This weekend, for the second time, a group of restaurants in North Mayo are collectively highlighting locally produced products and ingredients available in the region. As part of an ongoing series, the January #MayoFood promotion is designed to focus on food tourism. On the weekend of 27th, 28th and 29th January, a number of restaurants in Ballina will feature beers from Reel Deel Brewing Company, brewed by Marcus Robinson in Crossmolina, Co. May.
Chefs in each restaurant have taken up the mantle and are getting creative, by either using the beer as an ingredient or offering a “food pairing” option, where one of Reel Deel’s four beers is paired with a suitable dish, so there is sure to be lots of variety on the menus over the weekend!
This initiative is part of a wider focus on food tourism initiated by MayoNorth.ie and supported by Ballina Chamber and Moy Valley Resources IRD to drive awareness of the great food offering in the region, and reinforce the importance of locally produced food to visitors to the region. Other projects on the agenda include the development of food trails, food networking events, food festivals, demos, and children’s cookery events.
Dillon’s Bar and Restaurant, Luskin’s Bistro and Wine Bar, the Ice House Hotel, Bisini, The Broken Jug, Ballina Manor Hotel, the Twin Trees Hotel and The Post House are among those taking part in the initiative.
Some dishes produced by local restaurants for the November food promotion with Andarl Farm Black Pudding. L-R: Ice House Restaurant, The Loft, The Post House, Heifer and Hen, No. 45 @Brennan’s Lane.
Anne-Marie Flynn, Marketing Manager at MayoNorth.ie said: “Featuring locally sourced ingredients on our restaurant menus is so important to the region in many ways – in terms of delivering high-quality dishes, and building Mayo’s reputation as a destination that provides both locals and visitors with a real sense of “our place on your plate”. And the importance of local businesses supporting each other cannot be underestimated”.
Gerry Luskin, owner of Luskin’s Bistro and Wine Bar on Dillon Terrace said: “Initiatives like this open an avenue for us to think outside the box and look around at what ingredients are available in our area rather than always going with the mainstream. For instance I would look at a standard recipe and see what’s available locally and customise the recipe using a locally produced ingredient, thus creating a dish unique to this area.”
As part of this January #MayoFood promotion, Luskin’s will be offering a food and beer pairing experience, and indeed the new restaurant is fast building a reputation as the place to go for tasty and innovative food experiences in North Mayo. Gerry has recently run a number of fun events including “Dine in the Dark” and wine tasting nights which deliver food in a different and exciting way.
Chef Gerry Luskin of Luskin’s Bistro taking place in November’s food promotion with Andarl Farm Black Pudding
Reel Deel produces a range of craft products across the beer spectrum, including ‘Jack the Lad’ Pale Ale, ‘Irish Blonde’ Amber Ale, ‘Say Nowt’ Stout, ‘General Humbert’ Lager and an elderflower sipping ale, specially produced for the prestigious “Food on the Edge” food symposium, the brainchild of Galway chef, JP McMahon. Marcus Robinson of Reel Deel Breweries commented: “It’s brilliant that local restaurants in North Mayo are so enthusiastic about supporting local producers and it’s a really exciting time for food in the area.”
Any restaurants or suppliers in the region interested in becoming involved with the monthly #MayoFood promotion can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information, and members of the public are invited to share photos of their experiences on social media using the #MayoFood hashtag.