A Celebration of Ireland’s Food and Drink | Day One
Over the last two days, we were lucky enough to be invited to Airfield Estate to
participate in Fáilte Ireland’s ‘taste of place’ programme.
It strives to demonstrate how powerful food and drink can be and how what we consume can communicate a unique sense of place. Local cuisine provides a direct connection to its people, the history of its region and their rhythm of daily-life. This programme aims to give the visitor a richer and more authentic quality experience of Ireland and that is exactly what we at the Howth Seafood Shuffle strive towards.
We think Howth is amazing and a huge part of that is its reputation in the food industry. Over the last decade, Howth has become a foodie destination, a really unique one at that. As we’re one of the last working fishing harbours in the country, we are very proud of our seafood – as you might be able to tell. Hundreds and thousands of visitors come to visit our small seaside village and few leave without having fallen for our charm and trying some the seafood dishes we have on offer. There is, quite simply, something for everyone.
Our first day consisted of an excellent and very interactive presentation done by Tracey Coughlan and Kevin Quinn of Fáilte Ireland. In which all participants were introduced to one another and asked how their business conforms to the ‘Taste of Place’ ideals, and you’ll be happy to know that we marked very high and found that are particular food experience is very reflective of our ideals and place. The Howth Seafood Shuffle is not limited to but centered on eating seafood, because we’ve found that we’re the perfect place to encourage this. Although not all of the produce our restaurants use is locally sourced, we’ve found that the quantifiable trend of sustainability and ‘going local’ is starting to take hold – of which we’re delighted. Most of our fish is found in Irish waters and hauled on site.
The chefs at the amazing Overends Kitchen at Airfield Estate then prepared us a meal with every ingredient used being locally sourced from Ireland if not from the grounds of the Estate itself.
Maintaining a positive and respectful food ethos is important to us and a big part of our Culinary Lead, Luke Matthews’ role.
It’s made up of four simple guidelines (GLAS) that help us grow, farm, use and give back, all on the land that was gifted by the Overend sisters. It’s an ethos that adds to what you get as a customer and because there’s conscious behind our cooking, it feels as good as it tastes.
Their food ethos GLAS is very important and something they follow unconditionally.
G – Go with the Seasons
L – Local Produce
A – Avoid food waste
S – Sustainable practices
We were then given a demonstration by Avril Molloy who works for Sheridan’s Cheese-mongers and holds a School of Cheese. The class concentrated on the resurgence of the Irish farmhouse cheeses and food culture. It was great; and we’re not just saying that because we were on a cheese high.
And as if the day couldn’t get any more interesting Michael Kelly, social entrepreneur and founder of GIY, delivered an impassioned presentation all to do with food issues, self-sufficiency, sustainability and ‘growing your own’.
His talk was eye-opening and interesting to even us – who are the least green fingered people on earth. And we hope to implement a lot of
what he was talking about in our own business strategies. If you’re interested in finding more about Michael, his docu-series GROW, COOK, EAT is televised on Fridays on RTE ONE, meaning you can catch up on the RTE player.
Our Day 2 article will be up in the coming days so keeps your eyes peeled!
Hope you enjoyed, if you have any questions or are looking to find out further information on our day with Fáilte Ireland and any of what we learnt feel free to reach out to us on the ‘contact’ link on our website.