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Connacht Tribune

Galway chef’s recipe for success

Declan Tierney

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A London-based chef from Tuam has been awarded a whopping €395,000 to develop her street food business, alongside her partner.

It is literally a dream come true for Sinead Campbell and her partner Lee Johnson who established their pop-up food business called BBQ Dreamz four years ago.

The couple appeared on the British reality TV show ‘My Million Pound Menu’ – the equivalent of Dragon’s Den for food – and received an investment of £350,000 in their business much to their delight.

Sinead (36), who is the daughter of Dolly and the late Michael Campbell from Tuam, moved to London around twelve years ago to do her Masters Degree in Art.

She completed her Masters and went on to do an internship in the world-famous Christie’s Art Gallery before leaving that particular profession to embark on two years involved in victim support in London.

Her intention was to return to the art world in a teaching capacity – but her partner, who had worked in a number of the top restaurants, decided to diverge into street food through a series of pop-up restaurants in various parts of London.

Sinead attended Presentation College in Tuam before completing her Degree in Art (1st Class Honours) while studying in Limerick – before ending up in a whole different world.

“I suppose, when we look back, she always had an interest in cooking,” recalls proud mum Dolly who believes she inherited this trait from her late father, a former bank manager in Tuam who was also passionate about cooking.

Dolly added: “This is all great news and hopefully it is the start of a very bright future in this very competitive industry, Both Sinead and Lee are extremely hard workers and their sheer dedication has paid off.”

Both Sinead and Lee appeared on the BBC’s My Million Pound Menu, the reality show which seeks out up-and-coming food businesses and gives them the chance to secure hundreds of thousands of pounds of investment.

Last week, London-based street food trader BBQ Dreamz, which is operated by Sinead and Lee and specialises in Filipino food, triumphed and beat off stiff competition in the process.

BBQ Dreamz went on to secure a £350,000 investment (just over €395,000) from Charlie McVeigh of the Draft House pub group that he sold last year.

BBQ Dreamz is a concept inspired by the Filipino recipes Lee – born in the Philippines and raised in Northampton – learnt from his grandmother while growing up in that country, which in turn inspired a passion for the nation’s cuisine in Sinead.

The pair started BBQ Dreamz in 2014, aiming to bring Filipino food to a wider audience in London, adapting classic dishes to the lunchtime tastes of Londoners.

As with most street food stalls, customers can expect the menu to alternate a bit but among their signature dishes are grilled satay duck hearts, sticky adobo chicken wings and Lechon Kawali – 24-hour sous-vide crispy pork belly with radish, celery and coriander salad.

Connacht Tribune

Time and history conferred character on this home

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The Hermitage, Ballymoe: on the market with a €425,000 guide price.

The Hermitage at Lisnageeragh, Ballymoe is a property on which time and history has conferred a character that no new property could mirror.

Overlooking 16.3 acres of rolling green fields which are included in the sale, this is indeed a unique house and comes to market with charming well maintained stone buildings. These could provide further family accommodation, holiday rentals or craft studios.

The front hall has a beautiful, curved window and leads to two reception rooms on either side of the house. The sitting room has an open fireplace with a black cast iron surround and wooden floors which gleam from years of care and reflect the light coming from two large windows. To the right-hand side, the dining room also has an attractive bay window and an oil-fired stove and it is indeed the perfect social /entertaining space.

To the rear of the house the kitchen is a classic example of a successful marriage of the old and the new. Bespoke shaker style units combine perfectly with modern recessed lighting, attractive tiling and includes a pantry area to one side. A good-sized bedroom and adjacent bathroom complete the downstairs of the main house.

Upstairs there are four bedrooms one of which has an en suite shower. The main bedroom is a delightful space which leads to another small room, a perfect nursery or walk in wardrobe.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

A time when we learned once more that no man is an island

Francis Farragher

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Country singer Dolly Parton getting the jab: she sang about it and part-funded research on the vaccine.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of the oft-repeated pub jokes whenever the price drink was increased, whether it by Finance Ministers or publicans who felt that their margins were being whittled away, was that: “As long as it doesn’t get scarce, we’ll be happy enough.”

Who could have believed though in the first month or two of 2020 that this scenario would unfold (at least in pubs), where the opportunity to meet friends – and the odd ‘auld enemy’ too – over a couple of pints in the local bar would be snatched away from us?

We probably have learned to adapt to the reality of the pandemic and most of us will remember the real sense of fear and constriction that pervaded our every word and action early last year.

2020 was the universal version of ‘annus horribilis’ – the term made famous by Queen Elizabeth in 1992 when royal marriages started to collapse like cards houses in the breeze.

Being of rural stock, I loved the little video earlier this from country music icon, Dolly Parton, who adapted a verse of her famous Jolene song to mark her first shot of the Moderna vaccine (she also donated $1 million to its research) in a very sincere effort to try and encourage the general public to get inoculated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

I’m begging of you not to hesitate,

Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,

Cause when you’re dead that’s a bit too late.”

A year before that, times were indeed very strange across Ireland and indeed the world. I remember on the Sunday night before St. Patrick’s Day when a sense of incredulity greeted the news in my own local that ‘a lot of the pubs in Galway city were closing down’. Surely, this couldn’t happen in our own little watering hole in the sticks, but it did.

Michael Karmen’s soundtrack from the Band of Brothers series – a wonder piece of music even to my untrained ear – will always remind me of that early Spring period of lockdown in 2020.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

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Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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€4.5m worth of property sold during online event

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This detached house at Seacrest in Knocknacarra attracted a "staggering" level of interest.

More than €4.5 million worth of sales were recorded at the O’Donnellan & Joyce auction last week, where 350 people had pre-registered to bid on the 40 properties which went under the hammer.

80% of the properties sold during the auction or following negotiations immediately afterwards.

Among the properties sold at the auction were:

106 Seacrest, Knocknacarra, Galway. Guiding at €250,000 due to the extent of renovation and upgrade works required, the auctioneers were staggered at the level of interest in this 4-bed detached house.

Siobhra Hennessy, Senior Auction Co-Ordinator, said: “There is an increasing demand for city centre homes in need of repair. Couples want to put their own stamp on a property and often look for properties similar to this.”

Bidding commenced at €250,000 but quickly rose to over €350,000. After intense bidding from a number of internet and telephone bidders, the sale price of €364,000 was reached and the deal was done.

192 Bohermore, Galway. A 2-bed terraced house which attracted great attention, with many enquiries and bidders pre-registering. The house needs complete restoration and modernisation works but obviously appealed to a wide audience. It guided at €120,000, but sold for €179,000, despite the great amount of work required. Again, this is an example of a near-derelict building that offered great potential.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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