A look at the food that happened in 2015.

As 2015 draws to a close, we look at a few of the food stories that caught our eye this year. In no particular order! How many do you remember?

Back in April, the ladies of the Good Food Ireland team were out in force in their glad rags. Margaret Jeffares, Sue Kerr and Victoria Jago strutted on to the stage to pick up Best Food Experience for Good Food Ireland Food Summit at Web Summit 2014 at the inaugural Irish Food Tourism Awards. We’re very proud of their achievement and rightly so!

During 2015 Irish chef Mark Moriarty was declared the San Pellegrino Young Chef of the Year, beating off very stiff international competition for the title. The judges were bowled over by his creativity and skill. The gourmet scene of Ireland is very proud of this young man and we look forward to seeing his progress in 2016. One thing is for sure. Mark Moriarty going from strength to strength and we wish him the best of luck for the New Year.

JP McMahon of Aniar and Eat in Galway launched the first ever Food On The Edge Symposium 2015. An esteemed collection of top chefs from all over the world flocked to Galway. Each spoke for fifteen minutes about their own take on the food of the future. Some influential ideas were mooted and it’s fair to say this symposium has gone a long way to making us rethink how we cook and serve food in the hospitality sector. We can’t wait for FOTE 2016. Well done JP!

Chef of the moment, Rene Redzepi of Noma, announced the restaurant will close in its present location, and reopen in a new spot outside Copenhagen, complete with its own farm to supply a totally seasonal menu. The restaurant will change personalities through the year, becoming a seafood, game and even vegetarian based restaurant, according to the seasons.

Fermentation became the hot food trend to sweep home and professional kitchens. It’s all about good bacteria, which promote a healthy digestive system. First used in ancient times in Eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries, to preserve foods for storage. It was discovered that the friendly bacteria which are created during fermentation are actually very good for us.

Yet another food scare made the press when the World Health Organisation announced that processed pork products like sausages bacon and ham are ranked highly as cancer causing foods. The news created a massive panic and drastically reduced sales of these products in Ireland. Some companies are still trying to recover. Our advice was and still is to be sure where your produce comes from, who made it and how it was made.

Thai inspired Ice cream rolls, made by scraping ice cream into delicate curls with a flat spatula something akin to a wallpaper scraper, made us drool.

Sixteen year old American Head Chef Flynn McGarry opened a restaurant in New York. Eureka NYC is a product of an already long career for this young man, who has been cooking since he was a boy and served his first customers at his mother’s house, using his bedroom as the dining room.

Freakshakes hit the headlines in the UK. These larger than life milkshakes originate from Australia – where larger than life is the norm! Served in big jam jars and topped with anything from pretzels to whole cookies, Freakshakes were wowing it across the water.

Spaghetti Cones hit New York streets. A cardboard cone turned out to be the best way to eat your spaghetti on the go. Everyone was doing it, don’t you know.

‘Gastrophysics’ made the news in the UK, as Professor of Experimental Psychology, Charles Spence, of the University of Oxford, conducted research on how different foods affect our moods on the very deepest levels. This is why chefs like Ferran Adria of Spain’s famed El Bulli restaurant (now closed) and Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck in Bray, among others, are so successful at playing with flavour combinations to literally blow our minds. Professor Spence took it one step further, discovering that choice of cutlery and even music adds or takes away from the dining experience.

Imported frozen berries from Serbia also caused a scare when it was revealed they were contaminated and responsible for a very serious virus that had caused 70 people to become sick in Sweden, making us very grateful for our wonderful Irish fresh summer berries which hit their stride in the summer months. As we always say, there’s nothing like good fresh home-grown food in season.

In October, The Burren region won the top Foodie Town in Ireland. No mean feat, up against some very stiff competition. The winning effort was masterminded by a superb team, including Birgitta Curtin of Burren Smokehouse.

A simple little Grilled Cheese truck won a top food award in New York, confirming our belief that there is not much to beat good cheese melting on good bread as the ‘go to’ snack any time of day.

And finally, in the festive season, we discovered we could eat the Christmas tree. Who knew? 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our little round up of food news and views. We can’t wait to see what news and trends will be revealed in 2016!