A story in today’s Irish Examiner really tickled our fancy! Our very own Declan Ryan of Arbutus Bread in Cork has been causing a stir with The Department of Jobs! According to the newspaper, Declan contacted the department, regarding the introduction of apprenticeships for traditional skills like baking. In the old days, an apprenticeship was the way young people learned their trade for many food related hands on skills. We congratulate Declan on trying to bring back this much needed initiative to the food industry. However, it was much to his surprise when he received a letter back addressed to Mr Arbutus Bread on the envelope, and which began with the phrase ‘Dear Mr. Bread’ !! Whoever typed that letter made an adminstrational mistake in failing to get the name of Ireland’s top baker correct. But we all wholeheartedly agree he rightly deserves this title! Ryan’s Arbutus Bakery in Cork, has led the way in baking the finest handmade artisan breads for many years. What started has a hobby in a specially converted lock up garage outside Declan’s Montenotte home, is now a fully fledged business conducted from a state of the art kitchen unit in Mayfield, on Cork city’s north side. Ryan’s breads can be found in many independent shops and delis as well as on the tables of the finest restaurants in Cork and beyond. So we think the government got it right. ‘Mr Bread’ is certainly a very fitting title for a man who dedicates himself to making beautiful real breads, and passing on his skills to young bakers and bread making enthusiasts. We hope he is successful in reinstating the apprenticeship model for young Irish people wishing to enter the industry as to learn to do things the traditional way. There is no one more worthy in this country of holding the official title of Mr. Bread. So we now suggest the government may well start to look at other prominent experts in the Good Food Ireland ranks of food production – Des Jeffares is already known in certain circles as Mr. Blackcurrants, Veronica Steele would be Mrs. Cheese, Con Traas could be Mr. Apples, and so on..