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Text for Arthur Guinness Projects

Below is the text from the Blog on The Arthur Guinness Projects site.


People are particularly inventive at the moment. Spaces that in other times would have been used for big business are being reappropriated for art galleries, workshops, food production and music venues.

I work in food and it is an industry to be proud of in Ireland, particularly in recent years. We produce enough food to feed 35 million people on our small island, increasingly it is being created by small artisan producers who are making cheese, meats and other delicacies to rival any from around the world.

We may not have the same historic food culture like other countries, such as Italy or India, but we are fast catching up with quality. I am pleased to be able to offer our customers, in The Cake Café, such great ingredients and to be able to say that it was produced here at home. Often I am able to tell them the name of the lady who made the cheese or tell them about the gentleman who reared the pigs the chorizo was made from. It is a privilege to showcase this produce in our savoury menu as well as baking with local fresh fruit, real, creamy Irish butter, free range eggs and even incorporating the rich malty flavours of Guinness in our cakes.

Irish handmade cheeses have a unique flavour from the salty breeze that blows through its coastal maturing rooms, cheeses like Durrus, Milleens or Gubbeen are all created by the ocean’s side. At Gubbeen farm in West Cork, the next generation have begun to take over the mantel and are feeding the leftover whey from cheese making to fatten up their pigs. Now the meat from these pigs graces dinner plates in some of Ireland’s finest restaurants and it’s being sold around the world.

Dublin is a city with a pulse that can often be missed at first glance. It has a lovely energy. I like its size and its easiness to live in. If you cycle, you can be anywhere inside the canals quite comfortably in a matter of minutes. There is a languid fluidity to the city, you can stroll and bump into people that you know, stop for a coffee, a chat, a pint. Our cafe, bar and restaurant industry provide great spaces in which to congregate, to converse and to eat well. We have always been know for our words, for using a lot of them to decipher the world around us or for the ways in which our writers have put them together, creating influenced and reach far greater than our small population.

I am looking forward to seeing what projects emerge and to assessing and filtering through them with the other judges on the food panel. I set up The Cake Café seven years ago and I would have loved a mentor back then to guide me through some of the pitfalls I experienced. I would also have appreciated the financial backing that Arthur Guinness Projects can possibly provide.

Whether it is the next cheese maker on a windswept peninsula by the Atlantic Ocean or a project coming from the heart of Dublin city - I am sure it will inspire a younger generation and bring a new energy to the Irish food community.




I heart Cork

Finally our Cork tea towels have arrived. They were a few months in the making.

We chatted and deliberated about what to include from Cork's many historic and modern icons. (apologies for any we may have left out). Cork is my home town and I love it's narrow winding street, shaky bridges and high hills. Although I am living in Dublin quite a few years now there is nothing like returning home. It was a privilege and also great fun to create these images.

As with our other products these are made entirely in Ireland and printed on Irish linen. They are a beautiful, vibrant gift for anyone with a love of the city.




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