We’ve always known Isabelle Sheridan of On the Pig’s Back in The English Market and Douglas was an icon, a legend in her own lifetime! But it’s now official. She is as famous as deep sea expert oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, actor Gerard Depardieu and former French President Francois Mitterand.
In her home country of France, Isabelle has been awarded the medal of the Chevalier de l’ordre National du Merite, one of the highest awards a French person can receive. Awarded in recognition of Isabelle’s ceaseless championing of Irish and French foods, showcased on her stall at The English Marketand in her cafe and deli in Douglas.
On the Pig’s Back has become one of the flagship stalls in The English market since Isabelle launched the business in 1992. This lady has been in Ireland for 30 years, marrying an Irishman and raising a family in Cork. But her love of the foods of France, which she gained from her grandparents and parents growing up outside Paris was always something that kept her tied to home.
She started the business by making the pates, parfaits, terrines and delicacies she missed from home, using classic French family recipes and Irish locally sourced ingredients. She introduced French cheeses to the stall, which were soon joined and eventually overtaken by the wonderful farmhouse cheeses of Ireland.
The cheese selection alone at On the Pig’s Back is enough to send your senses reeling. As more farmhouse cheeses and other Irish artisan products appear, Isabelle is one of the first to support and sell them.
It is for this unwavering dedication and service to Irish and French food that Isabelle has now been lauded by her fellow countrymen. She is a proud French woman who has become a beloved figure of Cork in her years of trading. Isabelle keeps the French traditions alive in the cafe in Douglas, where traditional music nights can include Irish or continental musicians.
Her homemade deli items reflect the foods of France, made with wholesome honest to goodness Irish and locally sourced ingredients. Isabelle has found the perfect balance between the food cultures of France and Ireland. She has been recognised by the Irish Food Writers Guild for her wonderful homemade produce and has given many years to contributing to and showcasing Irish artisan foods.
We are very proud of Isabelle, one of our longstanding Good Food Ireland members. She is French through and through, no doubt about that. But we are more than delighted that she has become a daughter of Cork and of Ireland. We’d like to offer our heartiest congratulations to Isabelle on her wonderful award from her home country.
We wish her very many more years of bringing her own special magic to the Cork and Ireland food scene.
If you’d like to know more about On The Pig’s Back in the English Market and Douglas, read the reviews here