Tag Archives: Ireland

Food and Drink Festivals and Events 2015 – 2016

All listings are subject to change depending on whether the event or festival goes ahead or due to other circumstances.

If you’re hosting a food or drink event/festival (big or small!) and would like it featured please drop me an email to unaminh[at]gmail.com

Please consult each link and contact organisers if necessary before making plans! The listings for 2016 are mostly provisional as they haven’t been announced but all will be updated.



4th – 13th            A Taste of West Cork Food Festival [Cork]
4th – 13th            A Taste of West Cork Food Festival [Cork]
11th – 13th         Waterford Harvest Festival [Waterford]
11th – 13th         Flavours of Killorglan [Kerry]
11th – 13th         Dublin Coffee and Tea Festival [Dublin]
11th – 13th         Clarenbridge Oyster Festival [Galway]
12th                       Midleton Food & Drink Festival [Cork]
12th – 13th         Athlone River and Food Festival [Westmeath]
13th                       Enniskerry Victorian Field Day [Wicklow]
18th – 20th         Seafood in September [Clare]
18th – 20th         Tesco Taste Festival [Belfast]
19th                       Taste of Togher [Louth]
19th – 20th         Tully Farm Food Fair [Armagh]
25th – 27th         Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
25th – 27th           Macroom Food Festival [Cork]
25th – 27th        Dunshaughlin Harvest Festival [Meath]
27th – 28th         Food Fleadh Ballina [Mayo]
29th                       Trails Harvest Picnic [Kilkenny]


2nd – 4th              Dingle Food Festival [Kerry]
2nd – 4th              Taste of Monaghan [Monaghan]
9th – 11th            Kinsale Gourmet Festival [Cork]
17th – 18th         Galway Bake Fest [Galway]
18th                       Annual Mushroom Hunt [Cork]
23rd – 26th         Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food [Kilkenny]
25th                       Burren Food Fayre [Clare]
23rd – 26th         Virginia Pumpkin Festival [Cavan]


1st                          Orchard & Distillery Tour with Harvest Lunch [Cork]
13th                       Longueville House Long Table Game Dinner [Cork]
14th – 15th        Taste of Louth [Louth]
19th – 21st         Belfast Beer & Cider Festival


5th                         Longueville House Long Table Game Dinner [Cork]

2016 [Many Dates to be Confirmed]

Listings for 2016 are mostly provisional as they haven’t been announced but all will be updated.



Dine in Dublin

5th – 7th                AlTech Craft Brews and Food Fair [Dublin]



A Taste of Sligo
Dublin Bay Prawn Festival
Galway Food Festival
Roscommon Lamb Festival

15th – 17th            West Waterford Food Festival
29th April – 2nd May Riverfest Limerick [Limerick]


Kildorrery Food Fair
Foynes Food Festival
World Chip Championships
Wexford Food & Wine Festival

20th – 22nd          Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine [Cork]


Strawberry Fields Forever
Sligo Food and Cultural Festival
Taste of Dublin

2nd – 6th                 Bloom [Dublin]


Féile na Mara/Achill Island Festival of the Sea
Kilmore Quay Food Festival


Doolin Craft Beer & Roots Festival
Taste of Donegal

5th – 6th                 Taste of Cavan [dates not confirmed]

(Lead image via WikimediaCommons)


Swiss Chefs Savour Irish Beef on Trip to Ireland

This week, Bord Bia is hosting seven Irish beef loving Swiss chefs and two food journalists on a nationwide tour of the country.

The aim is to showcase Ireland’s beef industry and build on Ireland’s positive image in Switzerland as the home of quality, traceable and sustainably produced food.

The chefs are members of the Swiss branch of Bord Bia`s Chefs` Irish Beef Club, which brings together Michelin star and other renowned chefs who promote and use Irish beef in high-end restaurants.

As ‘Irish beef’ brand ambassadors, these award-winning chefs assist Bord Bia in driving the premium image of Irish beef along with other Irish food and beverages across key markets.

As part of a two day tailored itinerary taking in Waterford and Tipperary, the group visited Eddie Keane’s beef farm in Youghal,  Harty’s Oysters in Dungarvan and toured ABP’s slaughtering and deboning facility in Cahir.  They also saw at first hand the practical benefits of Bord Bia`s Quality Assurance Schemes and Bord Bia’s Origin Green sustainability programme.

Arno Sgier, who owns the Michelin starred Restaurant Traube in Trimbach summed up the Swiss chefs’ view of Irish beef, saying “the fact that the animals are grass fed and the production is sustainable, has a positive effect on quality and taste and above all, consistency“.

The other chefs making up the “Magnificent Seven” were, Thierry Marcel Fischer (Schlosshotel, Binningen),  Markus Gass (Adler *, Hurden), Dominique Lambelet (Paste Ines), Urs Keller (Kongresshaus, Zürich), Heinz Rufibach (Cuisinier, Zermatt) and Tobias Funke (Zur Fernsicht, Heiden).

Bord Bia’s Nicolas Ranninger who accompanied the group said that Switzerland is a small and complex market with specific requirements and legislation for imported food. Ireland exported approximately 2,000 tonnes of beef in 2014.

He added; “Ireland enjoys an excellent reputation for the quality of its meat, with exports worth over €26 million in 2014.

“Initiatives such as the Chefs’ Irish Beef Club allow renowned chefs meet the Irish producers and understand what differentiates our products and is essential to maintaining and growing our reputation in this lucrative market”.

Nǐ hǎo! It’s Chinese Week on Spill the Beans

In a bid to try something a bit different here in the Spill the Beans household, I’m cooking dishes with a Chinese-flair.

So what’s in store for this week? Well we’re kicking off tonight with a Beef Noodle Soup, using egg noodles and beef that’s marinated in soy sauce and garlic.

Tomorrow we’ll switch out the beef for pork, with a sweet and sour dish on the cards. Then on Tuesday – as a celebration of buying a Playstation 4 – we’ll have special fried rice with chicken and prawns.

Wednesday we’re going to go back to beef for some delicious chow mein and then on Thursday I’ll be rustling up some Lemon Chicken.

To finish the working week, we’re going to be a bit bold and indulge in some tasty spareribs and then finally on Saturday we’ll have Lamb Meatballs.

We’re also going to be looking at a few Chinese movies that have food at the core of their story including Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman, The Chinese Feast and the BBC Four documentary The Biggest Chinese Restaurant in the World.


Next week we’re going to change it up with Italian food! So if you have any suggestions on what we should do – feel free to leave a comment below. Zàijiàn!

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

200 Words: Bunsen on Wexford Street

I’ve been putting off Bunsen for years. Perhaps it was the hype that put me off – could they really produce the best burgers in Dublin?

With a menu with no frills (actually the size of a business card), I was salivating at the thought of chomping down on some decent grub.

Continue reading 200 Words: Bunsen on Wexford Street

200 Words: Ha Noi Ha Noi on Capel Street

The rain poured down so hard that I almost slipped off the footpath – I needed something hot, and fast.

Hanoi Hanoi on Dublin’s Capel Street is one of the latest Vietnamese restaurants to crop up in the city and being one who’s obsessed with noodle soup, I had to give it a lash.

Unassuming on the outside, the establishment boasts a rather large interior with plenty of space to accommodate diners (though it may take you a few seconds to recover from its choice of décor).

First up was the nem rán (or spring rolls), and there’s not a single thing that I could find wrong with them.

With a crispiness that crumbled, and flavoursome filling that meshed so beautifully with the dipping sauce, it was the perfect start to my meal.

Onto the phở gà: Though the soup had the base for a perfect broth, I was left disappointed with the slightly overcooked chicken and fatty bits that I found. There were other places that definitely did it better.

That being said, the curiously extensive menu, excellent pricing (I spent just €11) and the polite, attentive service makes me want to give this place another bash.

I’ll be back.

Come again? Bring your friends! There’s plenty of room.
Rating: 3.5/5
Website: https://www.zomato.com/dublin/ha-noi-ha-noi-city-centre-north

Seventeen Enforcement Orders Served on Food Businesses in Ireland

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) has reported that 16 Closure Orders and one Prohibition Order were served on food businesses during the month of July for breaches of food safety legislation.

The Enforcement Orders were issued by environmental health officers in the Health Service Executive.

Nine Closure Orders were served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • Mad Cow Milkshakes, Burgers & Kebabs (take away), 1 Annamoe Road, Cabra, Dublin 7
  • Bay Fish and Chips (restaurant), Main Street, Liscannor, Clare
  • Molloys (public house), 59 Talbot Street, Dublin 1
  • Casa De Burritos (restaurant), Unit C, Woodquay, Ennis, Clare
  • Rockin Joe’s (restaurant), 115 O’Connell St, Limerick
  • The Ice Box – Balbriggan (off licence), Castlemill Shopping Centre, Hamlet Lane, Balbriggan, County Dublin
  • Spring Chinese Restaurant, 83 Main Street, Mallow, Cork
  • The Crescent View Restaurant, Crescent Quay, Wexford
  • CFM Catering Limited (food packers), Knockhouse, Gracedieu, Waterford

Seven Closure Orders were served under the EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010 on:

  • Tropicway Wholesale/Retail (grocery) (closed activity: decanting, blending & packaging of foodstuffs in the first floor room), 9-10 Academy Street, Navan, Meath (first of two Closure Orders served on Tropicway Wholesale/Retail in July) 
  • Tropicway Wholesale/Retail (grocery), 9-10 Academy Street, Navan, Meath (second of two Closure Orders served on Tropicway Wholesale/Retail in July)
  • Lisa’s Trattoria (restaurant), 81 Terenure Road North, Terenure, Dublin 6W
  • Castlemill Roma Take Away, Unit 7, Castlemill Shopping Centre, Hamlet Lane, Balbriggan, County Dublin
  • La Trattoria (restaurant), Stone Court, Roscommon Town, Roscommon
  • Blackwater Lodge Hotel (closed activity: all food preparation and service activities in and from the kitchen and ancillary areas), The Square, Blackwater, Enniscorthy, Wexford
  • Jojo’s Chinese Restaurant, 104 Parnell Street, Dublin 1

One Prohibition Order was served under the FSAI Act, 1998 on:

  • Gary Creaven Fish Sales (wholesaler), Menlo, Galway

Commenting on the high level of Enforcement Orders served in July, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI expressed her disappointment at the lack of vigilance by some owners in ensuring their food businesses are fit for purpose and fully compliant with food safety legislation.

“While the majority of food businesses are compliant with food safety legislation, unfortunately we continue to encounter cases where consumers’ health is put at risk through a failure to comply with food safety and hygiene requirements” she said.

“These breaches are completely avoidable when food businesses have proper food safety management systems in place.

“Food safety must be paramount.  This requires greater focus to safeguard against standards slipping and to ensure that food served is safe to eat.”

(Image via Food Safety Authority of Ireland)

200 Words: East Side Tavern on Leeson Street

East Side Tavern on Leeson Street, though decorated with dark tones, manages to pull off a homely feel.

The downstairs bar has a magnificent display of liquors stacked high on its shelves and the upstairs hosts a restaurant with a modern twist.

Spaghetti marinara made its way to my table and despite my request to remove one vital ingredient (I’m not a chili person!), it still tasted wonderful.

Now my partner is very particular about his steaks, in fact, it’s rare that he ever gets a good one and so I made a note of looking at his expression as he tackled the 10oz rib-eye.

The meat was beautifully chargrilled and I was lucky enough to get a bite. He was in love to say the least!

Feeling in the mood for something unusual, my eyes wandered to the rather curious “carrot sorbet”.

Dipping the liquorice wand into the coconut yoghurt and twirling it around the sorbet and ground nuts; I was astonished.

It was satisfaction on a plate, and I was finally delighted to taste a dessert that excited me with texture.

Service was swift and top-notch and I got the impression that they really cared for the customer.

Come again? That carrot sorbet needs to be tried again.
Rating: 4/5
Website: http://www.eastsidetavern.ie/menus/

West Cork Distillers launches Irish whiskey in conjunction with The Pogues

West Cork Distillers has launched an Irish whiskey developed in conjunction with The Pogues.

A collaboration between two of the world’s most renowned distillers, Barry Walsh and Frank McHardy, the whiskey is a blend of grain and 50% single malt Irish whiskey making it Ireland’s highest malt-containing blended Irish whiskey.

“We wanted to create an Irish whiskey with global appeal, which isn’t without its challenges,” says John O’Connell, co-founder of West Cork Distillers.

“The Pogues offer a perfect partnership as they share many of the same values as our company such as an independent spirit, a slightly unorthodox approach and a commitment to quality, as well as success on the international stage.”

Commenting on the partnership, The Pogues said: “It’s been brilliant working with such experts to come up with a whiskey that we all think speaks of us and that we all like the taste of.

“It’s mind-blowing to think that we will have our band represented through such a great Irish whiskey and we hope it stands the test of time.”

The whiskey has an aroma of malt, cracked nuts, almond and a slight sweetness and its smooth intensity delivers a palate that is malty and floral with a mild chocolate taste and lingering citrus.

Question of the Week: Taking photos of your restaurant food – yay or nay?

It’s not uncommon these days to see diners whipping out their phones and taking a quick snap of their dishes – but is this a good thing or an annoyance?

For some it has become one of their biggest pet peeves and for others it’s all natural.

I’m one of those people who takes photos of what’s going on in the dining room for blogging purposes, but I’m always somewhat aware of the people around me.

I make a careful note of not having my flash on and getting the deed done quickly but I still can’t help but feel a bit judged when I take out my phone!

What do you think? Is it rude to be snap happy at the dinner table or is it just something people should be allowed do to celebrate their love for food? Here’s what you had to say on Twitter:

twitter5 twitter4 twitter3 twitter2 twitter1

Kitchen Diaries: The joys of a cold shower

The heat from rushing around the kitchen takes over your entire body and you feel like a mobile sweat machine – cold showers are a godsend.

Another fast-paced week in the kitchen, I was glad to see that I was getting more into the swing of things and seeing my confidence grow.

I’m a natural introvert and sometimes anything that involves prolonged human interaction terrifies me, but getting to know the staff and children at a steady pace is reassuring.

Though I’ve made a few mistakes over the past few days, I’ve been very grateful that my colleagues have been so understanding. All finger and toes are accounted for. 

I’m getting a real feel of how catering works and it’s actually pretty exciting.

Apart from serving up to hundreds of children, I’ve also managed to keep on top of my HAACP training (more on that some other time).

I also managed to peel close to 100kg worth of potatoes! 

Here’s to another week.