YOU couldn’t really ask for a more perfect evening and it was Sarah who pulled the trump card for this one.

So off she went to Dublin for an evening with Ireland’s top pitmaster, John Relihan of Holy Smoke in Cork and Ronan Greaney of the Dough Bros in Galway.

The ‘Musgraves Food Stories’ event was held in their Ballymun branch ‘Food Theatre’ which will feature lots of amazing events throughout the year.

These guys shared their experiences of growing a successful food business from the ground up with John showing an audience his techniques for preparing and smoking meats low-n-slow during a live demo.

John is a Kerry man and former head chef of Jamie Oliver’s Barbecoa BBQ restaurant in London and he returned home to head up Holy Smoke in Cork in 2016.

The Dough Bros, Eugene and Ronan, together with their brother Laurence, bought a wood fired pizza oven from Italy in 2013 and built a pop up food truck around it. They went on to open a permanent restaurant which is recommended as one of the top 100 places to eat in Ireland from the McKenna Guide in 2014.

What an inspirational story!

Sarah was there hosting tastings of Traditional Dry Cider, Medium Cider and Plum and Ginger alongside wine expert Jean Smullen who was doing wine tastings. Everyone attending enjoyed finger food from development chefs Clement Pavie and Paul Behan.

There was such an amazing atmosphere  as Executive Chef Tony O’Donnell of the Powerscourt Hotel hosted the talks with John who outlined his career so far and revealed where his passion for cooking and smoking came from.

Ronan then talked through the brothers’ inspiring journey from a pop up pizza truck to having such a successful and popular permanent restaurant in just three years.

After the talks the smoke rose and John showed everyone his techniques for preparing and smoking meats. The smell was divine!

Slow cooking at Musgrave Food Stories event - Musgrave Picture Conor McCabe Photography

His live demo included;

  • Introducing different styles of equipment
  • Choosing the best wood chips/charcoal for your meats and how to manage the fires for different equipment
  • Prepping your meat and how best to use brines, rubs and marinades
  • How to smoke beef rib and beer can chicken
  • How to grill the perfect steak – grilled dry aged Irish ribeye on the long bone with board dressing, smoked harissa and how to cook directly on the coals (including how to make a herb brush)
  • Grilling vegetables and making harissa over the fire

What a mouth watering demo and then the tastings started. Delicious. So Sarah lapped up smoked meat and was able to sample new and innovative products from the Musgrave MarketPlace range before heading off for drinks with the crew at the Lemon and Duke.

Slow-food-cooking-at-Musgraves-Food-Stories-event.jpg - Musgrave Picture Conor McCabe Photography

The food cooked was delicious with our ciders. Pizzas and BBQs are ideal and go really well with our three ciders.

It was a great opportunity for Sarah to meet up with Ronan as Dough Bros has been stocking our ciders for years in Galway. She also enjoyed catching up with  the guys from Foxes Rock Beer, Gunpowder Gin, Monin’s Syrups and O’Donnells Crisps.

The BBQ guys are always interested in Mac Ivors Ciders because they love the apple wood to smoke meat over. Who doesn’t? The flavour from the meat oozes quality and is so moreish.

It was a top class night with Musgraves so a big thank you to those guys for having us there. It’s fantastic to see the huge effort behind the Irish craft beer and Irish craft cider makers. well done to everyone involved. We loved it.

We hope to be back in the ‘Food Theatre’ soon. #followthefox