The Menu: Lifetime Achievement Award for Veronica Steele at Irish Cheese Awards

Of all the fine foodstuffs produced on this green isle, The Menu finds it hard to look past our splendid farmhouse cheeses and so was delighted to see the Irish Cheese Awards finally afforded an occasion worthy of acknowledging that particular sector’s contribution to Irish food at a most splendid night at Ballymaloe. 

The Menu: Lifetime Achievement Award for Veronica Steele at Irish Cheese Awards

With 36 cheesemakers honoured, the Supreme Champion award went to the excellent Mount Leinster Clothbound by Coolattin Cheddar, also a gold medal winner for Best Cow’s Milk Cheese, while Cork winners on the night included: Ardsallagh, Coolea, Macroom Buffalo Cheese, Fermoy Natural Cheese, Durrus Cheese, and Macroom Buffalo Mozzarella.

But The Menu took most personal satisfaction in the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Veronica Steele, creator of Milleen’s Cheese, one of the finest cheeses to be found anywhere in the world and the foundation of the modern Irish food producer movement. www.irishcheese.ie

Wall to wall seasonal cooking for Ballycotton hall

The Menu’s great mentor, Ciarán Scully, head chef at Ballycotton’s Bayview Hotel, current best RAI Hotel Restaurant (Cork), and a Senior Culinary Lecturer at CIT, presents a Seasonal Cookery Demonstration (Nov 20) at the Bayview in aid of Ballycotton Community Hall (booking essential, 086 3965852).

With the hospitality industry struggling with a scarcity of chefs, an Irish-French Forum on Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management Training at the School of Culinary Arts & Food Technology promises to throw up some very interesting ideas. This offers a seminar on PhD research in molecular gastronomy. (Entitled The Tree of Knowledge: Growth Through Cooking, tickets can be booked through www.eventbrite.ie).

Bite delight at the RDS

The inaugural Bite Food Festival (Nov 19-22), at the RDS, is a family-friendly event showcasing top Irish food and drink producers and featuring Ireland’s tallest chocolate sculpture and smallest distillery, interactive fun for the kids and top chefs and food experts providing demos. www.bitefoodfestival.ie.

Meanwhile The Roughty Food, in Cork’s English Market, offer two complimentary tasting days (Nov 21, 28) showcasing sublime plum puddings, Christmas cakes and whiskey mince pies.

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