Tag Archives: Local produce

Part Two: Irish food and drink producers worth getting to know

Last week I kickstarted a continuous series of some of the best food and drink producers on our Irish soils.

I absolutely love things that are produced in Ireland and when I see companies that embrace local my heart soars.

Here are five more producers in Ireland that make the most of what we have to offer (link to part one at the bottom):

Killowen Farm

Nothing says tradition like a family business. If you’re looking to branch off from big brands, check out these yogurts from Killowen Farm (I can confirm that they’re both fresh AND tasty).


This award-winning yogurt is handmade in Co. Wexford and is smooth and creamy. I personally love pouring it over granola!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KillowenFarmFoods
Website: http://killowen.ie/

Irish Bee Sensations

Who can say no to honey? This Cork company is 100% Irish and uses fresh ingredients to make yummy jams and honey-based foods. You can just imagine how good this stuff is drizzled over some toast.


These bee lovers have scooped a variety of awards including being crowned Pride of Ireland Grand Champions and Blas na hÉireann winners.

Website: http://www.irishbeesensations.com/

Bellingham Blue

The clue’s in the title – these cheese producers make amazing blue cheese! Combine it with Irish Bee Sensations’ honey and you’ve the ultimate treat.


Handmade Irish farmhouse cheese from Castlebellingham in Co. Louth, it’s won numerous awards reaching international fame. All of their raw milk comes from a single closed herd of grass-fed Friesians.

The texture is slightly crumbly and the finish is long and smooth with a delicious hint of salt.

Website: http://bellingham.ie/

Tastefully Yours

Take a trip to Dunhill in Waterford and you’ll come across some great local producers. Tastefully Yours are Artisan Producers of Gourmet Chutneys, Relishes and Pickles (lash a bit over some crackers and you’re sorted!)


All products are hand crafted by Norbert Thul and Audrea Hassett and to date they’ve won the Bridgestone Best in Ireland 2011 Award and the Megabytes Newcomer of the year for 2010 Award.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tastefully

Arbutus Artisan Bread

Based in the Rebel County, if you’re looking for one of the finest bread makers in Ireland Arbutus is where it’s at.


Produced by Declan Ryan, Ireland’s the first Michelin Star chef, he and his team make fresh bread that would make you cry with happiness. Using traditional artisan methods, the many loaves keep many tummies very satisfied.

Website: http://www.arbutusbread.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arbutusartisanbakery?fref=ts

Part One: The Cupcake Bloke, Corleggy Cheeses, Newgrange Gold, Keogh’s Farm, The Wild Irish Foragers and Preservers.

I’m always on the hunt for companies to feature on site. If you think this could be something you’d like, drop me an email to unaminh[at]gmail[dot]com with the name of your company – or who you’re representing – where you’re based and I’ll see what I can do! (Subject line: Feature on Spill the Beans)

(All images via company Facebook pages)

From producers to farmers’ markets: Kerry food directory celebrates best of the Kingdom

A new food producer book called “The Kerry Food Story” was launched today.

The directory, a 68-page book, contains an impressive listing of over 150 local Kerry food and drink producers and will be given out free-of-charge.

As well as containing valuable information, the directory includes specially-created recipes by eight of the Kingdom’s top chefs using local produce.

All of the chefs have studied at the IT Tralee and the book was launched at the IT by TJ O’Connor, Head of Section, Hotel, Culinary and Tourism Department and Tomás Hayes, Head of Local Enterprise, Kerry County Council.

“We want to give a strong and vibrant message that Kerry is open for business in relation to food and drink, and that we have some of the best producers not just in Ireland, but in the world”, says TJ O’Connor.

“Kerry has a magnificent larder of ingredients on its doorstep. We want to show how some of the top chefs in Kerry, all students and former-students of the IT Tralee, use their culinary talent and expertise to showcase this produce on the plate”.

The aim of the book is to remind chefs, distributors, hotels, restaurants, retailers and local customers of the wealth of home-grown and home-produced produce that Kerry has to offer and to give them a direct way of sourcing it.

The book also includes a list of cookery schools, information on farmers’ markets and festivals where you can buy produce and useful Kerry websites to find out everything about local food and drink in the region, as well as an extensive listing of producers who are geared up to sell local food and drink products to both businesses and consumers.

The book will be distributed countywide to all businesses which provide food in an effort to encourage them to use local produce to provide people who live in Kerry, and visitors, with a unique experience.


Here’s more information on the chefs who are involved with the project:

Simon Regan of The Europe Hotel and Resort, Killarney who was voted RAI Kerry Chef of the Year last year shares his recipe for Ring of Kerry Roast Loin of Lamb using chorizo from On the Wild Side with Dingle Goat’s Cheese Beignets.

His second recipe of Apple Parfait with Buttermilk Foam is made with Ring of Kerry Apple Juice and served with Skelligs Chocolate and Killarney Honey Sauce.

* * *

Dan Browne, a lecturer in Culinary Arts at the IT Tralee shows how to cure Quinlan’s Mackerel and serves it with vegetables from Manna Organic. His second recipe uses Sean Browne’s Beef Ribs which he braises slowly in Beoir Chorca Dhuibhne Porter and serves with an Annascaul Black Pudding Pastie.

* * *

Philip Brazil, Head Chef at Sheen Falls Lodge in Kenmare shows his culinary brilliance with a recipe for Roast Fillet of Cod with Kush Mussels and an Apricot Bread and Butter Pudding made with Valentia Island Milk and Beaufort Free-Range Eggs and Lorge Dark Chocolate.

* * *

Patricia Teahan, Head Chef at Carrig Country House, Killorglin shows her skill with local farm and garden produce in her dish of Ballinskelligs Duck with Fenit Carrot and Cumin Purée, Spinach Parcels and Dingle Gin Jus. Her dessert of Skelligs Chocolate Pavé is to die for: a rich chocolately mousse made with Skelligs Chocolate and served with Sliabh Luachra Strawberry Gel and Valentia Island Farmhouse Ice Cream.

* * *

Sandra O’Connor, of The Coffee Dock at Valentia Island, trained as a chef at the IT Tralee in Culinary Arts to expand her menu

Her recipes in the book make the most of Valentia Island produce with Valentia King Scallops and Prawns served with Creamy Mash enriched with Lee Strand milk and served with Tarragon Cream Sauce. Her Buttermilk Panna Cotta looks like sunshine on a plate and it’s no wonder when it’s made with Valentia Island Farmhouse Dairy Buttermilk, Lee Strand Cream and Oilean Chocolate.

* * *

Noel Dennehy is Head Chef at The Moorings in Portmagee where his menu is a virtual encyclopedia of local ingredients. In the book, he cooks O’Connell’s Poached Duck Egg with Boxty made from Daly’s Buttermilk, Cromane Pudding and Ashe’s Smoked Bacon. His main course is Fillet of Portmagee Pier Hake with Daly’s Smoked Salmon, Cromane Mussels and Skellig Crab Claws. The Moorings was awarded Kerry’s Best Gastro Pub last year.

* * *

Theo Lynch, head chef of Michelin Guide-recommended Allo’s Bar, Bistro and Luxury Townhouse in Listowel loves to mix raw and cooked ingredients in his dishes: his recipe for Fenit Bay Crab Meat with Aioli does just that and he also uses Cottage Lane Eggs and Ardfert Potatoes in his dish. He loves cooking with Kerry beef and his North Kerry Beef Fillet with Fenit Parsnips and Killarney Honey is one of his signature dishes at the restaurant.

* * *

Caroline Danaher of The Boatyard Restaurant in Dingle generously passes on her recipe for her ‘From Pier to Platter Tartlet’ which she includes in the famous ‘A Taste of Dingle Bay Crab’ platter that New York Times writer and ex-food critic Frank Bruni raved about. (‘We were the Bubba Gumps of Dingle crab, riffling ecstatically through its encyclopedia of preparations’, he wrote.) She uses local Dingle Farmhouse Butter, Dingle Farmhouse Cream, Dingle Farmhouse Black Pepper Cream Cheese and herbs from O’Connor’s Fruit and Vegetables in her main course recipe of Roulade of Dover Sole with Salmon.