In The Media
If you get down to Lidl before the Sunday 24th September, you will be able to buy St Tola Divine instore in Lidl nationwide as part of the KICKSTART Lidl promotion - plenty of other amazing Irish products too! Our Divine is also available in Dunnes stores, Tesco and Supervalu also. Watch out for Grainne in Dunnes in Ennis this Friday and Saturday!
We have had a great summer welcoming visitors here at St Tola, but our public sessions have now finished up for the season. If you like to book a private tour or join one of our pre-booked tours, please send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have had a very busy summer here at St Tola! We had Public tour sessions on a Wednesday morning and due to popular demand, we will continue them for September! Tour includes a tour of the goats, a look at the milking parlour, a cheesemaking demo and a full tasting of all our awardwinning goats cheeses. €8 adults, €5 children and €20 family ticket.
We have also launched our St Tola Divine into Dunnes Stores! Grainne willl be doing regular tastings so keep your eye on Facebook for more details and dates.
Finally, we do hope that some of you made it to the Fleadh in Ennis! We certainly did! The photo here is Siobhan being interviewed as part of TG4 coverage of this great event. !
Open Tour Dates
Due to popular demand, we are going to be having Open Tour dates here at St Tola Goat Farm from this Wednesday the 5th July and every Wednesday in July and August. Tours will start at 10.30am sharp and will include a tour of the farm and a cheese making demonstration with tasting. Adults €8, children €5 family ticket (2 adults and 2 children €20. Tours wil start prompt at 10.30 so make sure you are on time! We are just off the main Ennistymon to Ennis road and well sign posted.
Hope to see some of ye on Wednesday!
Rare Breeds and Pancakes
Have you been watching Rare Breed on TV3 on Tuesdays at 7.30pm? Here's a chance to catch up on a recent episode (7th February) its the April edition as the series follows 12 farms around Ireland throughout the farming year. Our Siobhan and Petru are on from about 2mins 15 seconds!
Other episodes are available on the TV3 player
Don't forget tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday and officially the tastiest day of the year and heres a few ideas for you pancakes and to whet your appetite!
+Caramelised apple slices, St Tola and thyme leaves
+Onion marmalade, St Tola and pepery rocket leaves
+Blackberry chutney, crumbled up cooked black pudding and St Tola
+Honey, butter fried pear slices, lots of freshly ground black pepper and St Tola
Our farm shop will be opening this Wednesday from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday. If you want to call to the farm at the weekend there will be someone there from 10 to 12 noon only (no Bank Hols!) Our full range of cheeses are available as well as raw and pasteurised milk.
In case you missed it, we delighted to announce that St Tola are featuring in TV3s monthly farming programme "Rare Breeds" throughout 2017. The first episode was on yesterday at 7.30pm... catch up by watching it on the 3player here! https://www.tv3.ie/3player/show/1100/119541/0/Rare-Breed
World Cheese Awards & Christmas Craft Fair
We are delighted to announce that St Tola Ash Log won Gold in its class at the recent World Cheese Awards! It's a great way to end the year and great for the team to get recognition for a great product!
The National Craft Fair at the RDS will be getting under way this coming Wednesday 30th November until Sunday 4th December. It is a stunning show with a log of amazing Irish talent on display. We will be in the Food Emporium so come along say hello and get some fantastic cheeses for Christmas!
See you there
Recipes and more....
Those lovely people at Sheridans cheesemongers have been happily fiddling with our cheese again! The wonderful Franck has come up with a delicious St Tola and Beetroot Quiche and it is as tasty as it is good looking!
Dont forget Sheridans have their big day out, their annual Food Festival in Viriginia Road Station in Co Meath next Sunday 29th May. A feast of fun and food for everyone!
Next weekend is also the Annual Burren Slow Food Festival. A superb line up this year includes a champagne and oyster picnic under the Clffs of Moher, Whiskey and Chocolate Tasting, Champagne and Smoked Salmon Tasting, speakers including JP McMahon and Catherine Cleary as well as the usual producers market and festival banquet. http://www.slowfoodclare.com/festival/
And we are so looking forward to Bloom this year...come and see us with our friends from Cashel Blue 2nd to the 6th June 2016http://www.slowfoodclare.com/festival/
The sun is finally out here in Co Clare so get out and see our beautiful country and get tasting some lovely Irish Food!
St Tola featured on RTE's Big Week on the Farm
Delighted to have welcomed the television crew to our goat farm to film a segment for RTE's Big Week on the Farm. Check out the video clip!
St Tola featuring on RTE's Farm Live
Watch out for St-Tola on 'Farm Live' on RTE 1 Tues 5th of April at 7 p.m.
St Tola featuring in Food & Wine Magazine
We will be featuring in the April edition of Food & Wine Magazine as part of The Burren Food Trail.
Who doesn't love pancakes? So easy to make and an endless variety of toppings and fillings....so here are few new ideas to try with St Tola Goat Cheese,·
Dot each pancake with around 30g of St Tola, 4 caramelised apple slices, (just fry the apples for a few minutes in lots of Irish butter until they start to brown) a few bashed walnuts & a few thyme leaves.
Or spread some good quality red onion marmalade over each pancake, dot with 30g of St Tola & some peppery rocket leaves
Or spread each pancake with about 30g of St Tola Divine, some light Irish honey, & a sprinkle of nuts & dried fruit
Happy Shrove Tuesday!
St Tola in the Sunday Times
We had some super coverage over the weekend in a great article by Katy McGuinness... we are so lucky to be working with such a forward thinking group as Bord Failte. Heres hoping that the 2016 season is a healthy one for all of us.
Have you spotted any St Tola in the Wild?! Have a look at our Facebook page for the latest pictures sent in by chefs and tasters...we love to know what beautiful creations our cheese ends up in!
For those of you really going Wild...have a look out for St Tola in Business Class in Aer Lingus in the month of February - we are delighted to have been chosen again this Spring.
I'll be posting a few nice recipe for Valentines soon - so watch this space!
St Tola on The Seven O'Clock Show
Did you see The Seven O'Clock Show on TV3 on Wednesday Evening? Chef Gary O'Hanlon made a beautiful and healthy looking Kale and St Tola Salad! For those of you that missed it, here is the link:
and I will be posting up the recipe later in the week. Can't wait to try it!
Happy New Year
Happy New Year!
I hope that you all had a peaceful and restful Christmas Season and are looking forward to a Happy and Healthy 2016. We had a few little Christmas surprises on the farm, early kids!We were very surprised but they are doing well and looking bonny and healthy.
Chefs and customers alike have been kindly sending in photos of St Tola in the Wild - in other words wonderful creations from Chefs around the country using St Tola in creative ways. Have a look at our Twitter page @StTolaCheese and our Facebook for the latest updates https://www.facebook.com/sainttola/ If you spot St Tola in the Wild - send us in a picture, we love to see what is happening out there!
News broke last week of the latest SuperFood - our very own Black Pudding! We have long been a fan of the black stuff, check out our simple idea for using this with St Tola on our recipe page - makes a perfect late supper!
Our lovely Sinead is back selling at markets after a little winter break (and a horrible incident in the recent floods) Come and meet up with her at Limerick Milk Market on Saturday Mornings, she is some woman to talk!
St Tola in the Financial Times!
Great write up recently in the Financial Times, honoured to be named as one of the 5 best cheeses in Britain and Ireland!
We were delighted recently to win some awards in the World Cheese Awards, bronze for our Divine, and a brilliant Silver for the Ash Log!
The AIB JUNIOR Bake Off is to be held locally this coming Sunday in the Armada Hotel in Spanish Point, come along between 2-5pm and support some up and coming local talent. We wil be manning as stall on the day so you can get your Christmas Cheeses selection in as well!
Winter at St Tola
Winter opening hours: Our farm shop is now closed for the season, but visitors can stlll come to the farm gate, Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm to buy cheese! Private tours can be arranged on request - see our tours page for more details.
We are delighted the awards that St Tola has been associated with this year including, 2 Stars at the Great Taste Awards and of course winning the EUROTOQUE PRODUCER OF THE YEAR! We are very proud also to be part of the Burren Food Trail, European Destination of Excellence Award and Foodie Town of Ireland. Well done to all involved!
Open Day - Last of the the Year!
Autumn Events coming up!
As the evening draw in ever closer each night, you'd think things would be slowing down here on the farm wouldn't you?! The fine weather means that thankfully we are still busy producing cheese and there have been plenty of visitors to the farm this autumn.
There are some fabulous events coming up in the next few weeks:
The superb Dingle Pennisula Food Festival is coming up this weekend 2nd to the 4th October, a vast range of events, cookery demonstrations and awards - unbeatable fun and craic this weekend in Kerry! have a look at the website for more details http://www.dinglefood.com
Food on the Edge is an incredible International Food Symposium (October 19th to 20th October at various places around Galway) with chefs and lecturers from all over the globe attending. The multi-talented and Michellin Star restauranteur J.P.McMahon is the brains behind the action and all the details can be found athttp://www.foodontheedge.ie
The annual Winterage Festival is again on in the Burren this October 22-25th- a beautiful and life affirming festival celebrating our unique food and farming heritage here in Clare. http://www.burrenwinterage.com
And finally, the last planned Open Day of the year will be here at St Tola Goat Farm on Thursday 29th October. Gates will open at 2.30pm and a tour will start at 2.45pm. All welcome and its free!!
St Tola in the News!
We are delighted to announce that our lovely St Tola Divine was a 2 Gold Star winner at the recent Great Taste Awards! These awards are considered the Oscars of the Food World and it is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team here that produces such fine cheese! A full list of Irish winners can be seen here http://greattasteawards.co.uk/?product_producer_name=&category=&rating=&...
We have some amazing visitors to our farm over the summer including Peter Morrell that writes for a range of websites including the Huffington Post. Details of Peters visit to The Burren in the summer can be read http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/peter-morrell/burren-food-trail_b_804274... many thank Peter for your kind words and we are delighted that you came to visit us.
The inaugural Food on the Edge Symposium is to take place this October 19th and 20th in Galway. The ever busy J.P. McMahon (we don't know how he finds the time) has arranged a coming together of top international chefs and food leaders for a 2 day symposium. There are some amazing events and speakers during the event, full details can be found on www.foodontheedge.ie and a great article by Rebecca LeHup writing for the Huffington Post can be found here http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/rebecca-leheup/from-seed-to-symposium_b_801...
Open Day Dates
A quick reminder of the dates of the last of our summer Open Days. The next one will be this coming Wednesday 19th August and the last one will be next Friday 28th August. On both days there will be a full tour of the animals, a talk on farming, the history of St Tola Cheese and cheese making in Ireland, a simple cheese making demonstration and a full tasting of the range of St Tola Cheese! Both events are free and visitors of all ages are welcome. Gates open at 2.30pm and tour starts at 2.45pm sharp! Hope to see some of you there!
We have had some great visitors lately... most notably Peter Morrell from The Huffington Post, Hannah Thompson from the Caterer and Rose Prince from The Telegraph, many thanks to Bord Bia for organising such interesting visitors to Ireland. We will be posting some articles from these journalists later in the year.
Our Discover Farmhouse Cheese Open Days are proving very popular with young and old alike...our next Open Day is Monday 10th August, gates open at 2.30pm and the tour starts at 2.45pm sharp..all welcome and its free! The next Open Day after that is Friday 28th August, same times, it will be Heritage week so a last chance to get some culture before the school term starts!
The best news however is of course the news that The Burren Food Trail was the proud winner of the EDEN award - European Destination of Excellence award for gastronomy. This is the second time if 5 years that Clare has won this award and we are so delighted to be part of this amazing group and the award is testement to the hard work of all involved. Check out our Facebook page for photos of the fabulous lunch at Hotel Doolin last week.
Hope to see some of you at our next Open Day!
Just a quick reminder that our next Open Day is next Monday 29th June from 2-4pm Tour starrts promptly at 2pm, there will be a full tour and tasting of all our cheeses.
If you are out and about, keep an eye out for our Sinead at markets, Tuesdays in Ennistymon, Fridays in Kinvara and Saturdays in the Milk Market in Limerick City! Sinead has a great range of cheeses (including all the lovely St Tola cheeses!) olives, oils nuts and of course you can practise your Irish at the same time with the Queen of Cheese!
Dont forget this months Easy Food Magazine, there is a lovely new St Tola recipe in there for the summer!
ST TOLA WINS EUROTOQUE AWARD!
Clare-based Artisan wins Prestigious Award from Top Chefs
Bumper year for Euro-Toques Ireland’s EirGrid Food Awards
Top chefs organisation receives most nominations since Awards’ inception
Small producers increasing in number and leading in food innovation
The annual EirGrid Euro-Toques Food Awards took place this Monday 15th June. The awards are voted on by the members of Euro-Toques Ireland, a community of cooks and chefs established in 1986 by Myrtle Allen, who subscribe to the highest standards in sourcing ingredients and culinary excellence. Members include top chefs such as Ross Lewis, Kevin Thornton, Derry Clarke, Sunil Ghai, Neven Maguire, Guillaume LeBrun, Wade Murphy, Gary O’Hanlon and Darina Allen.
This year the awards received the highest number of nominations from chefs for artisan food producers since the awards’ inception in 2005. The nominated producers covered an astounding array of categories, from artisanal beers and spirits to hand-cooked crisps, brand new farmhouse cheeses, and grass-fed poultry. The winners ranged from brand new businesses to multi generational.
One winner was Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith of Inagh Farmhouse Cheese for her St Tola Irish Goat Cheese range, made in Ennistymon, County Clare in the West of Ireland, St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese has achieved exceptional critical acclaim since its launch over twenty-five years ago. From young, fresh crottin through to mature, year old Gouda, all their cheeses are handmade and matured to suit customers’ individual requirements. As such, cheese from the St. Tola range is now among the most sought-after artisan produce in Ireland. St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese has been made in the townland of Inagh just south of the Burren in County Clare since the early 1980s.
Speaking after receiving the award, Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith commented: “St.Tola is a successful business because we continue to stay true to ourselves. We produce our cheeses at a very high quality, are innovative by creating new products based on the feedback we get from our customers and are good communicators of what we do to the market place. The best advantage of being an artisanal producer is that what we produce is unique, producing products with true provenance reflecting the sustainable environment in which our St.Tola range is made and by whom it is made. By being artisanal we are protecting the long-term future of the environment and all those who live on it, which makes it all worthwhile.”
Speaking about the awards, Euro-Toques Ireland Commissioner General Wade Murphy said: “The artisan sector in Ireland has grown so much in the last 10 years, there’s almost nothing Irish artisans don’t produce at this stage. This year’s awards have really shown where the standard is at in this country and I expect to see even more new producers and new products this time next year.”
Fintan Slye Chief Executive at Awards sponsor EirGrid, commented: “In our business we come into contact with every sector but we’re especially proud to support these awards. Small business owners are the lifeblood of the local economy and small producers in particular are the lifeblood of the rural community. They truly are amazing people in what they contribute to food, the economy, the environment and life in Ireland and we’re delighted to be able to recognise their enormous achievements, as individuals and as a sector.”
Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith for her St Tola Irish Goat Cheese (a range which includes unique products such as the mature raw ‘St Tola Log’ and the multi-award-winning ‘St Tola Ash Log’)
Sinead O’Brien for ‘Mungo Murphy’s (hand-harvested) Seaweed (a brand so innovative many people believe the woolly-headed seaweed guru ‘Mungo’ actually exists, including customers of ‘his’ sea spaghetti, sea lettuce, pepper dulse, kombu, dillisk, Atlantic wakame and Carrageen moss, to name a few)
Shana Wilkie for her ‘bean to bar’ organic chocolate (formerly on the production desk of the Tribune, Shana swapped newspapers for single origin organic criollo cocoa beans from Peru. Knowing her cocoa farmers by name, Shana was the first in Ireland making chocolate from bean to bar)
Rod and Julie Calder-Potts for their Highbank Orchards ‘Orchard Syrup (from the fourth generation Kilkenny farm, whose organic orchard produces some fine brandy-style apple spirit, gin and cider, Rod and Julie have created Ireland’s answer to maple syrup with this unique and original product that chefs can’t get enough of)
Padraig and Anthony Farrelly’s for Farrelly’s Butchers and Abattoir (one of the few butchers in the country with their own abattoir, the Farrelly brothers offer breeds, cuts and carcasses to order. They know the farmers and the animals they work with and even explore experimental breeds from time to time)
Irish artisan foods have lately been the subject of international media attention. In 2014 US Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern was blown away by his trip to Cork, especially the Gubbeen family farm. In 2009 Saveur Magazine founder Colman Andrews wrote a book about Irish food following his first visit here, linking the artisan revolution in Ireland with the “invention of modern Irish cooking.” Just this week Irish cheeses were entered for the first time in the prestigious Mondial du Fromage international concourse and came up trumps – Cashel Farmhouse Cheese and The Little Milk Company both sweeping up multiple prizes.
There are currently over 3,500 small to medium sized food businesses operating in Ireland. Euro-Toques chefs work directly with the small producers and credit this produce that comes through their kitchen doors every day with the success of their award-winning restaurants. Furthermore, supporting small local food businesses benefits the local economy too: A study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that every €14 spent at a local food business is worth €35 for the local area, compared with just €20 when the same amount is spent in a supermarket or wholesaler.
“Given that our Award Winners are from Galway, Kilkenny, Wicklow, Cork and Clare, the local socio-economic value of these producers delivering their produce directly in through our kitchen door is definite and quantifiable for the local community and the real economy of Ireland,” said Evan Doyle, Chair of the Food Council of Euro-Toques Ireland.
Euro-Toques Ireland is part of Euro-Toques International which was also founded in 1986, by Gualtiero Marchesi from Italy, Juan-Mari Arzak from Spain, Paul Bocuse from France, Cas Spijker from the Netherlands and Myrtle Allen from Ireland. Euro-Toques is a community of cooks and chefs who uphold a charter to protect and promote authentic artisan and high quality produce, and high culinary standards in their kitchens. There are 16 European countries in Euro-Toques International, with a membership of over 3,000 dedicated chefs.
Euro-Toques Ireland is governed by its Board of Commissioners, headed up by current Commissioner General Wade Murphy (chef-proprietor 1826, Adare). The annual EirGrid Food Awards are overseen by the Food Council of Euro-Toques Ireland, headed up by Chairman Evan Doyle (proprietor Brooklodge Hotel, Co Wicklow).
EirGrid plc is a leading Irish energy business, dedicated to the provision of transmission and market services for the benefit of electricity consumers, ensuring a steady and consistent supply to homes and businesses all over Ireland. EirGrid has supported the annual Euro-Toques Food Awards since 2010. It is a state-owned commercial company, committed to delivering high quality services to all customers, including generators, suppliers and consumers across the high voltage electricity system and via the efficient operation of the wholesale power market. It puts in place the grid infrastructure needed to support competition in energy, to promote economic growth, to facilitate more renewable energy, and to provide essential services.
Smaller food companies are generally more labour intensive than large manufacturing food firms. From 1998 to 2007 industrial employment fell by 4% in Ireland. During the same period employment in agriculture, forestry and fishing fell by 16%. During this time, however, small food firms expanded their employment level from 600 people to 3,000 people, largely through start up and growth (TASTE Council of Ireland).
2010, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) reported a 50% increase in enquiries regarding the starting up or establishment of new food firms in 2009 compared to 2008 (TASTE Council of Ireland).
Biogs and Quotes from Award-Winners
Farrelly’s Butchers, Delgany was established in 1958 and still has its own abattoir and beef farm. Brothers Anthony and Padgraig Farrelly run a progressive butcher’s shop that ticks all the boxes for restaurants and consumers, with butchered to order cuts that have true provenance. While Ireland is losing its small abattoirs to large-scale facilities every year, Farrelly’s continues to demonstrate the advantages of a small independent operation.
Tony Farrelly, Farrelly’s Butchers, commented: “Having our own abattoir means we work with the whole animal, we can give the customer exactly what they, no matter cut they’re after. We can also stand over the quality because we go to the farms and source the animals ourselves. This allows us to see what breeds are out there and try new things, with the confidence of knowing that we can guarantee the customer that quality.”
Farrelly’s Butcher’s. Delgany, Co Wicklow. T: 01-287 4211
Mungo Murphy's Seaweed Co. was officially established in December 2013 by Sinead O'Brien and Kevin Moore Murphy. The inspiration for the business came to Sinead late one night as she was writing a terrible story about a periwinkle farmer called Mungo Murphy who lived in a cottage down by the sea, who subsisted on, and bathed in, seaweed. Sinead then realized that she habitually bathed in and ate seaweed (ever since she was forced as a teenager to spend her summer holidays collecting seaweed in Ros a Mhíl to feed her mother's abalone farm). And so she thought, if she enjoyed consuming seaweed then maybe others might enjoy that luxury too.
Sinead O’Brien said: “I think that our customers in Ireland and abroad like the story of Mungo Murphy and the fact that our seaweed products come from Connemara, in the "West of Ireland" which gives them peace of mind as to the quality and safety of the produce as the seaweed comes from a pristine, clean environment. Unfortunately for Japanese seaweed producers, there has been a certain level of distrust and concern over the safety and quality of seaweed originating from Japan in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster and that has also contributed to the growing interest in our seaweed products as well as for our abalone and sea cucumber products.”
Mungo Murphy’s Seaweed Co. Barna, Co Galway. www.mungomurphyseaweed.com
Made by Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith of Inagh Farmhouse Cheese in the West of Ireland, St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese has achieved exceptional critical acclaim since its launch over twenty-five years ago. From young, fresh crottin through to mature, year old Gouda, all their cheeses are handmade and matured to suit customers’ individual requirements. As such, cheese from the St. Tola range is now among the most sought-after artisan produce in Ireland. St. Tola Irish Goat Cheese has been made in the townland of Inagh just south of the Burren in County Clare since the early 1980s.
Siobhan Ní Ghairbhith, St Tola Irish Goat Cheese said: “St.Tola is a successful business because we continue to stay true to ourselves. We produce our cheeses at a very high quality, are innovative by creating new products based on the feedback we get from our customers and are good communicators of what we do to the market place. The best advantage of being an artisanal producer is that what we produce is unique, producing products with true provenance reflecting the sustainable environment in which our St.Tola range is made and by whom it is made. By being artisanal we are protecting the long-term future of the environment and all those who live on it, which makes it all worthwhile.”
Inagh Farmhouse Cheese, Maurices Mills, Ennistymon, Co. Clare. www.st-tola.ie
Highbank Organic Orchard was established in 1969 in Farmley, Co Kilkenny, on fertile Kilkenny limestone soils uniquely suited to produce delicious apples and apple juice. They have been producing organically since 1994, to the strictest of organic standards: no chemicals are sprayed on the apples, neither are any herbicides or chemical fertilizers used. GMOs are shunned to the extent that they avoid the use of manure from animals fed on GM food. Highbank Orchard Syrup, hailed as Ireland’s answer to maple syrup, is a completely unique product with diverse uses. Combined with their other great produce – their Dabinette Apples, their cider and juices, and now brandy-style spirits and gin from their new Distillery (opened 2014) – Highbank is the epitome of artisan innovation and creativity.
Speaking about the product, food writer John McKenna wrote: “When they perfected their Highbank apple syrup and launched it in 2010, they created one of the new defining artisan foods…their dynamism is ferocious, their creativity unbridled, and they are amongst the defining producers of the age.
Highbank Organic Orchards, Farmley, Co Kilkenny. /highbankorchards.com/
Shana Wilkie established Wilkies Organic Chocolate in 2012, with the aim of producing a premium quality organic chocolate, high in cocoa content and using only natural, organic ingredients. Today she is an Irish chocolate-maker that truly ticks all the boxes from bean to bar. Shana practices true artisan chocolate making fundamentals. She purchases her organic cocoa beans from single estate ‘fully traceable’ Peruvian farms. The farmers there ferment and sun dry the beans before shipping. When it arrives here, the cocoa is first sorted (all debris removed), then roasted, winnowed and conched. Roasting helps release acids and develop the chocolate flavours. Conching further develops this. So it's a balancing act to expose the natural flavours and aromas of the bean. Three to four days later a batch is ready for tempering. At present everything is still hand wrapped. Zero emulsifiers or flavourings are added. It is also 100% dairy, gluten, nut and soy free. Shana is only one of only five such ‘bean to bar’ chocolatiers in Ireland and less than 50 true Artisan Chocolatiers worldwide.
“For me it started with an interest in the history of chocolate and developed into utter fascination with what I found. I never knew what a cacao tree, pods or seeds looked like or that there are different bean varieties with different natural flavours. That's what fascinated me most. The idea of pure natural flavoured chocolate. I am always tinkering with different techniques to get the best out of a bean. A lot of my machinery is old style (nuts and bolts) and a roaster that's nearly 100 years old so I've become fairly handy at DIY. I have to admit I love all the DIY it's one of my favourite parts of the job!”
Wilkie’s Organic Chocolate. Knockgriffin, Midleton, Cork. www.wilkieschocolate
Congratulations to all our fellow members of the Burren Food after the sustainainable tourism initiative was named was named winner of the 2015 European Destiantion of Excellence (EDEN) award! We are honored to be part of such a amazing group. Well done to all those working hard behind the scenes especially the tremdendous work by Tina O Dwyer.
We were delighted here in North Clare to have the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles visit the Burren. Prince Charles is a keen supporter of sustainable farming and we were very proud to have our cheese presented to him with the finest of Clare ingredients in a hamper.
Finally we are super proud to annouce that St Tola will be in the Aer Lingus business class menu for June !
Our latest Disover Farmhouse Cheese Open Day was this morning here at St Tola. We have a great morning with a good number of visitors and the sun even came out for a change! Our next Open Day here is 19th June...I'll post up the times shortly. Come along and see our goats and taste our unbelievably good cheese!
In the Media this week!
Just a quick update on a few things that are happening here this week.
We are delighted that The Prince of Wales will be visiting our beautiful county today and we are delighted that our cheese will be on display for him to sample!
The Burren Slow Food Festival is in full swing this week and there are a huge number of events to choose from including festival markets and foraging and tasting dinners and lunches.
We have made the RTE guide this week! Super article and photo with Siobhan in the EAT supplement. We are also in this months EASY FOOD, with a great recipe from JP McMahon of Aniar, Cava and Eat in Galway.
Our next Open Day is next Tuesday 26th May. Come along at 10.30 for a tour of the farm followed by a tasting of all our cheeses!
Lots of new events at St Tola
Well Summer is really here; the farm is in full swing, most of our goats have kidded and the lads are once again super busy in production!
There are a number of very good foodie events coming up in the next few weeks. Firstly the superb Ballymaloe Litfest, this weekend 15th to 17th May, check out the listings on http://www.litfest.ie for the incredible list of speakers. Well worth a trip to East Cork for such a line up.
Clodagh McKenna will be doing a three day pop up restaurant in Selfridges in London next week 18th to 20th May featuring the very best of Irish Cooking. We are so proud that she is featuring our cheese on her menu! have a look herehttp://www.clodaghmckenna.com/home/digest/?category_id=9#.VVTbWuvyckU to see what is on offer!
The Burren Food Festival is once again upon us. This year is a weeklong festival with events on every day from this Saturday. St Tola will be hosting a picnic here on the farm next Tuesday 11 to 1pm 8 euro per person under 10s for free! Booking essential email us email@example.com or 065 683 6633. otherwise check out http://www.slowfoodclare.com/festival/ to see what else is on, there is something for everyone this year!
Just a reminder that we will be featured next week in RTE guide and this months Easy Food Magazine!
Hope to see some of you at some events!
Slow Food Week and Sheridans Food Festival
A quick reminder of a few events that are coming up in May.
The big one is the The Burren Food Festival : this year activities will extend to a full week launching at Ballyvaughan Farmers Market on Saturday 16 May 2015 at 12 noon offering stand-alone food events organised by the Burren Food Trail chefs, food producers and the many restaurant and café leading up to the the Burren Slow Food Festival weekend at Lisdoonvarna, which will take place on 23 & 24 May 2015.
This year’s festival theme is Land & Sea, and every kind of food provided by them.
Programme of events can be easily found using the links below:
As part of the festival, we are holding Slow Food Picnic here on the farm on the 19th May - if you would like to come along, (booking is essential) please contact us here on 065 683 66 33 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We will also be particiating at Sheridans Cheesemongers annual Food Festival on the 24th May at their headquarters in Virginia Road Station in Co. Meath. Its a super event with a huge number of food stalls, a brown bread competition, raw milk tastings and a host of celebrity chefs demonstrating their skills. For more detail on this http://www.sheridanscheesemongers.com/category/sheridans-food-festival/
We hope that you enjoyed last months article in Easy Food, just to let you know that there is another article on St Tola in the May issue out early next week.
Lastly a big thank you to all our visitors from todays Open Day! Thank you for braving driving rain and very cold conditions to come and see us!
Looking forward to seeing some of you at Slow Food or at Sheridans!
Happy Easter !
A quick reminder of things happening here for St Tola!
Our Sinead will be starting up at Kinvara farmers market this Friday, a welcome return for locals and visitors alike.
Our shop on site at the farm opens up today,10-4 MONDAY TO FRIDAY no BANK HOLS, tours are available but they are not held every day and must be booked well in advance, see our tours page for more details.... and don't forget to get Easy Food this Friday to see the article on St Tola and a new recipe too!
Of course the big news is GALWAY FOOD FESTIVAL! Starting this Friday and running until Monday. Siobhan will be tasting at Sheridans from 11-6pm and then in The Malthouse Restaurant from 4-5.30pm. Sinead will be doing a one off market on Saturday at the Galway Festival market. check outhttp://www.galwayfoodfestival.com
In honour of the Galway Food Festival our recipe of the month is from Galways own J.P McMahon, St Tola croquettes ! check out http://www.st-tola.ie/recipes/st-tola-goats-cheese-and-sweet-potato-croq...
Happy Easter to you all!
The Sun is still shining here in Inagh after a glorious St Patricks day! Its been a long winter but Spring has sprung and we have lots of events coming up here on the farm and around the country.
There are going to be some super food festivals this year. Firstly the 4th Annual Food Festival in Galway http://www.galwayfoodfestival.com is kicking off from the 2nd to the 6th April. Our lovely Siobhan will be tasting cheese in Sheridans Cheesemongers on Friday 3rd April from 11am to 2pm. If you miss her there, you can catch up with her at the The Malthouse Restaurant from 4-5.30pm the same day. Sinead will have a festival special cheese stall in the Galway Festival Market on Saturday 4th April.
The beautiful Mairead Garvey is pictured above at the recent launch of the Burren Food Trail and Burren Slow Food Festival. Thank you Mairead you are always a great ambassodor for us! The latter is a week long festival this year and details can be found at http://www.slowfoodclare.com/festival/ - make sure to put 16th to 24th May in your diary, there is bound to be something for everyone in this years line up.
There are more and more farmers markets springing up around the country. This Sunday 22nd March there is a new market in Gort, Co Galway, you can find our Sinead there with a huge range of cheeses and olives. Sinead can be also found at the Limerick Milk Market every Saturday year round & Kinvara Market every Friday from the 3rd of April.
Back here on the farm, our farmshop and museum will once again be open from 1st April, Monday to Friday (ex Bank Holidays) 9.30-4pm. We will be having the first of our Open Days on the farm on Tuesday 26th April from 12-2pm. Farm Tours are also recommencing from April. To book for the Open Day or if you wish to book a private tour please contact email@example.com or 065 683 6633
St Tola is making headlines in a few magazines this year. The April edition of Easy Food will feature an article and recipe for St Tola as part of our prize as winners of Blas na hEireann - it will be in the shops 3rd April! Over in the UK this lovely article was published in Good Things magazine https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wgu4h1z3zzknjim/AABE-DafUg8W393hbPR9PkOda?dl=0
Thanks to everyone for supporting St Tola over the winter and I look forward to seeing some of you at festivals or here in Inagh
The Burren Food Fayre
We will be participating in The Burren Food Fayre at The Pavillion in Lisdoonvarna as part of the Burren Winterage Weekend which runs from 25th to 27th October.
Shortlisted for the National Organic Awards!
St. Tola Cheese has been shortlisted in the Fresh Food Category in The National Organic Awards organised by Bord Bia. The winners will be announced Tues 14th October.
Happy recipient of Blas na hEireann Awards
Discover Cheese Open Days and New Markets!
As part of Discover Farmhouse Cheese we have a number of Open Days coming up here at the Farm! The dates for these are 23 July, 28th August and 11th September. All welcome and tours of the farm are free on the day. Times to be confirmed shortly - so watch this space. Please book before hand at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our lovely Sinead will be starting a cheese stall at the Kilrush Farmers Market, this Thursday 3rd July 9am to 2pm. This is addition to her stalls at Ennistymon Market (at the square) on Tuesdays, Kinvara Market on Fridays and Limerick Milk Market on Saturdays.
Come to Clare for the Summer and you won't be bored!
Siobhán and all the goats
Our next OPEN DAY here at St Tola is this Tuesday coming 17th June from 11am to 1pm. We are doing this in conjunction with Bord Bia and http://www.discoverfarmhousecheese.ie/. It is also National Bike Week next week so we have also a foraging cycle event happening. Bikes are meeting at Inagh Church at 11am and then cycling down to us along the back roads, foraging along the way. There will be cheese and crackers here for tasting on arrival - the weather is promised good so leave the car behind and get on your bike..! Ring 087 687 7890 to book your place (and yr bike if you don't have one!)
Siobhán and all the goats at St Tola
We are back from yet another very sucessful year at Bloom! Big thanks to Bord Bia for organising such a spectacular show, we are already looking forward to next year.
For the second year in a row, the Irish Cheese Awards were announced during Bloom, we were delighted to be awarded Silver for our plain 1kg log and GOLD for our lovely ASH log! Woo! In the same week we won bronze for our ASH log at the British Cheese awards and we are waiting to hear what we won at Premio Roma in Italy!
This weekend - get yourself to Doolin in Co Clare for the Burren Rocks! festival http://www.discoverireland.ie/Whats-On/the-burren-rocks/509139
Don't forget our Open Day - 17th June 11-1pm!
Siobhán and all the goats
Lots of news!
There are lots of events and lots of news here at St Tola! Our Roisin will have a stall this weekend at the Annual Slow Food Clare event this weekend 23rd to 25th April in Lisdoonvarna. There will be a range of events including a market on the Saturday & Sunday, cookery demonstrations, wild foraging walks, and a banquet on the Saturday - a feast for all the senses!
We have fingers crossed that the weather will clear up in time for BLOOM! - the biggest and most beautiful garden show in Ireland. There will be an even bigger food pavillion this year and our Siobhan will be there from Thurs 29th May to Monday 2nd June at our stall. The Irish Cheese Awards will be announced again there at the CAIS tent, lets hope we can follow on from last years success and win Supreme Champion! A great day out for everyone! http://bloominthepark.com/
Any British Fans of St Tola out there? We will be at the Royal Bath and West Show next week with our cheese and also to participate at the British Cheese Awards - more details on http://www.bathandwest.com/ http://www.thecheeseweb.com/british-cheese-awards
If you cant make those events, come and have a look at us in our newly open ÉCONOMUSÉE museum and shop here at the farm! We are proud to be part of this fantastic programme. www.economusee.eu
We will be hosting another Open day here at the farm on the 17th June 11 to 1pm all welcome! We will also be hosting an open event and picnic here on the farm on the 21st July - watch this space for more details!
Hope you to see you all somewhere over the summer!
Siobhán and all the goats xx
St Tola Open Day & Vote for Foodie Town of the Year!
Lots of news here at St Tola! Great news that we have won "an award" at Premio Roma, a prestigious Italian food competition organised by the Rome Chamber of Commerce, we won't find out until the 23rd exactly what we have won though!
Our next Open Day here at the farm is Tuesday 13th May, gates open from 11 to 3 and all are welcome www.discoverfarmhousecheese.ie
And lastly, Lisdoonvarna- Gateway to the Burren has been nominated as one the Foodie Towns of the Year! Voting is open until the 18th so plenty time to get voting, lets get behind our food producers, pubs & restaurants! http://www.burrenecotourism.com/2014/05/lisdoonvarna-bid-for-rai-foodie-town-of-ireland-2014/
There is a short video clip to accompany this also https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DkUIJsoi95PU%26feature%3Dyoutu.be&h=jAQFYRUvp&s=1
ÉCONOMUSÉE & OPEN DAY
We are delighted to announce the grand opening of our fabulous ÉCONOMUSÉEE - that is our living & working museum here at our beautiful farm on Thursday 17th April at 11am. We are honoured to become only the 3rd Economusee in the Republic of Ireland. Guest speakers David McCann Executive Chef at Dromoland Castle & Kevin Heanue, Economist at Teagasc. For more information on this www.economusee.eu The day is also part of Bord Bia Discover Farmhouse Cheese series of events and we welcome members of the public to come and visit us on the day, see our lovely goats & taste our delicious cheese! www.discoverfarmhousecheese.ie
See you all on the day!
Siobhán and all the goats xx
New Fresh Packaging, same lovely St Tola!
Our new packing for St Tola Divine and Original has arrived!! Its the same delicious cheese inside but with a fresh new design. Look out for them in your local Tesco and Supervalus and all good delis around Ireland. We will be posting some new recipes soon so watch this this space! Siobhan and all at St Tola x
Burren Winterage Festival
The second annual Burren Winterage Festival is with us again this weekend. Highlights include a working horse demonstration, a walk to the holy wells and pilgim sites in the Burren, a shorthorn cattle show, the annual cattle drive to the uplands and of course the Burren Masterchef competition at the Burren Food Fayre in Lisdoonvarna on Sunday 27th October from 1 to 5pm. A beautiful series of events celebrating the Burren ancient farming and cultural traditions.
St Tola Events Coming up!
Lots and lots of events coming up here at St Tola Goat Farm!
Our annual Open Day! Friday 4th October here at the Farm, 11am-3pm - all welcome!
The 6th Annual Harvest Banquet will be on at the Old Ground Ennis, Friday 4th October @ 7pm, EVERYTHING on your plate from Clare right down the sea salt! €50 for a 4 course meal, music and dancing to the wee hours and all for a good cause! All details http://www.clareharvestbanquet.com/
The Ennis Food Festival 4th to 6th October, a huge range of events including giant food fayre (come and see us!) on Saturday 5th October http://ennisfoodfestival.com/
Bake Fest in Galway Sunday 6th October - https://www.facebook.com/GalwayBakeFest come along and see us and getting your baking goods and some lovely St Tola too!
Finally - Clare V Cork All Ireland Replay on Saturday, fill up with these tasty recipes from TESCO, the Banner Bap and the Rebel Roll! Up the Banner!
New Opening Hours for our Shop!
After a very busy summer, things are starting to get back to normal here at St Tola. Autumn seems to have come all of a sudden but our lovely shop is still open. September opening times are Monday to Friday only 10am to 5pm.
The fabulous Brook Lodge at Macredding Village in Wicklow have the most fantastic menu for the Autumn season. The Big Harvest Menu features the very best of Irish Organic Food from around our beautiful Island. A 7 course tasting menu includes pork from the Crowe brothers in Tipperary, apples from Highbanks farm and of course lovely cheese from us here at St Tola!
A big thank to you all involved in the wonderful Summer Party at the British Embassy in Dublin recently a truly wonderful display of food from around Ireland- our photo attached includes some of the star line up, Clare Nash from Nash 19, James Whelan from Whelans Butchers and of course our lovely Siobhan from St Tola x
St Tola Divine and Original on Special offer at Tescos!
Get down to your local Tesco - St Tola Divine on Special offer from now until 27th August!
St Tola wins Stars at the Great Taste Awards!
We are delighted to annouce that St Tola has won some new stars at the Great Taste awards 2013! Our classic log won 1gold star and our lovely ash log won 2 Stars! Its a great boost to us here!
New Market! Our lovely Sinead has now a stall in the amazing Limerick Milk Market on a Saturday - get down between 10 and 4 for incredible cheeses and other other gorgeous grub.
Don't forget to vote in the Arthur Guiness projects - some great ideas including Burren Béilíní (little Irish tapas!) and an app for Irish Farmhouse Cheeses! follow this link
or this one!
Siobhan and all the goats xx
Miriam, Donal, 100 Best things to do and Kenmare Food Carnivall!!
Many thanks to Donal Skehan for giving us a big shout out on Miriam O'Callaghans shop on Saturday - fair play Donal you are a great supporter of Irish products!
Its official, on the Irish Times 100 best things to do in Ireland - coming to see us at the farm is number 38!http://bit.ly/12v8QaQ
Kenmare Food Carnival will be rocking this year - come and see us on our cheesey stall! www.kenmarefoodcarnival.com
Siobhans lovely sister Sinead is once again setting up her stall at Farmers Markets - come see her at the Square in Ennistymon on a Saturday 9-2 and Kinvara on Friday 9-2.
See you all soon! Siobhan x
Supreme Champion of the Irish Cheese Awards!
We have had a bumper month here at St Tola! For the first time, the Irish Cheese Awards were held at Bloom. We were delighted that our mature log won Gold in its class and also our new Ash Log won Gold in the New Cheese category and....Supreme Champion! Meanwhile in Rome...our Ash Log also awarded 1st in its class at the International Premio Roma Awards! We are over the moon here and its a validation of all our hard work and creativity.
Our new shop is getting busy - lots of customers from all over the world America, Canada, England, France and Australia. Come and see us - open Monday to Saturday 10 to 5 and Sunday 12 to 5pm.
Siobhan and all the goats x
Lots of news!
Exciting times at St Tola! We opened our farm shop this week on Wednesday!!! - We will be open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm. Come and taste our lovely cheese and see our goats! We are delighted be able to offer a range of other local Clare products including Clare Jams in Doolin, Burrensmoke House Salmon and Wild Irish Seaveg from Spanish Point.
We are all looking forward to BLOOM in Phoenix Park, Grainne and Siobhan will be there next Thursday 30th to Monday 3rd June. It promises to be a bumper festival and this year for the first time the Irish Cheese awards will be held during the festival. Pray for good weather and see you all there!
Lots and lots going on here in Co Clare! This evening, a night of cheese and wine and the lovely Kilshanny House. It is the first event in a series of Monday night food events as part of the Burren Food Trail that is going to be launched at Hotel Doolin this coming Saturday night. The second year of the Clare Garden Show as the showgrounds in Ennis will be on Sunday 28th of April and it promises to be a fine show!
Galway Food Festival, Bia Duchais, and new stockists!
The fantastic GALWAY FOOD FESTIVAL is on again this weekend with a brilliant programme of events! Come along to our stall at Woodquay this Saturday for a once of revival of the famous Woodquay Country Market. see full programme at http://www.galwayfoodfestival.com/
Also come and see Sinead at the new re-opened Kinvara Farmers Market tomorrow and Ennistymon Farmers market on Saturday.
Our lovely Siobhan will feature in the Cáis episode of Bia Dúchais, TG4 2nd May 2013 at 9.30pm! Tune in to see our lovely goats in action and improve your Irish as the same time.
New stockists of St Tola appearing on the shelves and menus around the country. Wilde and Green in Miltown Dublin 6, The Vintage Kitchen in Dublin http://www.thevintagekitchen.ie/home/ The beautiful Slieve Aughty Centre near Loughrea http://www.riding-centre.com/ Realta Tea Rooms in Kiltimagh http://www.facebook.com/RealtaStudioandTeaRoom (and get your photo done at the same time!)