Earlier this week I spotted a tweet from Damien Mulley requesting food bloggers to get in touch with Roma for a free bag of pasta flour and as the offer contained 2 of my favourite things, pasta flour and “free”. I immediately popped an e-mail to the appropriate address and received a prompt response that left me feeling on top of the world, my new contact in Roma is a fan! It’s the little things that make yer day
Yesterday morning the door bell rang so I headed for the front door to be greeted by a courier with a package for me. It was a bit large for a bag of flour, I thought and sure enough once the paperwork had been signed and the courier thanked, I hurried inside to open the package.
Not only was there the flour as promised, but also a re-usable pasta box filled with dried penne and a recipe card. The recipes are for ravioli and a calzoni pizza. Now as some of my long-time readers know I’ve posted both pizza base and pasta recipes previously and I’ve posted about my difficulty in finding Farina Tipo 00 in Ireland so I’m overjoyed to hear that Roma are now bringing this product in to Ireland and that Superquinn and the larger Dunnes Stores will be stocking it. Thanks so much, the shopping trips to Italy were getting a bit pricey!
I’m also really looking forward to playing around with my pizza base recipe and hope to get a little bit closer to that genuine Italian pizza flavour at home, in the next few days so keep an eye out for a new recipe in the coming weeks.
Yup, we’re back home after the Irish Food Blogger Event held at Bord Bia yesterday, hosted by the young whirlwind that is Donal Skehan of the TheGoodMoodFoodBlog.
I’ve just spent a while scanning through the tweets from the day that contained the hashtag #irishfoodies – lots of twitpics there that will give you a good idea of the day. We started off with David Owen from Bord Bia explaining about the Quality Mark and Irish pork. I thought this was going to be a welcome to the day, but it turned into a salespitch as he continued to speak. At this point I was wondering if the whole day would be like that, but the rest of it was great fun and really informative.
Lorraine Fitzmaurice from Blazing Salads who was up next, showed us a tasty soda bread made with spelt flour and a vegan Miso Pesto pasta dish. These were tasty, but I felt the miso flavour in the pesto could have been stronger and played on more. Next up was Pat Conway, a super enthusiastic butcher that showed us how the different cuts of pork are carved from the animal and how they are best prepared for cooking.
Being an idiot, I’d skipped breakfast so I was starting to get hungry at this point, and Lorraine’s tasters hadn’t helped. My resolve was soon to be put to the test as Maira Dufficy whipped up 4 different pork dishes in no time, each looking nicer than the next. We were given a copy of the recipes to take home, so no doubt we’ll being trying them out soon!
Bord Bia has a lovely set up in the demo kitchen with a controllable camera positioned over the demonstrators head so everyone can see exactly what is happening. They also have a very decent real kitchen just behind it, who were working hard all morning, not only to help clear up after the presenters, but also to cook enough versions of the demonstrated dishes to feed all 30 hungry bloggers. Lunch was delicious and everyone at my table cleared their plates.
We also had a couple of talks today – from Eoin Purcell on how to go about taking your content from blog to book and from Damien Mulley on marketing your blog, with touches on SEO.
After lunch, the rest of the day was devoted to Food Styling and Photography with Erica Ryan and Jocasta Clarke. I really enjoyed this session, especially when we were told to build up a collection of different plates so that we had plenty of choice when styling the photo to suit the food – I think that means I get to go shopping!
Overall it was a fun day and I learned a lot. While a little sale-pitchy at times, I think the organisers from Bord Bia were willing to have a two-way discussion with any bloggers that approached them, and they acknowledged their frustration that over a year after the problems were resolved, searching for “Irish Pork” brings up pages and pages of negative results – hardly the way we’d like to see it being advertised around the world!
Thanks to Donal Skehan, Bord Bia, the speakers and demonstrators for a very fun and worthwhile day.
Today myself and Elly are off to meet up with a load of food bloggers at the first Irish food blogger event organised by Donal Skeehan (of thegoodmoodfoodblog.com) and An Bord Bia.
When I first heard of the idea, I wasn’t sure what you would have at an event specifically for food bloggers but Donal has lined up what sounds like a really interesting day. There will be talks about butchery, publishing, photography and some cooking demonstrations. And of course Damien Mulley will be along to give a talk about using the media to improve your blog’s profile.
I’m really looking forward to this event, so expect a review about it when we get back.