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Top chefs to cook up a treat at new city festival

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Jp McMahon: symposium will bring 50 of the leading chefs in the world to Galway in October.

Fifty of the world’s top chefs will congregate on Galway in October for a three-day festival showcasing the best of Irish produce, as well as featuring discussions and demonstrations on the theme of The Future of Food.

The man behind the Irish Food Symposium – Food on the Edge is self-taught chef, restaurateur, and general food encyclopaedia, Jp McMahon, one of Galway’s most innovative and best-known restaurant owners. Sometimes, as he admits, that can be for the wrong reasons, as happened last summer, following his expletive-driven reprimand to customers who failed to show up at his Aniar restaurant.

But despite the odd controversy, there’s absolutely no doubting Jp’s passion for food. He has been a key player in putting Galway on the food map nationally and internationally since he entered the restaurant scene in 2008 with his first venture, the Spanish tapas bar Cava, which was located on the City’s Dominick Street.

Jp and his wife Drigín now own the Michelin starred Aniar Restaurant and the gastro-pub Eat, as well as the tapas bar, now based on Middle Street and known as Cava Bodega.

It’s a lot to achieve, but there have been downs as well as ups, he says, and he is never happy standing still.

Hence this Symposium, which will see leading chefs explore the future of food in both a global and personal way. That will mean discussions on how we eat as individuals and families, what we throw away and how we can tackle food waste, says Jp.

There will also be talks and demonstrations to cater for Galway’s many fans of food in all its creative forms.

Creative is one word that describes Jp, who came to cheffing later in life, having first opted for an arts degree and masters in university.

But creative cooking has to be rooted in tradition, he says. And so, while he brings new techniques to bear, especially in Aniar where first Enda McEvoy and now Ultan Cook have headed up the kitchen, innovation is always done with respect for the past.

Since opening Cava in 2008, Jp has continued his own quest to learn more about food and cooking. It’s that hunger which drives him, he says.

It has taken him to places from Canada to South Carolina to Mexico, both as a Fáilte Ireland ambassador for Irish food and as part of a group of the international symposium of chefs, Cook it Raw.

He credits his involvement in Cook it Raw with helping to attract some of the world’s top chefs to Galway’s Symposium.

They include Albert Adria of Spain’s renowned elBulli, and Clare Smyth, chef/patron of the three star Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. There is Cornwall’s Nathan Outlaw, who has two Michelin stars, and Mexico’s most regarded chef, Enrique Olvera, while Singapore’s multi-award winning André Chiang will also join in.

René Redzepi of Copenhagen’s Noma can’t make this year’s event, but is pencilled in for 2016. However Mark Best of Sydney’s Marque restaurant contacted Jp with a view to coming, and has been added to the guest list.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Living with the ignominy of anonymity on social media

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Country Living with Francis Farragher

Technically, I am on Facebook and Twitter, but I can never seem to quite motivate myself to tell all my virtual friends that my dog has overeaten today; that the cat has disappeared again without a word of explanation; or that the neighbour down the road is driving out in a brand-new car.

At times, I imagine that I’m suffering from some type of serious personality disorder because of my failure to get excited about sharing the most boring details of my daily chores with a cohort of people, some of whose names I am familiar with, while others could have no possible connection to my existence on this planet.

Mind you, I bear no animosity towards those people who want to befriend me via the world of fibre optics and instant communication from any part of the globe, but neither do I harbour any great desire to start up conversations about the banalities of life.

It really is bad enough to have to endure and survive those tribulations every day without having to trouble my newly-acquired set of friends – that I don’t know – with the details of how good or bad my day has been.

I’m sure that there are super ‘shrinks’ out there who will make a case for the virtue of being able to share your daily woes and wonders with those in the world of cyber space, but a thousand Facebook communications (not that I’ll ever make them) just can never compensate me for a face-to-face interaction with an old friend or even a regular verbal sparring partner in the local watering hole, who can jibe me about some alleged minor transgression on my part over recent times.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Huge study gives thumbs up to dairy in the diet

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Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Every time I go to a café, I am amazed by the offering now available for people who no longer want to add milk to their brew. Even in the tiniest of coffee kiosks, they stock oat, soy or almond milk as an alternative to cow’s milk, usually for a surcharge of around 50c, reflecting the high cost of these alternatives.

The big food companies have lately got in on the act, offering non-dairy yogurts in the convenient small pots in most supermarkets. Customers no longer have to head to the health store for these premium, specialist products.

The trend to non-dairy and vegan diets – which means no animal products at all – has certainly become mainstream among Generation Z and Millennials.

But is it good for your health?

A comprehensive new study originating in Sweden would suggest otherwise – at least when it comes to the consumption of dairy.

The international team of scientists studied the dairy fat consumption of 4,150 adults aged 60 living in Sweden which has the world’s highest levels of dairy production and consumption.

They measured blood levels of a particular fatty acid that is mostly found in dairy foods rather than relying on people recording the amounts and types of dairy foods eaten, which may be unreliable given that dairy is commonly used in a variety of foods.

Experts then followed this group for an average of 16 years to observe how many died, had heart attacks, strokes and other conditions indicating cardiovascular disease (CVD). After statistically adjusting for other known CVD risk factors such as age, income, lifestyle, dietary habits, they concluded that those with higher intakes of dairy fat had a lower risk of CVD compared to those with low intakes.

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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Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

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At the official opening of the new tile factory in Portumna on January 13, 1967.

1921

Tenants’ desperation

That the land question is far from settled in certain areas is obvious to those who have been reading the series of articles contributed to these columns by a correspondent in South Galway. The slowness of the Congested Districts Board has been proverbial.

Our correspondent suggests that failure to effect local settlements within a reasonable time, coupled with the inefficiency he charges, have brought about a condition of discontent which may result in a violent explosion at any moment.

No one could contemplate with equanimity such an outburst, for it might have an effect far beyond that intended and might endanger national peace at a period when its preservation is of supreme moment to the Irish people.

But it would seem indisputable that the Congested Districts Board is taking risks that no public body is entitled to take; and the completion of the division of the estates involved should be pushed forward in the public interest without further unnecessary delay.

The tenants on the Ardilaun estate at Cong have already taken the matter into their own hands. At a meeting attended by congests, some of whom walked fifteen miles to be present, it was declared that all confidence had been lost in the Congested Districts Board “which has long since practically ceased to function on this estate” and the tenants requested Dáil Éireann to take over the administration.

The facts in regard to the Ardilaun property are sufficiently remarkable to afford in themselves a damnatory criticism of the Board’s methods. It contains seven hundred householders, whose average valuation is from 15s. to £3. Congestion and poverty is abound; there is little untenanted land to relieve either.

Migration of bodies of tenants is the only real and permanent remedy. But nine years after the late Lord Ardilaun expressed his desire to sell, the Congested Districts Board has not, it would appear, put forward any real effort to relieve a distressing situation.

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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