Food news: tipped for glory in Clonmel
The Clonmel Show & Agricultural Society has been holding an annual agricultural show in Clonmel for more than 150 years and there is a long history of the exhibition of agricultural produce at the Co Tipperary show.
The society's rulebook, dating back to 1924, lists as the first of its objectives: "To promote the improvement of horses, cattle, sheep, swine… agricultural produce, creameries, bee-keeping, cottage and other industries."
This year, the Society has decided to introduce a new national food competition aimed at true artisan food producers, with winners to be announced at the show on July 1 and prizes to be presented by Darina Allen.
'Artisan' is a term that is bandied around rather loosely these days, but the Society is determined that only genuine artisan producers will be recognised by these awards.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland's Food Marketing Terms Guidelines state that in order for the term 'artisan' to be used, the following criteria should be met:
* The food is made in limited quantities by skilled craftspeople.
* The processing method is not fully mechanised and follows a traditional method.
* The food is made by a micro-enterprise in a single location.
* The characteristic ingredient(s) used in the food are grown locally where seasonally available and practical.
* The Society has added an additional requirement and will accept entries only from food producers with an annual turnover of less than €100,000.
Awards will be made in a total of seven categories: preserves, sauces/condiments, dairy produce, honey, chilled meat/fish products, non-alcoholic bottled drinks and a catch-all entitled 'Modern Irish Artisan Foods'.
The judges include Kevin Thornton, formerly of Thornton's and now of Kevin Thornton's Kooks; Jason Matthia of Chez Hans in Cashel; Richard Gleeson of Dooks Fine Foods in Fethard; and apple farmer Con Traas of Cahir, who is a lecturer in the University of Limerick, Tipperary Food Hero and current chair of Tipperary Food Producers.
No doubt the committee will be able to confirm the names of the women judges before the event.
For entry forms, contact Mike Quirke on 087 289 1285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.