Irish Cheese Awards 2019

The winners of the 2019 Irish Cheese Awards were announced at the Black Tie Gala Dinner in The Metropole Hotel. Helen Carroll acted as MC and had the event running smoothly with speeches by CAIS Chairman Louis Grubb and Dan MacSweeney, Chairman of Bord Bia, who have been supporters of CAIS since its early days. We also like to thank Pallas Foods, Horgans and Traditional Cheese for their continued support over the years. Ornua Ireland joined the esteemed list of supporters and sponsored the judging event that took place in Bord Bia HQ in Dublin on 9th October. A list of all winners can be found here. Congratulations to Marion Roeleveld of Killeen Farmhouse Cheese for taking Supreme Champion for her 5 Month Mature Goat Cheese for Simply Better by Dunnes Stores.

Smoked Haddock & Mature Coolea Pot with Dippy Soldier

Ali Honour of Ali’s Kitchen in Cork is a great champion of Irish produce and particular Irish Farmhouse Cheeses. When asked if she would like to write a recipe for CAIS using cheese, we had the choice between Mature Ballinrostig or Mature Coolea. As we had already featured a recipe with Ballinrostig, the choice using Coolea was an easy one. Here she pairs the cheese with smoked haddock, saying the cheese is bold enough to stand up to the smoked fish.

Photo Credit: Bia Sasta, Elke O’Mahony

You will need:

  • Butter 50g
  • 200g Skinless smoked haddock, cut into little chunks
  • 4 tsp dry white wine
  • 75g Peas/spinach or both
  • 100g diced cooked potato
  • 80g Coolea Mature, grated
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Pepper & Salt to taste
  • 4 medium eggs
  • small bunch chives, chopped
  • sourdough toast (2 slices per person)

Method:

Heat the oven to 180 fan 160 c or gas 5.

Butter 4 small ovenproof dishes and put them in a small roasting tin. Divide the haddock, potato, peas/spinach & chives between the dishes.
Beat the cream, wine & mustard, lots of pepper and a little salt. Break an egg into each dish and pour over the cream mixture until all the yolks are just covered. Add another small knob of butter & sprinkle the cheese over each pot.

Pour hot water from a kettle into the roasting tin so it comes 2cm up the sides of the ramekins. Carefully place in the oven and bake for around 20-25 minutes or until the eggs are just set.

Have the toasted sourdough at the ready and dip away!

Rolled Sole with Ardsallagh Soft Goats Cheese & Pistachio wrapped in Prosciutto

We don’t cook fish often enough as a recent study showed as most people don’t trust themselves to transform the fish into a delicious meal. Andy Plaster, aka The Grumpy Cork Chef, is here to help with these tasty Sole rolls stuffed with superb Ardsallagh Goats Cheese and pistachios and then wrapped snugly in Prosciutto.

Rolled Sole with Ardsallagh soft goats cheese and pistachio wrapped in Prosciutto

Ingredients:

  • 100g Pistachio nuts
  • 165g tub of Ardsallagh Soft goats cheese
  • 6 fresh sole fillets
  • 6 slices of Prosciutto or Parma ham
  • Asparagus
  • 1 Lemon

Method:

Sole, wrapped in prosciutto, stuffed with Ardsallagh Goats Cheese & pistachios

Shell the pistachio nuts and soak in a small amount of boiling water for 30 minutes. This will soften the nuts and remove any remaining husk.

Allow the nuts to cool and then crush lightly.

Once cooled, mix the nuts into the soft goats cheese

At this stage preheat oven to 200 degrees C and lightly oil a baking dish.

Remove the skin from the sole and put the fillets skin removed side up onto a board. Season with salt and spread the goats cheese and pistachio mix onto the fillets. Roll the fillets and wrap each one in the Prosciutto, this should hold the Sole together. Place the fillets into the baking dish.

Place into the over for 15 to 20 minutes until the fish is cooked and the cheese heated through. You may need to quickly finish under a grill depending on the oven.

Quickly make a light white sauce  (or shop bought) and grate a small amount of lemon zest into it.

Plate the dish and serve with fresh steamed asparagus, simply boiled potatoes and a drizzle of the lemon white sauce.

BALLINROSTIG ORGANIC CHEESE & ROASTED CAULIFLOWER CROQUETTES

Cheese can be so much more than just part of a cheese board as Kevin Aherne of Sage Restaurant in Midleton proves. Kevin is working closely with local producers, creating his 12-Mile menu exclusively with produce sourced within 12 miles of his restaurant. Ballinrostig Organic cheese happens to be one of these producers. Over the last number of years, Stephen Bender and his wife Michele Cashman have grown the business to great acclaim. In this recipe, Kevin is using their Ballinrostig Organic Cheddar to create these delicious Cauliflower Croquettes. They are best served with Kevin’s Tomato Sauce. We like to thank Kevin for this recipe. Sage Restaurant is located at The Courtyard (main street) in Midleton. For reservations, please call 021-4639682, email info@sagerestaurant.ie.

BALLINROSTIG ORGANIC CHEESE & Roasted CAULIFLOWER CROQUETTES

You will need

  • 200g dry mash potato -Preferably baked & removed from the skin
  • 100g roasted cauliflower (Brush with butter, roast whole for 45 minutes gas 7, 210C)
  • 100 g Ballinrostig grated cheddar
  • 5 g tarragon, chopped
  • 5 g parsley, chopped
  • Sage leaves (Fried in oil for 30 seconds)
  • 2 tbsp strong mustard  
  • Salt & black pepper

Once the cauliflower has been roasted leave to cool. Break up with a potato masher until fine. Add all remaining ingredients together. Mixing thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste at the end. Shape the mixture into round balls 30g per croquette. Flour, egg & breadcrumb b the croquettes. Deep fry for 1 minute & serve with some crisp Sage . I love serving these with a classic Provencal sauce see recipe below if you fancy giving it a go

Ballinrostig Cheddar & Cauliflower Croquettes

(Kevs tomato sauce )

  • 1 white onion (small dice)
  • 900g tinned tomatoes
  • 300 ml white wine
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 150 g black olives (small dice)
  • 1 red chilli ( small dice, deseeded)
  • 50 g capers  
  • 150g parsley, thyme, basil
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt

Sweat the onions & the garlic (do not colour). Add the wine, olives & capers. Reduce by ¼. Add the tomatoes, salt & sugar & chilli and simmer for 20 minutes. Add herbs simmer for 10 minutes.

Irish Cheese Awards 2017

Our biennial awards ceremony took place in Ballymaloe Grainstore on Thursday, 2nd November 2017. The gala dinner was was a sold out affair and the atmosphere in the room was relaxed and amused as our MC, Ross Golden-Bannon, announced the winners (with a few hiccups)of this year’s Irish Cheese Awards. 160 cheeses were entered with 17 new cheeses – proof that the Irish artisan cheese industry is thriving. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award went to Jane & Louis Grubb of Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese – a worthy winner of a family business that has grown naturally and includes now the second generation (and hopefully soon, the third generation. Louis Grubb is also acting chairman of CAIS and has contributed not only his expertise but also his passion and love for the industry. When Jane & Louis received their award on stage, they were greeted by standing ovations – a true sign of the love and respect they both have in the industry.

We extend a warm thank you and gratitude to our sponsors – we would not have been able to celebrate the awards if not for the support of Bord Bia, Pallas Foods, Horgan’s Delicatessen, Traditional Cheese, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers and Gleneely Foods. Over the years, these companies have supported and promoted Irish cheesemakers here at home and abroad.

Congratulations to all winners of the 2017 Irish Cheese Awards:

Supreme Champion
Mount Leinster Clothbound’ Coolattin Cheddar made by Tom Burgess

Reserve Champions
Best Cow’s Milk Cheese
‘Mount Leinster Clothbound’ Coolattin Cheddar made by Tom Burgess

Best Goat’s Milk Cheese
St. Tola Ash Log made by Inagh Farmhouse Cheese

Best Other Milk Cheese
Cashel Crozier Blue made by Cashel Farmhouse Cheesemakers

Best in Retailer Class
Aldi Specially Selected Tipperary Blue entered by Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd

Class Winners
No winners in Class 1 & Class 2

Class 3 – Soft, Fresh Cheese, All Milks
No Gold & Silver
Bronze & Best in Class – Bluebell Falls Original

Class 4 – Soft, Fresh Cheese, Flavour Added, All Milks
Best in Class – Ardsallagh Cranberry Roulade

Class 5 – White Rind Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – St Tola Ash Log
Silver – St Tola Aged Log

Class 6 – Wahsed Rind Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Gubbeen
Gold – Durrus
Bronze – Milleens Dote

Class 7 – Blue Cheese, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Crozier Blue
Silver – Cashel Blue
Silver – Boyne Valley Blue

Class 8 – Pressed Cheese, Up to 3 Months, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Boyne Valley Bán
Silver – Killeen Goat
Bronze – Cáis na Tíre Gouda Young

Class 9 – Pressed Cheese, Aged 3 Months +, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Coolatting Mount Leinster Clothbound
Silver – Derg Cheddar
Silver – Sheridans Cheesemongers 15 Fields
Bronze – Mature Coolattin
Bronze – Coolea Matured

Class 10 – Pressed Cheese, Flavour Added, All Milks
Silver & Best in Class – Burren Gold Piri Piri
Bronze – Coolea Cumin

Class 11 – Smoked Cheese, All Milks
Silver & Best in Class – Smoked Durrus
Silver – Burren Gold Smoked
Silver – Milleens Smoked Céad
Bronze – Extra Mature Smoked Gubbeen

Class 12 – Best New Cheese in last 24 months, All Milks
Gold & Best in Class – Ardsallagh Corabbey-Romano
Gold – Organic Cashel Blue
Silver – Boyne Valley Bán
Bronze – Bó Rua Farm Cheddar

Class 13 – Retailer’s Class Creamery
Bronze & Best in Class – Horgan’s 1921 Vintage Cheddar

Class 14 – Retailer’s Class Fresh Washed Rind, White Rind & Blue Cheeses
Gold & Best in Class – Dunnes Stores Basil Pesto Irish Cream Cheese
Gold – Aldi Specially Selected Tipperary Blue
Silver – Dunnes Stores Milleens
Silver – Tesco St Tola Original
Silver – SuperValu Cashel Blue
Bronze – Dunnes Stores Wicklow Blue
Bronze – SuperValu Colleeney
Bronze – SuperValu Gubbeen

Class 15 – Retailer’s Class Pressed & Smoked Cheeses
Bronze & Best in Class – Tesco Cheddar with Walnut

Irish Organic Awards 2016

The closing date for the National Organic Awards 2016 is this Friday, 9th September 2016.

The awards are free to enter and include seven categories:

1. Best Fresh Product
2. Best Prepared Product
3. Best New Product
4. Export Award
5. Innovation Award
6. Direct Selling Award
7. Chefs’ Choice Award – New for 2016!

Entries will be accepted until 5pm on Friday 9th September 2016 For more information and to access the application form, please go to www.bordbia.ie/organicawards2016

WHY YOU SHOULD ENTER!

  • Tailored branding project worth €30,000 for award winners (in late 2016/early 2017)
  • All shortlisted companies in each category will be promoted by Bord Bia in print, broadcast and online media
  • Awards helpful in securing new trade listings and ongoing media attention
  • On-pack promotion opportunity for award-winners

 

Download the National Organic Awards application form. 

FACEnetwork’s VIDEO CONTEST 2016

Have you recently started farmhouse cheesemaking? Are you a passionate dairy start-up? Would you like to win a 3-day professional cheesemaking course at the School of Artisan Food near Nottingham?  Well then this is for you!

This competition, run by FACE Network, aims to highlight the current reality and diversity of the traditional dairy sector of Europe, through the eyes of people who are recent entrants to the sector.  It is open to any cheese and dairy producer/worker in the first 5 years of activity aged 18 years or older.

Full details are available on http://www.face-network.eu/news/details/5968

The competition began on May 15th and will end on September 15th, 2016.

Videos must be submitted by September 15th at the latest and only one video may be accepted per person.  Best of luck to all!!

New Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Technology & Innovation

University College Cork (UCC), in association with Teagasc, has developed a part-time, blended-learning Postgraduate Certificate in Dairy Technology and Innovation.  This level 9 qualification is part-time and is tailored to dairy industry needs and delivered online and by block-release to suit the seasonal nature of the dairy industry. The programme runs from September – December and January-March.

UCC-Teagasc-DIP

Further details on www.ucc.ie/en/ckp16/ 

Invitation -Taste Council of Ireland Food Summer School, 22 August 2016

image001The TASTE Council of Ireland is a voluntary representative group of the smaller food business sector made up largely of local, artisan and speciality food producers. Its remit is solely focused on Irish Artisan and Speciality Food Producers.

The sixth annual TASTE Council Food Summer School will take place on Monday the 22nd of August (09.30-18.00) at BrookLodge in Co. Wicklow. We are now accepting registrations for this event via this link.

Organised in association with Bord Bia, the Food Summer School 2016 will explore the Speciality & Artisan food sector’s role in the protection and development of rural Irish communities. We will look at how this sector, in partnership with the tourism sector and our farming community, can play a vital role in sustainable and flourishing rural economies and communities.

The day will begin with a look at the Achill Island Food and Tourism community. With the help of key members of this community, we will explore the successes and challenges to creating a sustainable food community. We will then bring together key stakeholders in the Irish food, agriculture and tourism sectors along with experts in rural development. Together these will examine the current status within Irish rural communities and the interplay between food production, tourism and the sustainable development of these communities. Pathways to best create a more vibrant and mutually beneficial environment for rural development and growth will be articulated as a result of this session.

After lunch we will facilitate round table discussions between all delegates in order to prioritise actions together and key areas to focus our influence.

It is hoped that the day will point to a new direction where food production, including the farming and fishing communities, can be at the centre of rural development policy.

The Summer School also provides an excellent forum for small food businesses to network with fellow producers and stakeholders in the sector. The Brook Lodge will present both lunch and dinner reflecting the ethos and quality of the best of Irish artisan and farmhouse food in an atmosphere of conviviality. (Note: The Harvest Dinner is optional, with drinks from 18.30 and dinner served from 19.30)

We look forward to welcoming you to what is sure to be an informative and productive day.

Yours sincerely,

image002

Kevin Sheridan
Chair, TASTE Council,
(Sheridans Cheesemongers, An Cais, SlowFood Ireland)

 

image003

Evan Doyle
Vice-Chair, TASTE Council,
(The BrookLodge Hotel, SlowFood Ireland, Eurotoques, The Organic Trust)
The TASTE Council of Ireland