09 NOV 2016: If you scoot down to the annual Royal Agricultural Winter Fair on until November 13 at the Exhibition Place, chances are you will see the beloved mascot, Turbo the Goat. But Turbo the Goat isn’t any old goat. The award-winning four legged farm animal was also one of the special guests at a recent full Irish breakfast get together hosted by Tourism Ireland, which this year has partnered with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair for the second year.

The Irish menu

Dana Welch, marketing manager in Canada, provided a menu of reasons for booking trips to the Emerald Isle. Among the highlights is the current boom in culinary offerings. Think restaurants, food trails, and festivals.

“There’s a new strain of Irish cuisine fueled by artists, producers and world class ingredients that is delivered by warm and welcoming people that visitors will never forget. There are, of course, many ways to explore the delicious food and drink options in Ireland,” she noted.

Culinary Star

For some real food for thought I understood where she was coming from when she introduced award-winning Chef Stephen Jeffers who owns his own cooking school, the Forestside Cookery School in Belfast. The down-to-earth “Can I go cook?” Irish chef has been a personal chef to a handful of celebrities over his 20 plus year career.

There have been culinary stints for a family member of ‘the’ Guinness clan, and the Rothschild’s but the celebrities that appealed to me more were hearing about Mick Jagger, Van Morrison and George Best. “If you read George Best’s book he mentions me. There’s even a photo of us,” he laughs.

Chef Jeffers cooked up a full Irish breakfast of wheaten bread, crisp Irish bacon, black pudding jam pureed to perfection with a fusion of Worcester, mustard, caramelized onions and balsamic vinegar. The fried duck egg was a highlight. “They taste like our hen eggs back home and are healthier for you,” he smiles.

A Big Irish win Chef Stephen Jeffers was strutting his culinary magic this past weekend at the winter fair too. He won the Royal International Invitational Chef Challenge on Sunday. Slainte!!

For travel information on Ireland see http://www.ireland.com/en-ca/

For information on the Forestside Cookery School https://forestsidecookeryschool.com/

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair http://www.royalfair.org/

A Taste of Ireland
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Ilona Kauremszky

A regular contributor to Travel Industry Today, Ilona is a prize winning journalist whose writing pursuits have taken her around the globe.

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