I was part of a group of food producers invited to The Lodge at Ashford Castle to introduce ourselves and explain our products and stories, to a group of US travel and food writers. This group are working at the very cutting edge of travel journalism (CNN, Condee Naste etc) they have been brought into Ireland on a familiarisation trip by the Wild Atlantic Way team to promote what the West of Ireland has to offer. Naturally the very best of Irish hospitality was on show, superb service, fantastic Irish music, Irish dance (including Irish dancing Ticktok sensations (yes it’s a thing!), and of course the very best of Irish foods.
Shout out to Chef Jonathan and his team, Tara pastry chef who created unbelievable desserts as you can see from the photos, including of course a Velvet Cloud panna cotta with rhubarb compote. Chef Antoine who helped us set up a cheese display of Cashel Blue, St Tola Ash, Kylemore, and our own Rockfield sheep and Cloonbook farmhouse cheeses.
The cheese display was accompanied with warm honey from the Ashford estate, house chutney and homemade crackers. Teresa Roche- Kylemore cheese and I, were the “Irish artisan cheese producers” for the night, and as I mentioned we’ve had worse gigs 😊
I also met the lovely Darren Cawley of Westport Estate (and Westport Walking Tours) who explained the exciting plans for what will be a world class tourism experience over the coming years. Catherine O Grady Powers from Glenkeen Estate in Louisberg – (visit if you would like to hear the history of a farm from pre famine times, see working sheep dogs on the hills and enjoy the very best of Mayo scenery) and Mark Murphy of The Little Cheese Shop and Dingle Cookery School (Mark is also one of our best cheese customers). There were so many more there that I didn’t have time to chat to, I was too busy working, i.e proudly introducing the world to and explaining all about the very best of Irish artisan cheeses.
It was one of those evenings where although it might sound corny I was very very proud to be Irish.