…
Layer the apple slices in the centre of your plate, place the slice of pudding on top, add some caramelised beetroot cubes and drizzle with some Highbank Apple Syrup – then just taste the magic!