Rain and green pastures make for nutritious grass that provides food for cows and brings us the quality ingredients Ireland is known for. Irish grass-fed beef, creamy butter and a wide range of potatoes are just some of the products this small island can be proud of. Those and Guinness! The people are warm and welcoming and they love to chat and have a ‘craic’. That’s what I found when I went on assignment for Dubai Eye 103.8 and took a tour of the country with the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, meeting the people behind some of the family-run food businesses, entrepreneurs and producers supplying to the UAE with their sustainable practices and the Origin Green stamp of approval.
Here is a selection of some of the radio features that aired recently with personal accounts, recipe ideas, and an insight into running a food business :
Tom Keogh of Keogh’s crisps talks about Maris Pipers, family and what to do with a spud!
Ann Rudden, Master Chocolatier, shares her love of fine chocolate and how she built her business to be the award-winning success it is today.
Flahavans mill has been around since 1785 so I headed to County Waterford to speak with father and son John and James Flahavan to find out about the legacy and what makes their oats so special.
Siobhan Lawless is the inspiration behind Foods of Athenry when she took her love of baking from the kitchen in County Galway and turned it into a successful business whilst raising five children. Siobhan shares the trials and tribulations and how she and her husband with a little help from the kids developed a clean label range with gluten-free and vegan products.
Do you have a story to share? Get in touch with me and share the love of good food.
Today marks the 5th anniversary winning the Sharjah Government Communication Award for Best Radio Talk Show for the show I produced and presented on the side effects of prescription drugs. I felt honoured as a western woman to be acknowledged in my field in the Arab world with a sensitive subject addressing mental health issues, overprescribing and the possible side effects of meds. I sat down with a psychologist, psychiatrist and heard from people who shared their stories and concerns living with anxiety and depression and we addressed the treatment options available. The show not only gave an insight into what life is like for people living with mental health issues but it also helped raise awareness bringing mental health to the forefront of conversation so people realise they are not alone and they do not have to suffer in silence.
I just finished watching JANE about Dr Jane Goodall, conservationist, primatologist and anthropologist, the documentary directed by Brett Morgen with the musical score by Philip Glass, revealing previously unseen footage shot by Hugo Van Lawick from the National Geographic archives discovered in 2014. It shows how Jane has lived the life she dreamed of, living with animals in the wild which in itself is inspirational but also how she opened a window into the little-known world, at that time, of chimpanzees. We follow Jane as a 26-year-old in Tanzania patiently studying the primates until they begin to trust her. Through her eyes, we see how they are similar to humans and how they are different and what we can learn from them. Jane brought the research and information to the world that chimpanzees, like humans, they have the capacity to love, to be jealous, to fight and to be cruel and what surprised the world back in the 1960s they, like humans, have the ability to use tools with their hands. This is a story of love, the natural world and of primate and human behaviour. As she looks into the eyes of a thinking wild animal we feel the connection towards a family of chimps and a sadness that resonates as humans as the trials and tribulations of parenting, ageing, loss and bereavement unfold. This is a testament to a life well lived and as humans, we can do better to protect the wildlife that walks this earth.
In 2015 I had the pleasure to meet and interview Dr Jane Goodall on Dubai Eye 103.8 when she visited the UAE promoting her Roots and Shoots programme in schools. I interviewed her again a couple of years later. The pictures here show me after practically stalking her at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. I was about to do a live broadcast when my producer told me she was in the building and I raced around the exhibition hall to find her. I waited patiently as she was being shown around by dignitaries before politely catching her eye and managing to record a few minutes with her to play out later on the show. She is a true inspiration.
Exploring French butter, meeting the producers and learning about the terroir and what makes great tasting butter. First stop is Brittany known for its dairy and Bellevaire to learn about raw milk butter. Click here and listen to the story.
Fresh from the dairy
Churned and washed
raw milk butter moulded
Bellevaire raw milk butter
From raw milk butter at Bellevaire to organic butter and the ‘savoir faire’ at Le Bordier.
Ready for off
All shapes and sizes
seaweed and raspberry – Le Bordier
So with an understanding of how butter is made, what do we need to know about using butter in cooking? Find out from Master cheesemonger Francois Robin who has the honoured title of Meilleurs Ouvriers de France and Chef Tugdual Debethune, expert chef at the Contemporary Culinary Center in Rennes, in the west of France.
From Brittany to Paris and a taste of the finest patisseries at Yann Couvreur, YC, at Gourmet Lafayette. Listen to what makes a perfect croissant and what’s typically included in a Parisian le petit dejeuner. Click on the feature and enjoy!
For more information on butter, the history, how to cook with it and recipes read all about butter here: Butter of Europe