Thursday, June 23, 2011

Terroir-based Restaurant to Open in Galway

Introducing Aniar - Prepare for a whole new eating experience

The word terroir is usually associated with winemaking: the combination of factors, including soil, climate, and environment, that gives a wine its distinctive character. In this case however we refer to the terroir of food. A terroir-based restaurant, Aniar, is soon to open in Galway.

Owned and operated by Jp McMahon and Drigín Gaffey who brought us Cava Spanish Restaurant and Tapas Bar, Aniar has set the hearts of foodies racing in anticipation.

The kitchen will be run by Enda McEvoy of Cook Wild Project and former Head Chef of Sheridan’s on the Docks. He explains the philosophy of Aniar, “The food will be based on our terroir, the ensemble of natural influences that give a food a sense of place. Here in the west we are surrounded by lush ancient woodland, bountiful shorelines, thriving farmlands all heaving with some of the best ingredients in Europe but unique to us. We hope to reveal and utilise our terroir. We will quite simply obey the seasons and let nature decide our menu”.

Recently returned from Noma, the Danish restaurant, voted the World’s Best Restaurant 2011, Enda McEvoy will be following the Noma philosophy of working closely with local producers while also gathering wild herbs, plants and seaweeds each day from the woodlands and seashore around the area to produce a cuisine based around light clean flavours.

Light sauces and stocks, properly reared animals (utilizing all of the animal), sustainably caught fish with an eye to the future of the fishing industry and evolving with the seasons using vegetables, herbs, fruits and berries, either from the wild or cultivated, all encompass the Aniar philosophy. The Chefs will pickle and brine as much as is bountiful during the spring and summer to see the restaurant through the winter. They will use modern culinary techniques to obtain the best out of the ingredients, but will never lose sight of the integrity of the product.

Their wine list features over 40 wines produced by small artisan wine producers who also take their “terroir” into great consideration. “When writing the wine list”, Jp explains, “I wanted our philosophy of food to leak into the wine menu”. Over 20 wines will be available by the glass to allow customers to experience the diversity of wine on a global level.

The food and wine will be presented and served in a relaxed, contemporary, brassiere type environment, ignoring the formalities of fine dining. Drigín Gaffey says, “We promise friendly informed service, in a warm welcome environment”.

Jp, Drigín and Enda have been friends for many years and are very excited about sharing their philosophy about food and their passion about allowing quality ingredients to ‘speak for themselves’.

Good food cooked properly in comfortable surrounding.

Aniar is due to open June 29th in 53 Dominick Street, Galway’s West End. Advance bookings can be made by emailing

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Marketing, / PR Internship Position (Update)

We’re on the hunt for an intern who craves challenge, experience and an outlet for creativity. Working in an agency environment this internship is fast moving and will require a flexible can-do attitude. Mature, professional and hard working applicants only.

You will be working on a number of accounts and will take the lead on certain projects. This internship will provide invaluable hands-on experience however you must be willing to put in the time and commitment.

Tasks will include: social media management, copy writing, digital marketing, reporting, time logging, internal sales and marketing, plus a myriad of other tasks.

Making coffee will not be below you and writing a proposal will not be above you.

Immediate start, 3 days a week 9am – 4pm based in Galway City. Please send cover note to detailing your strengths.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Heads or Tails?

Fancy Crispy Pigs Ears or Braised Ox Tail ? Experience True Nose To Tail Dining at Cava Spanish Restaurant and Tapas Bar Galway.

Jp McMahon, head chef and owner of Cava Restaurant has launched an initiative to reintroduce nose to tail dining. Ox tail, trotters and liver may conjure up images of old however there are many more possibilities for delicious contemporary dishes from lesser known cuts.

Jp explains “The Spanish tend to cook with more off cuts and offal then we, the Irish, do. Offal is much more economical then the popular cuts and, prepared properly, can be even more delicious. Once we can overcome our squeamish preconceptions tongue, heart, ham hock, pigs cheeks and ears can all become as everyday as our steak and chicken breasts.”

Each week Cava Spanish Restaurant and Tapas Bar will feature daily specials that highlight nose to tail eating. Prepare to chose from braised ox tongue in spicy chorizo sauce, braised pig's terrine with piquillo pepper sauce, ham hock and black pudding broth, free range chicken livers with chili jam, or crispy pigs ears with garlic mayonnaise.

Using off-cuts generally takes a bit more preparation and cooking time. The chefs in Cava confit pork belly for 10 hours, so as to make it mouth watering tender. The pig cheeks are cooked for 3 to 4 hours. Some cuts however, like liver and kidneys, can be cooked quite quickly—pan-fired in a knob of foaming butter and seasoned with salt and pepper. Offal goes superbly with Cava’s own piquillo pepper sauce, which can be purchased in the restaurant.

When purchasing offal from your local butcher Jp recommends looking using a local specialty butcher who will be able to explain to you the best way to use certain cuts. Also, look for Fergus Henderson’s book Nose to Tail Eating or The Fifth Quarter: An Offal Cookbook by Anissa Helou.

For more details, menus and recipes see

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Train To Become to An Artisan Food Producer

A new 8 week course dedicated to the production of artisan food has been launched by Source Sligo Cookery School. The course, ‘Cooking For Business and Pleasure’, is offered to those with a passion for food and a desire to make this into a sustainable business.

The course content primarily explores the production of local foods from plant to plate and farm to fork, and how to market and sell your produce. Course Director and Cookery School Manager, Eithna O’Sullivan explains “The course has a specific focus on the practical skills required to become a local food producer. It was developed for people with a lifelong passion, people looking for a change in career, or simply those looking to further their education. We will spend a number of weeks on practical cooking skills from stocks and sauces through to meats and smoking processes. The production modules look at product development, legislation and food safety while the business modules include customer care, financial management and marketing”.

Source Sligo Cookery School is located on the top floor of Source Sligo, the impressive three-storey restaurant, wine bar and cookery school set in the heart of Sligo town. An ethos that drives Source Sligo - that of sourcing local, quality and seasonal produce, will be echoed throughout the course.

Graduates will be awarded with a Fetac Level 5 in Food Processing, EHOA Primary Food Hygiene Certification, Wine Appreciation Certificate and a HACCP Certification. The course has been developed in conjunction with local well known Sligo food producers, EHOA, Oonagh Monahan, AlphaOmega, ICBE and the Begin Again Program.

Limited number of places available. The first course starts 18th July with a second course commencing on 19th September.

For more information visit Source Sligo or phone 071 91 47605